Lifting the lid on influencer marketing

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I remember standing on a stage aged 23 – fresh out of university – telling a conference full of estate agents that social media wasn’t going away. Nine years later and I now have to have very similar conversations about influencer marketing.

It’s tiring but we only have ourselves to blame.

Many brands have been burned working with influencers and influencer agencies. Remember that Listerine ad?

Back then, influencer marketing was fun and it made brands feel cool – kind of like getting a sunbed by the pool at Shoreditch House.

But, it wasn’t strategic or even necessarily very creative – that Listerine ad certainly wasn’t. We didn’t know what to measure. It wasn’t regulated, #AD barely existed. TikTok certainly didn’t exist and neither did the millions of creators that rose to fame via the platform.

The point is, times have changed. Influencer marketing has come a long way.

When done right, influencer marketing is an extremely impactful way of aligning your brand with a community – and someone who has influence over that community. What’s better than a brand saying how great they are? Their customers shouting about it across social media.

To be done right, influencer marketing should be baked into your overarching marketing strategy. We need to stop fighting the PR and paid social teams for budget and start working together.

It should be a collaborative process where your team and agency take a customer-first approach, analysing who they are, where they spend time, their purchasing and consumption habits.

With these insights in mind, you then need to build a creative concept that engages your audience and cuts through the noise of your competitors.

A data-driven approach is vital. The numbers will give you the strongest understanding of how the campaign is performing — but remember, the human element can be just as important.

Measurement shouldn’t be a quarterly check-in. It should be consistent and transparent.

And be prepared to experiment. I guarantee you that most agencies and brands don’t know what will actually land.

So how do you get started? I’d love to chat.


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