Greetings from the Wild West of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in marketing communications. An advertiser is required to have more and more expertise in order to stand out from the flood of advertising messages in the influencer channels. Therefore we at Troot want to share our expertise with other professionals. Personally, I promise to write at least every other Trootsday on industry related phenomenons!

First, let’s jump back a few years. The first Tubecon in history was held at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki in August 2014. The event that kicked off the mega YouTube boom was preceded by the already established TID, Tubecon Industry Day, where also YouTube network Töttöröö was launched. Later, along with internationalization, Töttöröö became Troot and this spring we renewed from a YouTube network to an influencer agency.

Over the course of a few years, dozens of YouTubers have emerged as multi-channel entertainment stars, influencers and content production professionals. Networks representing them already employ a large number of employees in Finland alone. In addition, YouTubers have set up their own production companies and started employing their own editors and photographers. The Tubecon next week is already the sixth in its series, with themes such as best practices and future of the industry.

Elusive ecosystem of influencer marketing

The current ecosystem of influencer marketing consists of various actors; there are networks, platforms, agencies, agents and managers. Record companies, athletes, and traditional advertising and media agencies have also rushed in. In addition, many advertisers are building their own influencer marketing teams.

The pack is also shuffled by the fact that salesmen might show a myriad of new terms and promises of 10x effectiveness over traditional advertising on their slide sets. To separate the truth from fiction calls for the buyer to have excellent nerves and iron skills. No wonder influencer marketing does not inspire confidence in everyone – the Wild West thirsts for common rules and guidelines.

Relationship between influencer and audience at the core

For influencer marketing to work, one needs to go back to basics. Understanding the value of the unique relationship between an influencer and his/her audience is the gist of influencer marketing. The effectiveness of commercial partnerships is based on credibility and the appropriate utilization of the trust between the audience and the influencer. It requires certain expertise to be able to combine the partnerships with the right influencers in a natural way, and so that they deliver the targeted results to the advertiser and serve the audience.

Connecting the right influencer and the brand is just the beginning of the process. To get the most out of influencer marketing, one also needs to leave space for content designing together with the influencer. It’s not always best to limit influencer marketing to the influencer’s own channels. Sometimes the best way to tell a story can be to combine influencer-driven events and content marketing to target audiences also outside the influencer’s audience.

The best creative solutions are often multi-channel, respond to the challenges of the brand, and are seamlessly integrated into other marketing communications of the company.

In the following Trootsday posts I will focus even more on concrete things and influencer marketing tips, so stay tuned if interested 🙂

Joona Haatainen
CEO, Troot

P.S. I’ll be at the Tubecon Industry Day on August 16 to discuss the future of influencer marketing. Feel free to nudge my sleeve!