As influencer marketing continues to evolve, the words ‘transparency’, ‘ethics’ and ‘authentic’ become more prevalent. With consumers now acutely aware of monetary exchanges taking place between brands and influencers, and many social influencers being ‘outed’ by their peers for their fake likes, consumers consider influencer content with a new filter of scepticism, holding influencers to new standards of transparency and reporting by brands and industry bodies.

With a keener understanding of bots and fake followers who prop up mega influencers, it’s not surprising to see the rise of the micro influencer – individuals, often on Instagram, who have up to 10,000 followers and are often focused on a specific topic such as food, fashion or design. What micros lose in reach they make up for in engagement – often involved in dialogues with followers – building trust and connections that makes them appealing as brand endorsers. Believe it or not, they are trailed by nano influencers – who often have less than 1,000 followers – but are opinion shapers within their niche digital communities.

As brands find their way in the evolving digital influencer landscape, they have learned that successful content requires letting go of the strict briefing and guardrails that would accompany a traditional ad. The brands who get it have the confidence to co-create, instead of dictate, in order to produce content that reflects the influencer’s style and voice while still communicating brand messaging.

"Influencer marketing will become a $10bn industry by 2020”


"53% of ‘Gullenials’ (gullible millennials) believe Facebook, Instagram and online bloggers are more trustworthy than Mum and Dad"

Survey by digital agency 383, April, 2019

"94% of people believe that transparency and authenticity are key to influencer marketing success"

Marketing Charts

"44% of young adults would use Instagram over the recommendation of friends and family to influence big decisions – such as visiting foreign countries"

Survey by digital agency 383, April, 2019


Activision: Call of Duty

Gaviscon's Go On Tour

World Record Egg

#BehindCarDoors was an influencer campaign for the Renault Scenic fronted by the UK’s leading parenting influencers Mother Pukka and Father of Daughters. They were asked to record their experiences of life inside a family car in a social experiment that lasted a year.  The experiment offered a candid view of how the All-New Renault Scénic is equipped to handle the trials and tribulations of family life in ‘Behind Car Doors’. Family interactions were recorded on dash cams and mounted cameras with the objective of highlighting how the car has replaced the dining table for quality family time.

Activision sets out to harness the power of the gaming community – from Twitch streamers to grime artists and sports stars.  To mark the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 the brand highlighted the thrill of the new Blackout mode in a gaming room made from the darkest substance on earth – Vantablack. Creators streamed live from the space, bringing their fans into the experience to notch up 2.5m+ organic views of YouTube content.

As millennials spend money on experiences over ‘things’, it’s not surprising their on-the-go lifestyle can lead to heartburn. Since this audience might not recognize the signs of indigestion (doesn’t that happen to old people?), Gaviscon created the ‘Go On’ food truck that visited late night hot spots with easy to digest pH neutral food. To drive traffic to the tour and the educational Late Night website, Gaviscon partnered with a carefully selected network of passionate foodie, micro-influencers who were invited to attend locations across the country and post about their experience.

Kylie Jenner held the record for the most likes of an Instagram post with 19m likes. Then a simple post of an egg set out to beat that goal and did – in just nine days…then things got interesting. The egg kept posting, and soon started to show cracks, revealing, “Recently I’ve started to crack, the pressure of social media is getting to me.” The egg was revealed as an effort to raise awareness about the impact of social media on our mental well-being and served as a surprising reminder associated with the business of influence.

 The content in this document was produced for The Brand Network and was originally published in the Spring/Summer Edition of their bi-annual Trends & Insights Digest.

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