Aspire in NYC: Transparency and Community in Influencer Marketing
Aspire recently launched a series of meetups in the heart of New York City to bring together like-minded brand builders and to share some of the juiciest industry secrets.
Our latest meetup on March 16th featured two insightful panels:
- Transparency in Influence: De-influencing, Creatory Surveys + More hosted by Allie Arnott, Senior Campaign Manager, Aspire
- Connected, Not Catty: How Influencer Marketing Professionals are Embracing Community Over Competition hosted by Jessy Grossman, Founder and CEO, Women in Influencer Marketing
If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry — we’re here to give you a rundown on both panels. Keep reading for the highlights.
Transparency in Influence: De-influencing, Creatory Surveys, and More
Building trust is crucial when building a brand community, and a huge pillar of building trust is transparency. Authenticity has always been a big theme in the world of influencer marketing, but now there is a bigger spotlight on transparency in influence, as the ‘de-influencing’ movement continues to take off.
Our very own Allie Arnott, Senior Campaign Manager, unpacked the concept of ‘de-influencing’ and shared new insights we gathered from our creator community.
A TikTok trend that has garnered over 331 million views, ‘de-influencing’ is an online movement in which influencers tell their followers why they shouldn’t buy a product. While this may seem like a scary trend for brands looking to sell their products, it points to a bigger shift in consumer purchasing behavior: shoppers are hyper aware of sponsored content that is inauthentic.
So, how can brands be more intentional about their influencer partnerships going forward?
- Send products to creators before starting a partnership. This way, creators can try out your products and form their opinion before engaging in a paid collaboration. Pique their interest by running a seeding campaign, then follow up. Ask for their feedback and offer to send more products to try out — or if they already love your products, invite them to be a paid partner! The most important thing is to find partners who are genuine brand fans. This will come across in their content.
- Give creators enough creative freedom. When we surveyed over 400 creators on our platform, the majority of them found it difficult to create authentic content when brands gave them inflexible guidelines. Consumers can read between the lines and see when an influencer’s sponsored content is not in line with what they would normally post. Provide guardrails, not super strict guidelines.
As marketers, it’s time to invest in social transparency. Help creators restore trust with their audiences, and it’ll also benefit your brand in the long run.
Connected, Not Catty: How Influencer Marketing Professionals are Embracing Community Over Competition
Influencer marketing can often feel like a cutthroat environment. The more brands and creators invest into the industry, the more oversaturated it can feel. But the truth is, there are still enough seats at the table for everyone. It’s time to ditch the overly competitive spirit, and instead embrace the power of community.
Jessy Grossman, Founder and CEO of Women in Influencer Marketing, challenged us to consider what it looks like when influencer marketing professionals embrace community.
She shared the 6 key values that a community can provide for everyone, but more specifically for influencer marketers:
- Education: The industry is quickly changing and it may feel impossible to keep up. When you’re part of a community, you can educate one another and share best practices.
- Mentorship: Being amongst like-minded people, you're likely to find someone who’s been there, done that. Members in your community will be willing to help and give back to the next generation of influencer marketers.
- Connection: It’s no secret that in the last few years, we’ve all been feeling more disconnected. But as a community, we can support and lean on each other.
- Contracts: Community opens the doors to new growth opportunities, both professionally and personally, through networking.
- Insights: When part of a community, you’ve got access to people with data or insights that you can benefit from.
- Thought leadership: There’s so much to learn from each community member, especially if you’re more junior in your industry. On the flip side, you can be a thought leader and offer value. Just as you might be eager to learn from others, there will be folks eager to learn from you, too.
So, how can influencer marketing professionals maximize community today?
- Find your tribe: Make it a priority to connect with other like-minded individuals, whether it be in person or online. Virtual communities, such as Facebook Groups, can be the best place to find your tribe.
- Be vulnerable: It can be scary being vulnerable, especially with strangers. However, being closed off will keep us from truly reaping all the benefits of a connection, while daring to be vulnerable will open up doors to many more possibilities and connections. Vulnerability tears down the walls and gives others the permission to engage with you, too.
- Show up: Be there to catch your chance to create connections and get your foot in the door. A perfect example is showing up to a Meetup event, such as this one, to increase your opportunities to connect with others.
- Lean in: When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, there is more to gain.
Remember, it takes intentionality, mindfulness, and vulnerability to really maximize community.
Interested in attending our next NYC meetup? Join our Slack community, The Coffee Shop, to stay in the loop.