As influencer marketing moves past the “passing fad” phase and onto the long-term strategy agenda for communicators, it has clearly become a cornerstone PR practice. But with this newfound sense of ongoing importance, are influencers themselves seeing things differently regarding their motivations and preferences for working with brands?
A new survey from influencer marketing platform Julius, in coordination with PR and digital marketing agency Lippe Taylor, also explored influencers’ approach to authenticity, regulations, management, and compensation for their recently published study, State of Influencers Report 2019.
“Influencers are motivated more by the opportunity to be creative or share their passions and expertise than they are by financial drivers,” said Amy Nutt, VP of marketing at Julius, in a news release. “Overall, they’re thoughtful about opportunities and looking to build long-term relationships with brands that align with their audiences and content.”
Influencer ethics in focus
Despite media reports to the contrary, influencers have a keen sense of what behaviors are fraudulent or unethical, and fewer than 20 percent of influencers report seeing such behaviors frequently. In fact, 80 percent consider it very important to be a fan of a brand to create sponsored content for that brand, and 84 percent follow the FTC guidelines for influencer marketing, using #ad, #sponsored, or #brandpartner in sponsored posts.
Influencer sophistication on the rise
“As marketers have become more sophisticated in their use and application of influencer marketing, so have the influencers,” Nutt added. “More than a third of our respondents consider being an influencer a full-time job or are transitioning to full-time soon, and 18 percent of full-time influencers earn more than $100,000 annually as an influencer. It’s becoming a viable career path, and influencers are invested in keeping the industry honest and authentic.”
Beyond quantitative results, the survey also included the open-ended question: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give marketers who are looking to partner with influencers? Respecting influencer creativity, negotiating fairly, communicating clearly, and being a good partner were all popular responses.
For this report, Julius conducted an in-depth survey of 300 influencers, asking about their motivations, how they leverage social media, and their brand-partnership preferences.