Influencer Marketing Trends: Learning from Competitors

Influencer Marketing Trends: Learning from Competitors

As influencer marketing matures and marketers raise ad spending for this category, it’s more difficult than ever to stay up with the competition, according to four marketers who told Digiday they’re more focused on rivals’ influencer marketing plans this year.

According to Mae Karwowski, CEO and creator of influencer marketing firm Obviously, the company began spending more time interacting with clients and selling new business on its “predictive modeling” skills in the third quarter of 2023. That process involves monthly or quarterly analysis of spending patterns, influencer relationships, and the total market share of influence that a brand’s competition may have, followed by developing a plan for their client brand based on that knowledge.

That information can help potential clients understand the “white space” available, according to Karwowski, who also mentioned that the business has been “winning more pitches” in the first quarter of this year but did not reveal specific new client names. Let’s assume your competitors are “really crushing it with this segment of Instagram Reels and it’s all funny content,” according to Karwowski, who adds that understanding what a rival is doing enables marketers to identify areas of distinction. “If you want to be humorous, you need to be funnier than them. Or we can do something more instructive, such as story time.”

Other influencer marketing organizations, such as Billion Dollar Boy, Find Your Influence, and Sway Group, are experiencing increased customer interest in competition analysis to guide influencer marketing plans this year.

“We’re seeing clients request a six- to 12-month analysis of all influencer content within and outside of their respective niches,” said Chelsea Goodson, head of creator economy at Find Your Influence. “Brands want to know what has performed well and hasn’t for brands within their space and also see what other businesses are succeeding in so that they’re able to make an easy decision on where they should spend their dollars next.” Goodson did not name any of the clients that requested this.

Danielle Wiley, CEO of influencer marketing firm Sway Group, noted that she has observed an increase in requests for social listening competitor analysis throughout the proposal process.

As influencer marketing grows in popularity and expenditure, the demand for competitive research is anticipated to increase. Influencer marketing ad expenditure is predicted to reach $24 billion by the end of 2024, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

The management of competitive analysis, the KPIs that brands and agencies consider, and the whole process will differ depending on the agency, brand, and category.

Some customers are interested in learning about other industries. Beauty businesses, for example, may be interested in rival trends from the luxury and automotive industries, according to Piet Southey, head of clients at Billion Dollar Boy. “And internally, brands are comparing between different divisions based on how they categorize their products.”

“The metrics that we track and that clients are interested in are changing as industry trends and measurement tool capabilities improve,” said Southey, who added that Billion Dollar Boy utilizes its influencer marketing platform, Companion, to track campaigns and competition trends. According to Southey, the “rise of social commerce,” has also made influencer marketing “more accountable, and its reporting capabilities have improved to meet that demand.”

Marketers use competition analysis to learn what rivals are doing and better grasp how something may function before investing significant ad money in it.

“They want to be able to outperform their competitors or differentiate themselves,” said Wiley, CEO of the influencer marketing firm Sway Group. “Competitive data is beneficial to us as an agency because it encourages customers to be more thoughtful about who they deal with and how they use content. Our clients enjoy this because it allows them to go back to their leadership teams and request additional funding. The danger of losing ground in the [influencer marketing] field is financially motivated.”

However, some influencer marketing company executives believe customers should maintain a balance of knowledge rather than reliance when it comes to competitor analysis.

“While performance measurement is always important, we would, however, caution clients against becoming over-reliant on analyzing the data,” Southey stated. “It can sometimes cloud the brand’s long-term vision if they’re constantly assessing performance on a short-term basis.”

Source- Digiday

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