The Influencer Marketing Industry from its Top Beat Writer | Marketer Intel

The Influencer Marketing Industry from its Top Beat Writer

Share This!


If there is a beat writer for the influencer marketing industry it has to be Joele Forrester from Talking Influence. Her whole job is to interview the movers and shakers, break the news about new software product launches and industry trends, analyze the implications of influencer unions and legal interpretations for the industry and beyond. And she does it brilliantly.

Talking Influence exists to cover the influencer marketing space. The company behind it runs the Influencer Marketing Show and gives out the Influencer Marketing Awards. While all are based in the United Kingdom, they serve the industry on a global scale. 

I asked Joele to sit in with me on Winfluence to talk about a lot of great topics she has thoughts on. We discussed the unionization issue, what influencer marketing will look like in the years to come, what her favorite influencer marketing case study is and a lot more. When you want to know something about a particular topic, the person on the beat is the first one you should turn to. So today we turn to Joele Forrester of Talking Influence.

The IMS Global Show Joele mentioned is the Influencer Marketing Show Global that takes place November 17-20 — that’s next week from the publish date of this post and episode. Go to InfluencerMarketingShow.com to register. Virtual access is free. You can upgrade and pay to be able to see replays of sessions, but the live show is no charge. I’ll be moderating a social commerce panel as part of the event, so come join us!

Winfluence Transcript – Joele Forrester – Talking Influence

Jason Falls
Hello again friends thanks for listening to Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast. You know, the influencer marketing industry is a big space there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of influencers out there online and offline. There are thousands of brands and agencies looking to connect with them building campaigns and creating great case studies every day. And there’s the whole industry of influence marketing support in the software platforms, sales teams, innovators, researchers and beyond. Keeping up with all the news stories, launches and case studies is a monumental task, but one person actually does it and does it brilliantly.

Jason Falls
Joele Forrester is essentially the influence marketing industry’s top beat writer. She’s an online journalist for the site Talking Influence, the company behind it runs the Influencer Marketing Show and gives out the Influencer Marketing Awards. If you haven’t heard of any of this, it might be because talking influence and all those events are based in London in the United Kingdom, but they cover the industry on a global scale and recognize greatness in their awards from around the world.

Jason Falls
Joele isn’t just a blogger who regurgitates product launch press releases from SAS companies. She interviews the innovators and the entrepreneurs in the space keeps tabs on the professional associations digs into case studies and industry shifts. She really is on the beat like a journalist in the older sense of that word would be. I invited her to Winfluence to dive into a number of great topics. She has thoughts on what’s all this talk about unionization? What will influencer marketing look like in 2021 and beyond? What’s her favorite case study in influencer marketing, when you want to know something about the topic, the person on the beat is the first one you should turn to. So turn to Joele Forrester of Talking Influence we did. Coming up, on Winfluence.

Jason Falls
So Joele, you’re a you’re a digital journalist, who I think it might be safe to say as the only true beat writer for influencer marketing news out there, tell us more about your role at talking influence.

Joele Forrester
That’s a really nice way to be described. And so my role is really varied talking through it. So there are lots of different elements to it. And of course, one of the great things about influence marketing is that it’s always evolving. And so there’s always something new to learn. There’s lots of new people joining the industry with new ideas, and of course, lots of evolving trends to look out for. And so Talking Influence is a B2B publication with a mission to help support the influencer marketing industry by showcasing the latest case studies, news and opinions to support everyone’s great within the space. And our audience are mainly brands, agencies, platforms and creators. So a lot of my job is what you know, it could be sourcing and writing news about the industry. I also speak with lots of leading industry experts about the challenges and trends they’re seeing. So I can commission thought leadership pieces to educate and inspire readers. And I also interview industry experts, and I’m responsible for coming up with the topics that need to be discussed and published, and also organizing the you know, content schedule, as well as the social media channels and fortnightly newsletter that goes along with it. So it’s really busy, my job is very busy. But it’s brilliant. And we just love the fact that our aim is to bring the community together and re educate those within a relatively nice space, I guess and be a real advocate for for the space.

Jason Falls
That’s great. Well and and Talking Influence as it does all that it accomplishes all those things. It’s, you know, obviously a great publishing platform for the industry and you do a really good job. I mean, if I need to keep up with the news in the influence space, I just go to talking influence because I know it’s probably going to be covered there, which is which is you know, a compliment to you and the team their performance. But I do want to get into so people understand the role of talking influence. It is, you know, sort of a lead generation magnet for performance, which obviously, it’s a publishing platform. So you sell ads, but more importantly, I think you guys host events and we’ve got a big one coming up here that I’m sure you could tell us a little bit more about.

Joele Forrester
Yeah, of course. So we do host events and sometimes readers don’t necessarily know that I work with a team that runs both the Influencer Marketing Show and Influencer Marketing Awards. So the Influencer Marketing Show is our flagship conference. And normally it would have been held in London alongside PR live, which is performance marketing conference because we also have a performance marketing leg too. However, due to COVID, we’ve had to pivot and we are hosting an Influencer Marketing Show Global online. So you can join wherever you are in the world. And there’s no, you know, limited tickets within teams like normal. So I’m really looking forward to that. And the show really aims to bring the community together so we can all learn from one another. It’s a great space for networking, and really learning what challenges that are and for new opportunities in the space too. And we also have them the influencer marketing awards, which again, aims to really showcase the brilliant work that’s being produced out there, because I don’t feel like enough. positive news is coming out about, you know, about campaigns, it’s often in, in newspapers, you know, it’s it’s not often positive news about influence marketing. So we really want to highlight the great work being produced.

Jason Falls
Yeah, I actually start off a presentation I give about influencer marketing, saying we’ve got a problem. And the problem in influencer marketing is kind of the mainstream media has a tendency to portray it as either a fad or, you know, superficial people put, you know, doing duck lips and pee signs on Instagram. And there’s no substance to it, which of course, we all know that that’s inaccurate. So and I think the first time I came across your performance, and thus, Talking Influencing you was around the Influence Marketing Awards. Tell us a little bit more about you know, how those came about how long they’ve been around. And I know you guys recognize, you know, the best in the industry. But I’d love to know a little bit more about it. And I think the audience would love to know more about when it is where it is, how they can know more and get involved,

Joele Forrester
Of course, so the Influencer Marketing Awards had its first year last year, and it’s normally a really glamorous event in London. But again, this year, we had to pivot and host a virtual event in August. And it really seeks to award the best in the sector and recognize and reward the very best campaigns, agencies, companies and work that showcase exceptional execution, creativity, and innovation. They obviously mount measurable KPIs and objectives. And there are 28 categories, or scored by judges from across the globe. And we have penciled in a third award ceremony next year. But of course, we have to keep an eye on the current situation with COVID. But we will be running an event whether it’s virtual or physical next year, for sure.

Jason Falls
That’s good. That’s real good. I like that. So one of the many reasons that I read talking influence, not just to get the you know the news headlines of the day in the industry, but is because you have a category of case studies, I would imagine that you know, your work in investigating good case studies. But also combined with the influencer marketing wards means you’ve got your run of the very best examples of people out there doing it. I wonder what your favorite case studies are, give us an example of something that you you personally find to be excellent in the influence space.

Joele Forrester
Sure, so with the Influencer Marketing Awards, one of my big projects is to actually write what we call a book of the night. So it’s a downloadable PDF, which has all of the winners in and you can read about why they’ve won, why it was so brilliant, and also judges comment. And my job is to put that together, and you can still you can download it all year round. And at the awards, we also present the Grand Prix at the very end, and that celebrates the creme de la creme of influence marketing campaigns. And it really recognizes the very best that industry has to offer from those that have been submitted and shortlisted to be awards. And one, one campaign that really stood out to me this year, was Ogilvy, and then won that Grand Prix award this year. And the judges were just astounded with the thought provoking campaign. And Ogilvy Social Lab actually worked on a campaign for pro rail. Now pro rail is the rail infrastructure manager of the Netherlands. And so as you can imagine, it’s a pretty tough brief. So they were finding that there was a lot of people killed on and around railways, many of whom were young people. And they kind of had to stop the dramatic rise of the people being killed all around railways and Ogilvy took a really creative approach to a really complex brief. So they obviously had to reach a pretty young, hard to reach audience and Ogilvy launched something called Victim Fashion. And that was a youth safety campaign disguised as a fashion label. So they lifted three influences who were in on the project. And they hyped the victim fashion label, teasing their followers with unboxing videos. And then followers were invited to the launch event in Amsterdam fashion show. So then what happened, the three influences revealed the truth behind this fashion label. And the collection was in fact, based on clothing that the victims who were killed wore when the fatal accident happened. And so, by disguising this campaign as the next big thing in fashion, Ogilvy managed to reach that target audience and ultimately, save lives. You know, and I think they did it with quite a small budget, too. And so I just was so impressed with the campaign and the fact that achieved 1.2 billion impressions. And naturally, they reached 74% of the entire Dutch teenage audience through this campaign, which I think is absolutely incredible. And this campaign in this case study is a brilliant example that really pushed the boundaries of influencer marketing. And also proves that using influences isn’t always about, you know, endorsing products, but also doing good and really using influences to get the right message across to target audiences. And that was just one of them. That’s just stuck in my head this year. But as you say, we do have case studies on the website. And I think it’s really important to showcase them. So other brands and other marketers can see, sure just what’s out there, what they can do. And they also are really popular with readers as well.

Jason Falls
Well, I mean, gah, that that Ogilvy example, sort of, you know, makes me I mean, I feel like I do pretty good influence marketing work myself, but it kind of makes me feel like I’m not reaching this is that good. That’s a that’s outstanding. So as someone who covers the industry, you know, not only interviews and talks to a lot of people, but you know, sees what you know, tools are developing sees what influencer campaigns are happening out there. You’re aware of the news and such going on. I’m curious, if you have a perspective on where you think influencer marketing is headed, or are brands going to continue to increase budgets and leverage influencers? Or are there challenge out there challenges out there for us that we need to watch out for?

Joele Forrester
So it’s really interesting to see how influencer marketing has progressed this year. And due to COVID, I really think that it’s almost fast forwarded to space and bought it forward, you know, five years or so. And I think the amount of money that’s being redirected from offline to online will continue to grow. According to a study by link here 57% of marketers are set to increase their budgets influence budgets next year. And I think everyone’s probably heard this stat. But Business Insider predicted that influencer marketing is expected to be a $15 billion industry globally by 2022. And that is spreads everywhere. But I’ve just got a highlighter. And I think, you know, brands and advertisers are searching for the most effective ways to share their message to their target audiences online, while physical engagement is difficult and limited g to the pandemic. And of course, what are the ways that advertisers can authentically connect with audiences is through influencer marketing, and I really hope that brands have seen the value that influencers can drive, especially as you know, production companies have had to close. And brands still need to produce content to reach their audiences. And of course, you know, influencers can do that. And they’re used to working from home, they can create content quickly, and can be really adaptable to their surroundings. And I think that’s what’s made this period. So interesting for me is because influences can really quickly change. You know, it’s very different to to just traditional market marketing. And I think, also, you said said about where, where it’s heading and any challenges. So I think the days of influencer marketing is a one off strategy over and I think next year, we will increasingly be seeing influencers contracted on an ongoing basis and longer term partnerships to just boost brand loyalty and attention because I think brands have really seen the value and loyalty and purpose and doing good this year throughout the pandemic. And I hope I really hope that brands will work with influencers on a longer term basis to really build their reputation, because obviously, that authenticity and ability to build relationships with their followers, is just invaluable. And I think that this will help lead to performance based improves marketing for brands and it’s something that a few people have contributed to, and we’ve seen it over on our first virtual events API live global. And there was a few sessions, they’re all about influence marketing, but the performance side of it. And obviously, you know, something that I’ve seen over over the years is measuring the effectiveness of influence campaigns. And it’s always been a real challenge for brands. And we’re going to host a panel session about measurement metrics at the Influencer Marketing Show global, which is taking place on the 17th of November to the 20th. Because it’s something that keeps rising. And I think, although influencer budgets will increase, there’s going to be heightened scrutiny on individual performance and ROI, no doubt. And once again, this is where the in depth measurement that technology is allowing for will come to the forefront. But I do think it’s really important, obviously, to combine that tech and data with creativity to really help campaigns resonate with consumers. And what well, you know, we’re living in the most creative era in history, and creativity is really being valued, where we’re seeing revenue starting to shift towards the creators by ads, partnerships and services like Patreon. And I think we’re going to see more creators turning their passion into jobs. For sure,

Jason Falls
That’s great. And it’s music to my ears, that you have that, you know, feeling. And I love the fact that you, you know, are pointing toward, you know, the future being, you know, more creators, you know, being creating more content, being more creative and becoming, you know, influencers slash creators themselves. And I love that it was music to my ears to hear you say that you feel like, companies are going to start using influencers more for longer term relationship type game type relationships, longer term, more longer term relationships, rather, if I could speak correctly. Because that’s, you know, I’ve said on this show, probably, you know, more more times in the audience cares to hear again, I really feel like influence marketing is a relationship, you know, building strategy, it’s not something that is transactional and one off, although it can be, I certainly think it’s more valuable for brands over the long haul that way. So speaking of some challenges out there, I know you and I touched on this in a previous conversation, but I wanted to dive a little deeper into it with you here. Both in the United Kingdom. And in the US, there have been conversations and movements and even organizations created to potentially create influencer unions. Now I have some thoughts on this. But I know you’ve spoken to folks from I believe the creators union or some similar group in the in the United Kingdom about the topic, do you think we’re going to see unions? And how viable Are they really?

Joele Forrester
Yeah, that’s right. So interviewed the Creator Union when they first kind of came about. So I think this is a really interesting topic. And so there has been, yeah, the union in the UK and US formed this year, to protect the rights of Instagram influencers, as brands are increasingly relying on them for content. And so the creator unions, as they say, is to ensure that influencers have proper protections in place as the influencer marketing industry matures. And, and the union is relatively new, it’s been around for a few months. And so I think it remains to be seen just how many influencers will sign up to become members, and what the union will do to protect them. And you mentioned the US as well. So the American Influence Council, they say they’re not a union, it’s an invite only nonprofit trade association. They’re very specific, how they’re seen, and it is that so and they say, you know, by unionizing, the influence of the pushing for transparency and trying to eliminate exploitative practices by brands. And we’ve seen over lockdown, you know, L’Oreal has been caught up massively. There’s been the influencer pay gap instant Instagram account. And it supports real discussion and controversy, which I, you know, creating discussion about these things is great. And they often think that brands don’t allow influencers, to negotiate fees, don’t offer a contract and don’t pay on time. You know, not everyone does that. But I think that’s the main the main point is that they’re, they’re really talking about and I feel like, whilst it’s great to start this conversation, I really think there needs to be more education in the space to not only influencers and brands, you know, and brands as well, but influencers, perhaps don’t fully understand how attribution works or understand why they’re getting paid a certain amount, and how they can best utilize their data. In a say, for example, you know, I might want to run a campaign with an influencer to target UK females in London. However, you know, that influences audiences only 40% in London, and only 20% of that are engaged. So you know, that’s what I may pay and I feel like that Sometimes inferences need to be better educated on the different payments out there and what we can pay for.

Jason Falls
Yeah, I definitely I see so many complexities in this that I would think prevent it from being, you know, a cut and dried union, because like you’ve got in the in the entertainment industry, you’ve got the Screen Actors Guild, that does it quite nicely. But unions also typically seem to have some sort of Central anchor, maybe it’s a location, or it’s a specific, you know, creative output or discipline. I just don’t see unionization being feasible, across networks, platforms and industries. Because like, for instance, as you said, you’re not sure how many people are going to sign up for it? Well, that alone creates a problem. Because if you’ve got some influencers who are unionized, and some who aren’t, well, as a brand, who wants to spend money and control how I spend it, I’m going to go with the ones who aren’t. Right. And so that that breaks the line as it were to use an old, you know, sort of labor term with unions. I don’t know, I just see so many levels of complexity here. And think it would be, you know, very difficult. I do however, like, you know, you were very, you know, careful to describe the American organization, an industry association or trade association, which is probably accurate. I do love the fact that there are groups out there who are standing up for the creators rights and saying, Hey, we need to be paid fairly. And that’s not just from a gender perspective, but from a diversity perspective. But I do agree with you that there’s got to be a lot of education. That happens, because there’s so many influencers out there who just think, well, I’m just going to make a price. And they don’t realize there has to be performance that goes along with that.

Joele Forrester
Exactly. I mean, an influencer now is, can be for many, many influences a full time job, you know, we’ve seen it around for years, people make money from it, you know. So it’s great to start these conversations. And like you said, you know, assembling a union is really challenging, and it hasn’t been done before, like he just mentioned, SAG, for example, SAG, which has been created, and I do think is doable. But our industry doesn’t have a standard rate for influencers to get paid. We don’t have a CPM module. And outside the affiliate space, influencers are not necessarily paid on a CPC or CPA basis, even though you might measure against these things. And this, this came up in conversation at PR live when there was a brilliant panel, they include Coke, beauty. And I think the strength of any union is in the membership. And I think it’s really important that the union’s purpose is clear and understood. And I think Time will tell whether or not brands choose to acknowledge these unions. But if we examine those awards out there for creatives runs should show some interest and respect. And also the formation of unions and trade associations, demonstrates the growth of the industry, if anything, you know that that they have appeared this year. So it’s going to be interesting to see to see where it goes for sure.

Jason Falls
That’s very true. Well, I’m sure at no matter where it goes. Joele Forster will probably be writing about talking. So remind people where they can find you online.

Joele Forrester
Cool. Say, you can find us online at www.talkinginfluence.com. And you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter there and also find our social channels. So Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And as I said, we host events as well. So we are hosting our Influencer Marketing Show Global, so you can join wherever you are in the world. And that’s on the 17th of November to the 20th of November. So four days of afternoon content, content, afternoons.

Jason Falls
That’s fanta… I’m looking forward to that. I’ve been, you know, I’m honored to have been asked to moderate a session there on social commerce and influencers. So that’s gonna be a lot of fun. Joele, thank you so much for all you do. You really are a great resource for people like me who don’t have, you know, all the time that we need to be able to kind of get in and investigate all the different stories of the day and the new product launches and see the new case studies. You guys are extremely useful. You’re a must stop for me on the internet every day when I log on. And I really appreciate that appreciate you coming to talk to us today.

Joele Forrester
Oh, that’s brilliant. Thanks so much for inviting me It’s been great to talk to you.

Transcribed by otter.ai

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.



Source link

%d bloggers like this: