ICYMI! Last week, rewardStyle’s General Manager of Brand Partnerships, Kristi O’Brien, took the virtual stage at Adweek's Elevate Performance Marketing event alongside Walmart's head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Farah Maloof. These two influencer marketing experts spoke with Adweek’s Editor-in-Chief, Stephanie Paterik, about how the world's largest brands are rationalizing their influencer spend.
Watch Kristi and Farah’s full panel discussion here and check out the video below for a snippet of some of the amazing work rewardStyle’s influencers have created for Walmart.
Influencers have had an enormous impact on brands’ marketing strategies over the last decade, with the last year serving to underscore their importance more than ever before. Faced with both huge headwinds and favorable tailwinds during 2020, influencers and brands alike were forced to respond to the pandemic by being agile, adapting to the needs and new behaviors of consumers e and letting data lead the way.
While influencer marketing will continue to evolve and present new opportunities, here are a few key takeaways from Kristi and Farah’s chat about building a resilient influencer marketing strategy:
- The most successful brands implement a long term approach to influencer marketing. Like any type of marketing, influencer marketing takes time to take effect, and that’s for good reason. Relationships don’t build themselves overnight, especially not relationships that last. Think of influencer marketing as a relationship-building investment, which will show results over time. These long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships not only produce ROI, but they also optimize rates and develop authentic ambassadors that will benefit your brand down the road.
- Good influencers are experts in communicating, and brands should think of them as direct communication lines to consumers. Influencers adapt quickly to top trends and can ensure brands are showcased in the right context. It’s about activating the right channel, at the right time, with the right message to their followers, who are there because they genuinely trust them like a peer. This makes the content even more trustworthy and relevant.
- Influencers are great vehicles for building brand awareness, but they can also drive conversion and ROI for your bottom line. With marketing budgets under more pressure in 2021, brands are re-assessing effectiveness of channels and rationalization of spend has become critical in driving conversion and understanding consumer trends. By leveraging the right performance data, marketers can see an individual creator’s selling niche - who their audiences are, what brands they prefer to shop and from which retailers. As a result, the C-suite is placing more emphasis on influencer outreach and marketing activities to ensure a rationalized approach to spend.
Moving forward, influencers will continue to be the most adaptable and cost-effective sales channel for brands.