As the landscape of online advertising becomes more crowded and internet users rely on ad blockers with increasing frequency, it’s never been more important for brands to set themselves apart. Influencer marketing is becoming a more central part of many major companies’ marketing plans because it provides a unique opportunity for brands to connect with consumers directly.
Sponsored influencer content is a key part of influencer marketing and it’s growing all the time. Influencer marketing on Instagram alone is a $1 billion industry, and with 84% of marketers using influencer marketing tactics, it’s clear that it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In order to get the most out of influencer marketing and sponsored influencer content, here’s what you need to know.
Sponsored influencer content is content from creators that’s made possible by or created in partnership with brands. Brands might partner with influencers to promote their products, brand, and messaging, or to raise brand awareness.
Brands might partner with influencers for YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live streams, and more. Through partnerships with influencers, brands are able to put relevant voices behind their messaging and more effectively reach target demographics. For example, video game publishers might partner with top gaming YouTubers and Twitch streamers to promote a new game; stroller manufacturers might partner with top mommy bloggers to promote their products; cosmetics companies might partner with top beauty bloggers to promote brand awareness.
Related Post: Advertising On YouTube With Top Influencers [Case Study]
Though online ads are often derided as intrusive and annoying, younger users actually don’t mind sponsored or branded content that’s a natural part of their online experiences. What’s more, 80% of Millennials believe that native ads provide a positive experience in social media feeds.
Sponsored content isn’t intended to be deceptive or disruptive, and clearly marking sponsored influencer content (with #sponsored, for example) helps safeguard the authentic experience that’s central to an influencer’s relationship with their audience.
Many influencers also depend on sponsored influencer content as a partial or primary source of income. Partnering with brands allows influencers to create content and to pay for production and personal costs. Though cynics may view it as “selling out,” well-executed sponsored content benefits everyone involved, including audiences.
Related Post: Brand Guide To Market With Top Instagram Influencers
For brands, sponsored influencer content is an opportunity to get in front of engaged and active audiences in an authentic and natural space. It allows brands to collaborate with genuine and trusted creators to communicate with audiences through a unique kind of creative storytelling. Sponsored content keeps brands relevant by allowing them to leverage influencers’ popularity, and it’s a cost-effective way to reach consumers through another approach to earned media value.
Influencers and audiences benefit, too. When well-executed, brand partnerships provide influencers with the ability create better, more sophisticated content and allows them to explore new creative avenues. Through sponsored influencer content, audiences are treated to content that might otherwise be impossible, and influencers have an opportunity to push their creative visions forward with resources and exposure.
It’s no secret that creative endeavors, from publications to major films, are often supported by the advertising efforts of brands. Influencers’ creative efforts are no different. They benefit from the support of brands, both financially and in terms of resources, and so long as these partnerships are executed with care, they can benefit to all involved.
Related Post: Why Cross Channel Marketing With Influencers Works