In recent years, the landscape of influencer marketing has undergone a remarkable transformation, with significant shifts in consumer values, brand expectations, and platform dynamics.
In this week's episode of the Generation Influence podcast, gen.video Chairman & Co-Founder Bill Hildebolt sat down with marketing professional Karen Evans who has thrived in roles at some of the biggest corporations in the business such as Meta & P&G.
In their conversation, Karen and Bill touched on hot topics such as:
- The importance of sustainability for brands
- Influencer Marketing authenticity & what brands should consider when looking for influencers
- Meta & the Creator Economy
- The Impact of Great Leadership
Sustainability & Diversity - The New Imperative
One of the most prominent trends in influencer marketing is the growing emphasis on sustainability. As consumers become increasingly conscious of environmental and social issues, brands are demanding more accountability from their influencers. Sustainability audits through third-party assessments are now common, and marketers must ensure their influencers align with the brand's ethical values. This shift represents an exciting opportunity for influencers to drive positive change and build long-lasting relationships with eco-conscious brands.
Additionally, diversity and inclusivity have moved beyond mere lip service, as brands now expect influencers to actively promote diversity within their workforce and content. Clients are interested not only in the ethnic profile of influencers' teams but also in the broader diversity criteria they employ.
Campaigns that highlight diversity often gain traction and resonate strongly with audiences, underlining the importance of authenticity and representation in today's influencer marketing landscape..
Influencer Marketing Authenticity & What Brands Should Consider When Looking for Influencers
Finding the right influencers that can effortlessly provide a genuine voice behind brand sponsorships is essential for success in influencer programs. If a brand picks the right influencer ambassadors, they're rewarded with high-quality content that's slated to outperform most types of basic media.
But where do you start?
Karen has some fantastic advice when first thinking about which influencers to look at. When taking a first look, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is already well-respected in the space?
- Why are they respected?
- Does it make sense for my brand to partner with them?
Meta & The Creator Economy
Meta's (formerly Facebook) adaptation to the creator economy is a significant focus in the influencer marketing realm. With Gen Z favoring short-form videos, platforms must offer engaging and supportive environments for creators.
While TikTok dominates the short-form video space, Meta has introduced Instagram Reels to capture this audience. Creators benefit from Facebook's focus on community building, providing a unique alternative to other platforms.
The Impact of Great Leadership: Leading with Kindness and Being Direct
The influence of positive leadership cannot be overstated. When asked about her role models, Karen noted the leadership style of Breann Davis, a marketing director at Walker & Company Brands, Inc. and formerly of P&G. Davis exemplifies a leader who is direct yet supportive, validating ideas before providing constructive feedback. This approach fosters a collaborative and open culture, empowering team members to learn and grow.
As Karen puts it, "Be supportive, but not weak."
As influencer marketing continues to evolve, embracing these insights and lessons will undoubtedly empower marketers and influencers to navigate the ever-changing landscape successfully.