By Robert Brill of Brill Media Consulting
The influencer marketing landscape is evolving fast, developing as a stand alone digital marketing practice outside of social media, native advertising and content marketing. Brands leverage the good will, fandom and reach of content creators and curators to endorse brands. Early entrants into the business, combined, are worth over $1B.
This is a complicated space with advertising agencies, PR companies, influencer specialist agencies, measurement companies, research businesses, individual creators and social media platforms working in compliment of each other to reach consumers.
To make sense of this ecosystem we assembled a view of the influencer marketing ecosystem.
Not every company in every category is being represented. There are certainly significantly more ad agencies and PR agencies than we show. Across all categories we’ve chosen companies who we know participate in the influencer marketing business.
Some businesses belong in multiple categories. It’s not uncommon for companies to serve both influencers and advertisers, or to be both a research business and a connector to influencers. Some companies cultivate their own network of influencers while being agnostic and working with any available influencer in the marketplace.
DEMAND VS SUPPLY
Influencer marketing is about people who create and curate great content. It’s artistic, creative and inspired work that only a select few people have the skill set to do well. We’re talking about artists for new media and new Hollywood.
Demand represents the groups who spend money to buy products; marketers and the agencies who serve marketers. Supply represents the providers of those products; companies who are aligned with the influencers’ interests, and the influencers themselves. Influencers supply the space, reach and good will that marketers are tapping into.
Certainly, a key part of this ecosystem is distribution from always on social channels. They give creators access to audience without having to rely on prohibitively expensive and difficult to access traditional media distribution methods.
FindYourInfluence - Double Sided Exchange
Advertisers get all the benefit of influencer marketing without the immense need to build infrastructure or sift through large pools of influencers. By already connecting to thousands of active and available influencers marketers get directly to the content strategy and activation strategy. Once the managed or self service campaign is complete marketers pay FindYourInfluence, and they handle subsequent payments to influencers.
INFLUENCER MARKETING BACKGROUND
Just a few years ago nascent businesses like Maker Studios, Full Screen and Machinima were making waves as a new type of media company – multichannel networks, or MCNs. Today, these three companies are worth over $1B as a result of investment or buyout. Maker was bought by Disney for $500MM, with a kicker to $900MM if certain success thresholds are met. Machinima took investment from Warner Bros at a rumored $200MM valuation. Fullscreen was bought by Otter Media, which is a joint venture between AT&T and Chernin Group at $200MM – $300MM valuation.
These companies, and many like them (Omnia, Screenwave, Aweseomeness TV and Nerdist for example) continue to sell advertisers influencer campaigns. As reported by Business Insider the influencer ecosystem also gives Big Media (traditional media companies like broadcast networks, cable companies, cable operators and even digital first destinations) a competitive threat.