During our Creativity+Humanity symposium last week, we saw one of our panel sessions discussing the marketing industry’s most recent craze – influencers. Moderated by H+K’s Director of Creative Strategy, Eleanor Sullivan, our panel, composed of influencers Fitness Freddie, Zsanett Korosi, and micro-influencer management company Tribe’s Lisa Targett, discussed the benefits and struggles of working with influencers for both brands and content creators.

Here are the top 5 learnings on influencer marketing that Eleanor took away from the session:

1. It’s widely debated in the industry.

Influencer marketing is still one of the most hotly debated topics in the marketing industry. It has its fair share of supporters and critics but fundamentally it has changed this industry as a whole. Technology has opened up contact between brands and individual creators, shifting the traditional media model and kick-starting a new creator economy whereby real people are able to monetise the content they create directly to brands.

2. It’s only just started.

Influencer marketing and the economy it has produced has grown rapidly but is still in its infancy, which has meant the channel’s ethics are struggling to keep pace. Brands, influencers and consumers are all playing their part in shaping the code of ethics for this new creator economy.

3. Individual ethics vs brand regulations.

Creators are setting their own codes of conduct based on their own values rather than simply abiding by regulation.

4. The ROI for brands is strong.

Creative collaboration means less control but for greater reward. Technology has put the power of creative into the hands of individuals, meaning brands are able to harness the power of an external perspective, but only if they embrace collaboration.

5. There’s a power shift.

Brands and influencers are interdependent. While it was once the case that brands could ‘pick and choose’ the influencers they work with, now platforms like Tribe are shifting this balance meaning influencers can select the brands that are right for them.

Hear more from our speakers here.