For more than 10 years, IMPACT has undertaken annual research to better inform our influencer campaigns to provide our clients more meaningful results.
In June 2023, we asked more than 30 influencers and their managers questions, ranging from planning, to preferred platforms, rules and regulations, posting for free, and pet hates.
The evolving world of influencers and content creation
Back in 2012, when bloggers were pioneering the social media scene, our Pulse Check revealed blogging was still a young art.
Of the creators interviewed, most had been blogging for around two years. Just three per cent ‘blogged’ full time, and less than one in five earned any money for their efforts.
Fast forward to 2023 and content creation is now a viable full-time career option (29 per cent in 2023, down from 35 per cent in 2021).
Our Pulse Check includes a good cross section of creators, with 39 per cent identifying as long-term creators (six to 10 years), 31 per cent stating they have been in this field for three to five years, and another 31 per cent working for between one to two years.
What’s in a name?
One of the standout results from the research is what influencers prefer to be called, with 69 per cent favouring ‘content creators’. This is indicative of the quality content partners are now producing for brands; it’s not just a quick picture and caption.
Savvy brands are now looking to influencers to, not only post on social platforms, but also to create compelling content to use in earned, owned, and paid strategies.
IMPACT’s latest Pulse Check’s reveals four key rules for working with influencers and content creators.
Rule #1. Interrogate objectives before scrolling for partners.
Before you start looking for influencers or content creators, take the time to nail down your objectives. A few questions to get started include:
- Where in the sales funnel do you want to target?
- How will you leverage the content?
- What are the demographics of your target audience?
- Is there an aesthetic you are looking for?
- What’s in your selection criteria?
Rule #2. Consider authenticity for the brand, creator and community.
- Be wary of always using big burst campaigns. Sixty-nine per cent prefer ‘always on’ campaigns, especially when it is a longer-term partnership, as it provides the opportunity to help build authenticity with their audience.
- Give creators the opportunity to trial and love your brand before committing to a partnership. In fact, 62 per cent say it is very important or somewhat important (39 per cent) that they have used a product/service before committing. A gifting strategy is crucial for ensuring you have a pipeline of creators.
- Look at the saturation rate of your creators and their engagement as an authenticity measure. Creators who share branded content too often or leverage competing products in a short time period, may not have the trust of their followers – but this is not always the case!
Rule #3: Provide creator support, but champion creativity
We asked our influencers, content creators and managers what they hate to see in a brief; the issues of creative freedom, lack of flexibility and not leveraging the creator’s strengths were clear issues for most creators.
From key messages, product requirements, call to action to any disclaimers, a good brief should make all brand requirements clear from the outset, but also balance a scope for creativity and support.
Whether it’s a mood board or example posts, creators appreciate guidance, but thrive when given the opportunity to make a campaign their own.
For TGA-listed products, support is especially important to ensure compliance. Considering the complexity of this space, just 51 per cent of creators were happy to work on TGA-listed campaigns.
Rule #4: Test, trial and test again
Don’t assume because it has worked for you in the past that it will continue to perform. The algorithm is constantly changing.
Remember to test results in real time. Make sure the measures you are using ladder up to your objectives. For example, using CPM for brand awareness, and considering ROI, code redemptions or website traffic for conversion rates.
If activity isn’t working as well as it could, evaluate, trial something new and test again.
To lock in a meeting to see the full IMPACT Pulse Check results, discuss best practice recommendations, or how you can work better with influencers and content creators, contact email@example.com.