According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry more than doubled in value between 2019 and 2021, growing from $6.5 billion to $13.8 billion. Influencer marketing is an effective and authentic marketing strategy, and brands partnering with the most recognizable faces on social media are realizing the power of influencers to successfully market products, form trust with consumers and ultimately boost conversions. But when it comes to selecting, managing and contracting with online influencers at scale, it can be tricky. How is Digital Asset Management playing a role in influencer marketing in order to facilitate this brand-influencer relationship?
We all know that visual content like images and videos are crucial to a brand’s marketing strategy. Especially in today’s attention economy where competition is high and brands must battle to be seen online, adapting to changing consumer behaviors and embracing new content formats and channels to reach is not optional.
Today’s buyers have become more selective when it comes to purchasing products from brands. Visual content like high-quality images and videos have the power to trigger emotions, but authenticity and trust still remain major purchasing criteria. Consumers may buy from their favorite brands, but they get inspired, encouraged and well, influenced, by their favorite bloggers, vloggers, celebrities and other trusted sources they follow and deem credible. They rely on influencer marketing when making purchasing decisions.
Influencer marketing may be a relatively new branch of marketing, but it is also one of the fastest growing forms of marketing. In influencer marketing, brands partner with ‘influencers’ – people with a large following on social media like TikTok and Instagram to promote their brand. It is particularly used by e-commerce brands which collaborate with influencers, from well-known celebrities with 1+ million followers, to ‘micro influencers’ with 10,000 to 100,000 followers, to market their products and services via sponsored endorsements.
More and more brands are investing in influencer marketing because of its positive impact on reach, engagement and conversion rates. According to Shopify, 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations—more than the 38% who trust branded social media content. Consumers prefer word-of-mouth recommendations made by friends and family members over ads and branded content. Personal recommendations from influencers, like your favorite YouTube comedian, fitness coach, fashion blogger, or makeup artist, have become trusted resources for their niche audiences, especially when it comes to zoomers (Gen Z) and millennials.
Like user-generated content (UGC) that’s created by a brand’s customers, influencer marketing presents a unique opportunity to grow brand recognition, loyalty and affinity. But when it comes to working with a myriad of influencers, brands face several challenges.
One of the biggest challenges is finding a way to contract with content creators easily and directly. Brands hopping on the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt bandwagon want a continuous stream of influencer content, but when it comes to scaling these initiatives, they spend a significant amount of time and labor contracting, verifying and managing payments with their brand advocates. For one, they need to find the right influencers, negotiate terms and details, and manage numerous influencers across campaigns. They also need to ensure timely payment and measure audience engagement and ROI of influencer content.
Streamlining and automating the entire partnership process by removing third parties involved in the exchanges between brands and content creators is beneficial to both sides. It allows influencers to get noticed and paid for their work without giving up complete ownership of their content, while also receiving better compensation for their efforts, as it removes transaction costs of third parties and agencies that connect creators and brands.
Companies, at the same time, are able to contract with users directly and utilize their generated content without the need to invoke copyright law and other hindrances.
Global sports retailer, Decathlon, has worked in the past on UGC, and is working on expanding its UGC and influencer marketing efforts in 2022 by many folds.
Decathlon needed dynamic, action-packed videos from kitesurfers to present the new products being launched in the Orao range. Their goal with this user-generated video content was to educate and inspire consumers while showing off the quality of the brand’s products.
By getting its community to directly share their experiences, the brand is providing consumers with authentic and relatable content that reflects its values. But Decathlon confronted a challenge faced by many B2C brands when it came to enhancing its visual universe of products with influencer content.
In order to address the influencer marketing challenges and optimize the relationship between brands and their myriads of influencers that market them, Wedia’s product team has been working on new projects related to its Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution and modern technology.
Smart contracts allow Wedia clients to improve user engagement by sourcing compelling influencer and user-generated content, blockchain secured. By combining analytics and blockchain technology, smart contracts are able to link thousands of influencers and brands. It offers a simple and decentralized marketplace to create binding contracts between brands and content creators, improve transparency of information, reduce legal frictions and ensure timely and accurate payment to influencers – in digital currencies of course.
The process for launching an influencer campaign is rather simple: In the DAM portal, influencers and UGC users can upload media and connect their social media accounts, while a brand’s social media manager enters information and terms related to the contracts. Content is validated and authenticated as NFT in the blockchain, while rights control is automated through smart contracts. Once the campaign is complete, influencers are paid thanks to Wedia’s payment processor.
What’s more, Wedia offers a publication link in order to track view counts for media produced by content creators. This allows brands to track the usage and the performance of media that is created by influencers, such as the number of hits it receives on different social media networks, remunerate them appropriately and ultimately measure the return on investment.
With blockchain technology, DAM has the ability to tackle the challenges of influencer marketing and cross the chasm between UGC and their brands.