Following another successful bout of our annual creativity symposium last Wednesday, we asked our speakers if they would mind answering a few questions based on our theme, Creativity+Humanity, and the topic that they talked about.

Here we have our panel of influencer marketing experts talking about creativity in their industry, composed of Fitness Freddie, Zsanett Korosi, and Lisa Targett of Tribe. During Creativity+Humanity they discussed how advertising has been impacted by influencer content, the ethics behind paid promotions, and how to build more authentic brands; but we wanted to find out how long their power will last.

What does creativity mean to you?

Lisa Targett: To me, creativity is about communicating ideas in ways that are unique, compelling, and unexpected.

Frederick Coplestone: For me, creativity is about unrestrained freedom to produce unique content.

Zsanett Korosi: Creativity means freedom to me. Free to be whoever I want to be and be able to express that person in multiple ways.

Is there a limit to what influencers can do?

LT: There is no limit, as long as the industry can sustainably grow with integrity, transparency & retain authenticity. This will only occur with increased regulation & more opportunity for creators.

As a technology company, we believe the world’s advertising can be generated by the very people it’s designed to attract. That’s not about giving opportunity to a few. It’s about brand-funded opportunities going to the many – allowing us to add a truly democratised version of advertising into the current media mix. That’s why we created a fully scalable platform and upload 30-40 new briefs a week in the UK, to give influencers the choice of who they want to work with and remove any incentive to work with a brand that you don’t genuinely love or want to put the effort into creating for.

As long as brands continue to see the ROI in that, the channel will go from strength to strength.

FC: I’ve seen both ends of the influencer marketplace; both paying for and being paid for influence. To me, as a brand not only paying for the ad space but for the ad itself to be created (which is revolutionary but leaves a huge hole for perception of quality) I would want more back then just to be ‘featured’ on someone’s page. I think influencers in general take this market for granted with such a huge opportunity laid out in front of us.

ZK: No, there is no limit. An influencer that is creating his/her own content can be anything from a stylist, creative director, model, photographer, videographer to an accountant and business owner. As long as you stay true to who you are as a creative, there is really no limit to what you can do or achieve.

Will the influencer market continue to grow as rapidly as it already has or is it already too saturated?

LT: It will. Brands are investing more each year because the returns are there. As technology & the social platforms continue to develop, we will only see this investment grow with new features like shoppable links and IGTV becoming more broadly embraced by both brands & creators.

But the real growth comes from decoupling the influencer from the content. Influencer generated content is transcending social media. You can empower your most influential customers to not just become your sales & marketing departments, but your creative departments well.

The ROI brands are getting from using Customer-Generated Content in paid social environments and in other advertising channels is unrivalled. We’re seeing 67% savings on ad spend, as well as 88% savings on creative costs from brands partnering with influencers at scale – and this includes paying additional fees to creators to license their content in ads!

FC: I feel this market is completely in its infancy and will continue to grow until the majority of paid media comes across from more dated, less viable existing spends like TV and print. We’ve seen huge companies like Adidas commit to social content over the more traditional. In my mind, most of all it offers SMEs a cost effective way to equal market share that was otherwise untouchable. The conflict of brand loyalty would be my main downfall to this commercial upside, but both regulation and the forthcoming cash surplus as bigger brands enter the market and commit to it more, will start to shift this balance and in turn, raise the going rate of paid for influence.

ZK: Sometimes I think it’s already too saturated, and maybe it is, but more and more brands are realizing the value of micro influencer created content and its unique, personal take on the brand’s product. So as long as you are who you are and you aren’t following trends-that will only make you one in a million, you’ll be able to grow. Just be yourself and stay honest.

Find Freddie, Zsanett and Lisa on Instagram