At the end of last year we saw the Youtuber boom, when the nation was flabbergasted to learn that Zoella – a girl from Wiltshire who used her channel to go through shopping bags, was getting more views per post than the BBC. No wonder everyone wanted a piece of the action.
Post the Youtuber revelation, this year we’ve seen a fairly unanimous feeling from brands that they ‘should be working with influencers’ but not quite knowing if there was anyone other than Zoella and Jim Chapman out there.
Shopping for influencers has consequently changed a lot in the past year. There’s been a growing confidence in making the investment, and we’re seeing less people dipping in their toes – and more people jumping straight in.
We suspect that 2016 will be less of a scrabble of people feeling like they should, but actually feeling like they would be excited to collaborate. Especially after campaigns like Apple’s Shot on an iPhone 6 proved that credible work using influencers is actually remarkably simple to commission. There’s a collective confidence that influencer marketing is both accessible and interesting.
As the demand for influencer led projects has increased, the call for meaningful analytics has also followed suit. Thankfully available analytic tools have improved, and we’re expecting to see a vast improvement in the New Year.
As ROI becomes clearer, we’d expect to see brand managers commissioning with confidence in 2016. Statistics like MTV’s VMA awards this year, which was watched by 12m on Snapchat, compared to 5m on TV, has continued to inspire a break away from using traditional platforms, and we’re seeing a rise in premium brands like Burberry enjoying success from it also.
Mobile artist recognition
For a good few years’ mobile stats have been drilled into us. Everyone views content on mobile. Websites should all be mobile compatible. You can now even pay for things with your mobile. But it’s only just becoming apparent that for mobile content, you need to commission a mobile artist. Someone who knows how to get a double tap – rather than squeezing above the line content into a smaller format.
We’re seeing brands looking to collaborate with artists who are using social platforms in new ways – especially people like Sandro Giordano and Romo Jack creating things in the real world to be shared online. As platforms like Facebook and Instagram improve their functionality to incorporate better video viewing it’s meant that we’re seeing a rise in requests for artists like LAZY MOM and Meagan Cignoli who work well with motion.
Marketers have begun looking for almost a 2 for 1 deal as they’ve smartened up to the fact that they can be commissioning artists not only for their reach and influence, but also to produce content for their own channels that they can be proud to share.
Bad content is expensive to create. Influential social creators, like any business, are fiercely protective of their brand. There’s no need for them to work with anyone unless it has a benefit to them either financially or creatively. Because of this we’re seeing clients working alongside artists to refine an output rather than being overly prescriptive with briefs.
This time next year
For us, we’re looking forward to what this new found confidence will do for the creative work produced. Bolder budgets, and more daring briefs can only make for a very exciting 2016. We can’t wait to see the new wave of talent that the industry will encourage.