The influencer market has grown over the years and has proven to be helpful to brands.
As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4, we held a panel discussion on has the influencer market matured?
The panellists included InfluencerStuff CEO Richard Little, Happy Warrior founder and president Rebecca Longawa, Brand Authors marketing, social media and influencers Shawn Silverman, PocketGamer.biz editor Danielle Partis (moderator), Green Man Gaming influencer manager James Spicer, Big Karma founder Pascal Clarysse and Square Enix assistant producer Shanzay Usama.
The influencer market has grown and grown over the years, with a big boom in influencers appearing in the early 2010s thanks to platforms like YouTube.
It has become so much more professional with time, "you are dealing with people that really know what they are doing."
"There are a lot more tools out there to go and find influencers," said Silverman.
With a host of new tools, it is that much easier to find influencers and check out their numbers. Such as, how brand-safe are they, what sort of content do they do.
Before this, it came down to approaching an influencer to share something or use a product, with the influencer setting a monetary charge to the company.
As explained by Longawa, some tools allow you to "hone in" on the influencer and their community. Does their audience enjoy your brand, or use your products? If so, that influencer could be a good one to approach.
Technology has aided the growth of the influencer market.
To keep your brand safe, it is crucial that a company does its research on prospective partners and influencers. For example, it is important to take a look at the organic content created by an influencer.
As the influencer market has matured, there has been a better understanding of how things work and how to get a deal respected.
There is a "selection process" in this day and age. A brand will look into an influencer for some time before approaching them.
"Having someone just with the best numbers is not necessarily the best strategy," said Longawa.
Elite influencers are not always the best. As Longawa and Silverman explained, miner and nano influencers have been instrumental in maturing the market. However, they are still underutilised.
"There is no focus on the small and upcoming content creators," said Little.
The right person
"Data is a huge advantage," said Clarysse.
As explained above, there are a variety of tools at a brands disposal. Through these tools, companies can learn all they need to know to aid in making the right decision when it comes to choosing an influencer.
"You have to have a cold-headed, warm-hearted approach," said Spicer.
The warm-hearted side means finding out if an influencer represents brands well. Meanwhile, the cold-headed side is using data.
"The market is a lot more saturated, which makes it both easier and harder to find the right influencer that will fit with your brand values," said Usama.
Furthermore, controversies have become a bit of an issue within the influencer market. Brands can be damaged, so it is crucial to consider an influencer's past when determining if they would make for a good partner.
"As a brand, you can provide influencers with the tools and help to grow," said Silverman
Furthermore, should your brand be able to help redeem an influencer that has had a past controversy, then it could be a huge pay off for a brand. However, a company should approach this worth caution; it needs to weigh up the risk and potential pay off.
PGC Digital #4 will run from November 9th to November 13th. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.