In our latest DesignRush interview with influencer marketing expert at HireInfluence, Chris Jacks, we explore the transformative role of influencers in shaping brand strategies.
Chris emphasizes the critical need for authenticity and trust in influencer campaigns, advocating for a sincere approach and the use of TikTok's distinct storytelling features.
Highlighting TikTok marketing strategies, he notes the effectiveness of long-term influencer partnerships, how short-form videos prioritize authenticity and creativity, and how to leverage emerging technologies like AI.
With TikTok's user engagement rates soaring and brand investments expected to exceed $1.3 billion, Chris's insights underscore the platform's growing importance in contemporary marketing efforts.
Chris Jacks is the director of growth strategy at HireInfluence, with a decade of experience in digital marketing under his belt. He excels in driving business growth through strategic market analysis and impactful influencer campaigns. His focus on ROI and cross-functional alignment enhances market presence and results across industries.
DesignRush: How do you view the trend toward fostering long-term partnerships in the realm of influencer marketing?
Chris: We are advocates for long-term partnerships in influencer marketing.
There are two primary benefits to long-term partnerships:
- The first is the ability for a brand to develop long-term influencer relationships, which allows the influencer to act as an ambassador and true advocate for the brand, rather than doing a one-off post-engagement.
- The second is the fact that long-term partnerships build brand recall and end up coming off as more authentic than one-off partnerships.
While we still activate influencers and creators on a one-off basis to accomplish specific objectives, we would recommend that any brand seriously consider deploying a long-term influencer partnership strategy.
How does HireInfluence ensure the authenticity of influencers' engagements over extended periods when working with high-profile clients like Lee Jeans?
To ensure authenticity over long-term engagements, we prioritize our ability to act as an extension of the brands we work with when it comes to communicating creative strategy, campaign briefing, and key product details.
Often, if we are in a position where we have a long-term partnership, we have already identified a creator or influencer with a strong affinity for the brand.
Our goal is to then properly set the creator or influencer up for success by providing ideas on activation strategy, sharing specific details on the products, etc.
How does HireInfluence capitalize on TikTok's success for brand campaigns, and what distinct opportunities does this platform offer compared to other social platforms?
We strongly recommend brands utilize TikTok as part of their overall strategy.
TikTok has a unique style of content compared to other platforms, which allows brands to showcase their products in completely new avenues.
We are fortunate to be a part of an agency success program within TikTok and benefit directly from the incredible resources and personnel that they provide to our agency.
While TikTok used to represent a way to engage with a younger demographic, it now allows engaging with people through a different content style. These posts tend to be fast, engaging short-form videos that prioritize authenticity and creativity.
How do you tailor creative strategies to fit different brand identities and objectives?
We have an entire team whose job is to stay up to date on trends, viral moments, and the overall social landscape. When we take on a new client or campaign, they are the first people to contribute to the project.
By having a firm grasp on what is currently working on social media and taking the time to understand the campaign's goals and KPIs, they can reverse engineer creative strategies for the campaign.
We don't believe that a templated approach, in any capacity, works in influencer marketing. So, we do everything in our power to ensure that each client and campaign is as personalized as possible.
The biggest key to our success is that we start from scratch with each project we work on, no matter what platform we are activating on.
With the emergence of AI influencers and deepfakes, what will happen to authenticity that consumers seek so much?
The emergence of this technology will have an impact on the influencer marketing space.
Like with any technology, the level of transparency in what it is being used for will dictate the public perception of authenticity.
We have already seen examples of accounts like Lil Miqeula having tremendous success, in part due to their acknowledgment and transparency of the fact that they were leveraging AI.
We believe that balance means being 100% transparent about where and how AI is being used. The potential negative implications of hiding the usage of AI far outweigh the benefits of being open about the usage.
What future developments do you anticipate in influencer marketing?
We are seeing an increased demand for raw, authentic content that tells a good story and is promoted by people who deeply care about the products they are showcasing.
The days of overly scripted product activations are gone.
As influencer marketing has grown in popularity and is now such a crucial driver of how products are sold, consumers have become increasingly aware of when an influencer is genuinely excited to talk about a product.
Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang