There’s a silent “land grab” happening right now and it could leave your brand behind. If you have been monitoring the trends in the influencer space, as we do, you may have noticed a increasingly desperate flurry of activity among brands who are rushing to sign up influencers, often on exclusive agreements
The immediate consequence is this threatens to push out most brands and companies in the endurance and outdoor space who don’t even know it’s happening.
The problem is that if you’re not testing influencer marketing as part of your campaign activity right now, you probably aren’t aware of how quickly the opportunities are narrowing among the body of influencers with the right clout and reputation in our sector.
Forewarned is forearmed
If this sounds like a warning, please take it as such. Because by the time many brands wake up to what is happening, it will be too late.
Brands and organisations who are already responding to this shift already know the challenge.
As an influencer platform, we know first hand how this is playing out right now. We work with over 700 influencers in the outdoor and endurance space. What we’re seeing are more and more contracts being signed to tie up many influencers by brands on exclusive deals.
We’re fortunate in this space that new influencer are coming through all the time, but even with emerging influencers the market is narrowing at a rapid pace. More than this, brands who have been testing influencer marketing are taking advantage of the sluggishness of their competitors to secure this space for their own.
The challenge of influencer marketing now
Here’s the challenge for brands right now:
There is a limited window of opportunity you need to take advantage of, if you are at all serious about making influencer marketing a component of your overall marketing activity in the future. If you’re not planning on making influencers a part of your marketing mix, the landscape looks increasingly challenging.
The problem is made worse that as the influencer market matures very quickly, traditional advertising (and even digital marketing) is lessening in impact.
Study after study shows that audiences, young and old, are turning away from traditional advertising (therefore lessening the impact) in preference for more authentic engagement and story-based activity. The market needs to respond to this new way of talking to audiences and how they want to consume content.
What influencers can do for your brand
Influencers on their native platforms are particularly capable of delivering these experiences. With the proliferation of platforms without the equal increase in resource to manage them, few brands have the capacity or know-how to create the level of content needed to really engage their target audience.
While there will be more influencers coming through, there is going to be a time lag before they build audiences to a certain size. In that time, the brands who have tied up influencers will be putting more resource and more focus in order to dominate the space.
If you are not working to engage influencers now, you could soon find the door slammed in your face.
The good news
This isn’t all doom and gloom, of course. There is still time for brands to take the opportunities in the market – but only brands are willing to seriously test influencer and judge its success using the right metrics.
If you’re considering influencer as part of your campaign activity, here’s what we suggest:
LESSON #1 – Look at influencer right now. If influencer activity isn’t part of your mix right now, you need to start looking at this seriously.
LESSON #2 – Time to test. Running tests for influencer activity is the best way to test the responsiveness of your market. Even if you believe there is no place in your current budget, running tests can be a low cost way of securing earlier budget to build upon this.
LESSON #3 – Be proactive in your influencer selection. Don’t wait until influencers come to you. Go out and find the right people for your brand and start engaging with them.
LESSON #4 – Do it right. Influencers want to work with brands who know what they’re doing. Understanding their needs and responding to these are key to any relationship. That’s why it’s vital to work with specific influencer marketing specialists in your sector who understand the needs of their market.
LESSON #5 – Start the conversation. If you deliver value to influencers they are more likely to deliver value for your brand. They WANT to work with you. It just needs to be an easy process for them. Find a simple way to work.
LESSON #6 – Understand how influencer relationships can add value and promote this internally. Influencer marketing is NOT PR. If a brand still thinks it’s a case of sending press releases and some kit and that’s a relationship they are going to have a shock.
Do this right and your brand will avoid being locked out of the influencer market by bigger, more proactive brands who have a head start.
Take action right now. To discover how influencer marketing can give your brand greater awareness, a stream of high quality authentic content and even drive traffic and sales, drop us a line and we will help you create a plan for your business.