Today’s host was the knowledgeable, digital marketing thought leader, Jason Falls, who tuned in live from the US to host the insightful live Q&As with our speakers, and provided us with his key takeaways from the day.

Impact opened the show with their thoughts and predictions for the future of the influencer marketing industry. We weren’t surprised to hear San Sareen and Nicholas DiSanto mention that authenticity is key to engaging audiences, and how ‘always on’ long-term creator partnerships could be the key to success, assuring us that social platforms are always quick to adapt to consumer needs.

Throughout the day, our speakers discussed their personal trend predictions, focusing on their own areas of expertise.

CreatorIQ hosted their brand exclusive session today – How Large Brands Can Optimize Their Influencer Marketing Budgets for Stronger ROI. If you don’t fit into the brand demographic but want to hear what the experts had to say on this topic, we will be sharing a detailed roundup of this session on Talking Influence very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Authenticity, diversity, and inclusion

A large underlying focus during many of today’s sessions is that the more authentic the campaign, the better and more valuable the engagement. Jeanette Okwu explains how at Beyond Influence, the team refrains from laying out ‘do’s and dont’s’ for creators and they focus more on saying ‘this is what we like to see’. Eric Stark, founder of Slate, added during the sessions live Q&A how a good influencer will be able to ensure that they are sharing your message as well as staying true to themselves. Communication is key.

Diversity and inclusion are certainly front of mind more so now than ever within the influencer marketing industry. Emma Shuldham from ITB Worldwide and Naomi Walkland from Bumble emphasised in their session how they should be much more than just a tick box exercise. Understanding the true importance of diversity and inclusion shows true authenticity.

The speakers expanded on how the industry focus shouldn’t just be on physical diversity, but also diversity of thought, making sure all voices are heard and acknowledged. As Naomi said,  “Diversity of thought is so important in innovating and thinking outside of the box.”

The best way to drive brand sales through influencer campaigns

Focusing on sales, and how to drive them, Will Fisher from Tribe and Sille Memhave from Pinterest spoke about the recent boom in social commerce (sCommerce), and how user-generated content (UGC) promotes an authentic journey to purchase. It’s important for brands to know their audience when shaping their sCommerce strategy, and in many cases on Pinterest, according to Sille, brands are seeing higher engagement on user-generated content compared to brand-generated content as it shows true authenticity.

Looking further into the world of UGC, our first panel of the day was all about ‘Employee Influence: The Biggest Trend in Influencer Marketing You Haven’t Heard Of’. The panelists delved into how companies may consider using their current employees as influencers to promote them.

The rise of the influencer has made us recognise the employee advocacy that already existed in a new light, potentially, it’s now more valuable. The pandemic presented as the perfect time to use your employees to promote brand sales by tuning in on the emotions, and deep knowledge that they have. Especially when a brand has a niche offering, the employees are the perfect people to promote your brand. The conversation surrounding rewarding employees for their influencer work is one we hope to continue…

We’re always learning

Many of us may have been frantically taking notes throughout today’s sessions, taking in a wealth of new information, but there is always more to learn. Maira Genovese from MG Empower discussed in depth how it is important to be producing purpose-driven content, targeted at the more ethical consumer. Consumers are savvy, and your brand will appear more authentic if you’re engaging with things relevant to you, rather than jumping on every trend.

Are we going to see an increase in brands and agencies onboarding behavioral scientists to monitor consumer behavior? We’ve seen behavioral scientists discover how brains react to traditional advertising, why not influencer marketing? Ian Randolf from Talify explored the many ways that thinking like a behavioral scientist could take your influencer marketing to the next level.

We must of course acknowledge how important it is to engage in the more difficult conversations, as they produce the most valuable outcomes. Jim Meadows of TAKUMI closed the show reminding our attendees of the importance of how candid conversations allow learning and growth. Reflecting upon difficult moments is the key to growth.

Tomorrow is the final day of this year’s Influencer Marketing Show Global, we can’t believe how quickly it is flying by. Tune in at 1 pm GMT for our dedicated creator day. And if you don’t already have a ticket, grab one now – trust me, you don’t want to miss out on tomorrow’s sessions delving deeper into creators’ points of view.

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