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Influencer marketing is rapidly gaining popularity among brand marketers, and according to April 2016 research, nearly three-quarters of US marketers cite ongoing ambassadorships as one of the most effective uses of influencers.
TapInfluence, an influencer marketing automation platform, and technology research company Altimeter Group surveyed 1,753 influencers and 102 marketers about how they work together. Influencers were selected from TapInfluence’s marketplace, on which each holds at least 10,000 followers.
Marketers use influencers in a variety of ways, from leaving a review for their product to mentioning their brand in some way on social networks. For many (70.6%), ongoing ambassadorships are the most effective influencer marketing tactic. Product reviews are a close second—more than two-thirds of respondents mentioned them as being the most effective use of influencers.
Brand mentions and sponsored content were other tactics marketers pointed out, and though affiliate links were also mentioned, few respondents cited them as being the most effective.
Additionally, TapInfluence and Altimeter Group asked influencers what their audience loves about their work, and what ultimately keeps them engaged. A majority of influencers surveyed said authenticity was key. Indeed, 71.2% of respondents said they keep their followers engaged by being themselves, by being honest, as well as because of their willingness to call it like they see it.
Authenticity wasn’t the only factor, however. Roughly two-thirds said they keep their audience engaged by addressing the things they are interested in. And more than half said they do so by interacting, listening and responding to their followers.
By and large, many marketers work with influencers because it helps drive engagement and awareness of their brand. And most influencers don’t just partner with brands because they offer them competitive compensation. For some, being granted creative freedom is more important.
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