2017 saw a successful year for influencer marketing, with influencers and brands coming together to produce creative content for social platforms, notably Instagram and YouTube. According to the State of Influencer Marketing report, in 2017, 92% of marketers who used influencer marketing found it to be effective.

Influencer marketing has seen a huge rise in the past year, with brands realising the potential ROI with using an online persona to market their products. Cheaper than traditional adverts, influencers also offer more value and authenticity. Take a TV advert, for instance, which is broadcast to the general public. There is no targeting a specific demographic or group with relevant interests. Whereas, an influencer, who has thousands of followers on Instagram is more likely to be believable and relatable to their audience rather than a general advertisement that has no personal appeal. There has been an increase in brands who are now spending large amounts of their marketing budget on influencers (39% of marketers surveyed plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2018).

However, brands should be aware of the way in which they approach influencers, making sure they are offering them a fair deal. Many influencers are inundated with messages from small brands or people trying to get them to promote products that may be of poor quality or even fake and want to take advantage of the influencers’ audience.

It works vice versa too; brands should also be wary of influencers that may appear to have large genuine followings but have actually bought their followers or used bot accounts to boost their follower count. Choosing the right influencer to represent a brand is just as important too, as using the wrong influencer can tarnish a brand’s reputation and come across as disingenuous.

An example of a brand that does influencer marketing really well – Gymshark. The fitness clothing company collaborates with athletes who have strong online followings to represent their brand. These athletes (influencers) are consistently seen wearing the clothing or talking about it across their social media channels. Alongside this, they include phrases such as ‘Gymshark Family’ in their Instagram bios, promoting the brand as one that really cares about the people they employ.

By giving influencers the creative freedom to market their products in a way that will appeal to their own audiences, brands have the opportunity to produce content that is unique and engaging.

Influencer marketing is set to take off in 2018, meaning the partnership between brands and influencers will be more important than ever.