The way that marketers target their consumers has evolved over many years. Influencer marketing has now become popular over time and is used by many brands to target their customers as well as agencies. For example, 66 Agency, Canada’s leader in influencer marketing, plays an important role in finding brands for influencers to market through social media platforms. Many brands believe that using the marketing method of influencer marketers results in higher engagement as influencer have their customers trust and they trust their authenticity because of having a special connection with the influencer. However, the influencer gets recognition in working with popular brands while having the chance to get involved in good opportunities while also getting support and financial security form the agencies. With 66Agency, they are helping brands find the perfect influencer to market their brands to their fans, making sure the collaborations is a success for both. The Uberization business model is proven to be somewhat efficient, which 66Agency is starting to pursue however the question is whether or not this model is the best for influencers themselves?
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Influencer Marketing and its Benefit
Influencer marketing is very effective and has demonstrated to be very beneficial for brands as well as marketers. There are a few reasons as to why a brand would benefit from influencer marketing. Firstly, consumers are most likely confide in influencers over a brand and the paid adverts that they are carrying out. This is because they consider influencer’s source of information to be genuine and trustworthy. The need for more authentic content has made influencer an important member in influencing a consumers’ buying decision. This is because they consider influencer’s source of information to be genuine and trustworthy. Recently, influencer marketing has become popular in the online marketing field and a majority of consumers rely on influencer’s reviews and suggestions to help make decisions when buying. It has been stated that in the US, for example, consumers have stated they only trust 22% of brands (Moodie, 2015). Clearly, we can tell that most of the consumers do not believe what a brand says about themselves and what they are selling. Studies show now more than ever, consumers want to consume content that is authentic and more realistic. In 2019, a survey was conducted by Stackla that shows that 90% of consumers want authentic content from their brands. However, there is a gap between consumers and marketers. 92% of marketers believe that their brand creates authentic content; whereas 51% of consumers believe that less than half of the brands are authentic. Second is driving traffic to the brand. This could be the point at which an influencer links a brand website or web store, which effectively expands traffic. The posts that contained the website link for the brand is shared across social media. Also, as an ever-increasing number of people look at the post, they will click on the link and then is redirected to the brand's website.
Finally, influencer marketing can considerably grow brands reach and positioning in the online market. Social users will begin to know more about a brand, the background in the creation of a brand, who the people are, and the solutions that the brand offers. The offerings that influencers can make as far as brand awareness are some of the most dominant benefits of social media marketing. The key factor in maximising influencer strategy is making sure you provide valuable content that adds to the influencers’ social media presence as well, ensuring there is value in the partnership for both parties. Influencers are generally the driving force behind new trends and developments. They commonly introduce audiences to new brands, products, ideas, etc. So appearing as a hot new concept is one of the numerous benefits of influencer marketing. Adjusting your brand with an influencer who moves the needle in the trends department shows individuals that your company is an innovative leader in the industry.
Influencer Marketing Agencies and their Issues
As classical advertising outlets such as print and television has become less productive, from the decrease in viewerships and readership, more consumers have turned to social media platforms, for example, YouTube, Instagram, etc., for news, and entertainment, and information in regards for advice in making purchase decisions. IMA specialises in assisting brands to tell their story through the voice of influencers. It is a full-service digital agency, with Instagram being one of the main platforms used to get their client's message across.
There are a few main issues that influencer marketing agencies are facing regarding influencer marketing. The first is agency drama. A few brands will in general manage influencers, while some influencer marketing campaigns are performed agencies. This is generally for campaigns including micro-influencers, which have evolved into becoming increasingly common. Since such a large number of influencer relationships are expedited through agencies, brands’ ability to accurately work with influencers at scale relies on the agencies to a huge degree, which is likely to create a risk. In 2018, it was announced that a top influencer marketing agency, Speakr, failed to pay some of their influencers. It has been stated in a report that, in an effort to keep some of its influencers happy, the agency had at times been making payments to influencers before it was paid by clients, and as a result, it eventually ran into financial problems (Lorenz, 2019).
Another issue of influencer marketing would be the access to fake followers and likes. A significant value of influencer marketing is the audience that the consumer achieves, so a big fan base is worth more to brands. It was then found that some influencer would end up buying followers that could make them more money. The issue that brands later acknowledge is that the engagement rate fall as real or fake followers count grows. Brands are paying billions all over annually to promote their products through influencers who have a considerable following on top social media sites. But for a few years now, it has been suggested that a good amount of their spending, those advertisers are getting ripped off. A report conducted by a cybersecurity company, Cheq and Professor Roberto Cavazos from the University of Baltimore claims fraudulent activity with cost advertisers $1.3 billion this year. It was expected that $8.5 billion would be spent on influencer marketing this year and 15% of this would be spent on fraud influencers (Graham, 2019).
Factors that facilitate the Creation of Influencer Marketing Agencies
Since the traditional ways of marketing have changed through promoting through newspapers etc. to a more advanced technological way through social media. As stated Linqia “92% of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2017 found it to be effective” and would probably use it again ( ).
Brands that are coming from abroad and entering a specific country for a potential opportunity that could help their business expand globally and increase their sales, however, there are cultural differences in including legal regulations that are seen as a barrier when entering a country for some brands, which is why they could end up using influencer marketing to make their brand somewhat known in the world. It is known to be difficult for brands to market their product in some countries on their own as the language barriers and culture would be a problem for them and so would be best to work with an influencer marketing agency that is based in that country. When using the Influencer marketing agency that is from the same region, the agency would have a more clear perception of the different language, culture and the legal framework, even the types of influencers that could target their brand and has a similar target market. For example, Kairos Media, which is a marketing influencer agency identifies influencers and invite them to parties and store openings that would allow them to create content through videos and Instagram posts. This influencer marketing agency helped in the collaboration between a Swedish brand that sells watches, called Daniel Wellington, with fashion and beauty influencer in the United Kingdom (Kairos Media, 2019).
With any organisational project, all internal teams and people who are involved or are affected by the project are called stakeholders. Therefore, a stakeholder analysis is a process of recognising these individuals before the project starts; arranging them according to the levels in which they participate in, their interest and the influence they have on this project; and deciding they best way to include and integrate with each of the stakeholder group throughout.
Today, there are many things that are inspired from social media, for example, news, sports travel, fashion as well as entertainment through various platforms. It is vital for a brand to pick out influencer which fit with the brands perspective and has a fan base in which is similar to the target market of the brand. Once a influencer will market a brand, it is most likely to reach to a lot of people, who admire the influencer, as they will take the influencers word for what they are saying. This not only brings awareness to customers but sales are certainly increasing. It was stated in article by MDG that a survey was undertaken and resulted in about 54% of women went there way out to purchase a product that was recommended by a marketing influencer (Gigante, 2017). Which is why using marketing influencers to market a product is a helpful was to reach out to customers in a successful way in order to increase sales as well as awareness.
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On the other hand, influencers have a fair amount of followers and tend to use many social media platforms in order to interact with their followers, for example, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc. Influencer tends to want to improve their status in their industry, which is the reason why they tend to want to collaborate with well-known brands. In order for 66Agency to undertake with different types of influencers such as micro, macro and/or nano, they are for the most part sticking to growth.
66Agency, Brands and Influencer ae altogether associated with having a need for each other in order to accomplish their objectives and goals. Brands are needed to market their product by using influencer marketing although, influencer will normally see collaboration as a good opportunity to grow their fan base, financial stability as well as the motivation to create their own brand. The company 66Agency plays a vital role of connecting both the influencer with a brand they can work with and handling things such as contracts, communication, and financial returns. 66Agency would be entitled to getting respectable reviews is if they satisfy both the influencer and the brands.
The Uberization Business Model and its Effects
The Uberization business model is a different way that will increase the efficiency of a company, this approach helps to connect influencers with brands without the use of anyone’s else as this process is done automatically. This refers to the use of electronic platforms, to create a one-to-one transaction between the clients and providers of a service. This business model has different operating cost than a traditional business would have. Following the case of 66Agency, this company does not need to have their staff physically match the influencers with brands as it is done automatically done by the essential requirements, which makes it easier for the marketing agency to speed up the process of accepting or declining influencer they want to work within collaboration while maintaining a quality they are expecting from brands and influencers. 66Agency is not required to ask the influencers about their experience with working together after the process of collaboration. But then, when 66Agency would then receive the data and would then monitor the performance which then in the futures it made it quicker to connect brands with influencers. This process then helps 66Agency save time as it is then easier to see their performance through their electronic system rather than having to contact them directly.
The Uberization business model assists 66Agency by expanding the flexibility they get of work so that they are able to focus on projects that need more of their attention and those that need to be completed that are more important. This model helps 66Agency with cost reduction, as there is no need to search as well as pay employees to do the job instead they have an electric platform that the information could be entered by the brands and influencers, which means that 66Agencies clients would pay less while benefiting from their services.
An advantage of Uberization is that things are becoming more transparent and businesses must either adhere to the public or face their mistakes. This element allows small companies to work against big, and often global competitors by using similar technology that has helped them grow in the first place. According to Towers-Clark, it is stated by Shawn Cadeau, CRO of Jobber (a business management and scheduling software for the service industry) that “the ability to connect service providers with customers, automate scheduling and communication, optimise routing and integrate payment into a single platform now makes it easier than ever for SMEs to stay competitive” (2019). Since Uber drivers are individual contractors and come under the umbrella of the gig economy. The gig economy is a great idea for creatives and so as stated by Swaniker, he was talking with his Uber driver and wondering if driving was his full-time job or a side job. “He said he’s a freelance graphic designer and works on rejects for clients roughly three hours a day” (Swaniker, 2019). This allows the creatives to be to earn money on the side while allowing them to be able to pursue their dreams.
On the other hand, just like any other business model Uberization has a few disadvantages to it. One of them being that influencers would not be offered job security as they would not be certain of when they would be working, how long they will be working for and how much they would earn. For the influencer, this would lead them to be uncertain and discourage them by “not allowing for a sense of pride or belonging that many full-time positions provide.” (Towers-Clark). Whereas, having flexibility at work can be an advantage, but it can be the reason for a brand to quickly fire as well as hire influencers or influencer decide to leave or join a brand at their confidence. Such a situation can disrupt business activities as they would need to search for new influencers, who are willing to work for them and on their terms, at a short notice. However, this then means that they find themselves having to change their jobs a few times per year, which raises the issue of not being, and to trust and be loyal to the brands. A change like this would make work conditions worsen and may cause a great deal of disruption instead of continuing the business activities and processes.
The most important reason as to what is changing the way businesses work is new innovations and so marketers are testing diverse way in which they can raise awareness and draw in more customer, one of them being influencer marketing. Even though utilising influencers in promoting marketing strategies is broadly being used by popular brands, as they are fairly quite new to the idea of overseeing them which is the reason why brands tend to go for influencer marketing agencies, which specialises in making effective collaborations between influencer and brands. Influencer marketing agencies are increasingly being utilised and are helping brands in being recognised, not only because influencer may be taking for granted that they are able to buy followers and likes but also from the many changing external factors, for example, new technology and a brands urge to expand. Those involved in influencer marketing; the brand, influencer and influencer marketing agency work together tend to offer and pick up benefits. Many businesses are looking towards the Uberization business model to make things more productive and quicker. The Uberization model is being used by many influencer marketing agencies so that brands and influencer are matched with each other accurately with the least amount of managerial and financial efforts. Individuals have started to believe that the Uberization approach allows them to have more control over their work, but however, it could be looked at that business could be controlling their employees through technological innovation.
- Towers-Clark, C. (2019). The Uberization Of Work: Pros And Cons Of The Gig Economy. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestowersclark/2019/07/08/the-uberization-of-work-pros-and-cons-of-the-gig-economy/#65e08b871cc7 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].
- Swaniker, P. (2019). What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Gig Economy?. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2019/01/08/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-the-gig-economy/#616d3ec91388 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].
- Stackla. (2019). [New Report] Consumer & Marketing Perspectives on Content in the Digital Age. [online] Available at: https://stackla.com/resources/reports/bridging-the-gap-consumer-marketing-perspectives-on-content-in-the-digital-age/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2019].
- Moodie, A. (2015). Consumers are more likely to spend money on companies that care, a new study finds. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/01/samsung-ikea-meaninful-brands-google-visa-microsoft-havas [Accessed 4 Nov. 2019].
- Lorenz, T. (2018). When a Sponsored Facebook Post Doesn’t Pay Off. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/12/massive-influencer-management-platform-has-been-stiffing-people-payments/578767/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019].
- Kairos Media. (2019). Daniel Wellington Influencer Marketing Campaign - Kairos Media. [online] Available at: http://www.kairosmedia.com/work/daniel-wellington/ [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].
- Graham, M. (2019). Fake followers in influencer marketing will cost brands $1.3 billion this year, report says. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/24/fake-followers-in-influencer-marketing-will-cost-1point3-billion-in-2019.html [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].
- Gigante, M. (2017). Are Women Influenced by Influencer Marketing?. [online] MDG Advertising. Available at: https://www.mdgadvertising.com/marketing-insights/are-women-influenced-by-influencer-marketing/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].
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