Social media, influencer and creator marketing
min read

4 of the most frequently asked questions about influencer marketing

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
February 28, 2023
Last updated
January 22, 2024

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Social media marketing is THE way to engage Gen Z in 2023, but the industry is changing. How can your brand stay culturally relevant and what's the future of creator marketing? What are the campaigns landing with young consumers right now and which platforms are the ones you should be investing your time and money in?

Today, we discuss four of the most frequently asked questions in relation to influencer marketing and share how you can form authentic relationships with Gen Z to ensure that they return to your brand again, and again, and again.

What are the social media platforms helping brands to connect with Gen Z?

From TikTok to Discord to Pinterest, there are countless platforms that brands can be using to engage Gen Z. But how do you get influencer marketing really right, and what are the emerging platforms catching young people's attention?

With over 150 million monthly users and a 68% brand awareness within the 19-24-year-old demographic, community-focused app Discord is hyper-relevant to Gen Z. The voice, video and chat platform allows users to hang out with friends, build connections and create content within its servers, making it the perfect channel for brands to connect with their audiences.

Student content creator and Discord expert Ishaan told us, "Discord is a place where content creators can build a community to interact with their audience. If [brands] have a problem that needs resolving ASAP, Discord could be a great fix for that."

But, importantly, TikTok isn't going anywhere either - in fact, over half of young consumers admitted to purchasing an item after seeing it on the app. From packet noodles to the latest tech product, young shoppers are returning to TikTok time and time again to search for the latest recommendations from their favourite content creators and communities.

Thanks to the social media landscape, these channels and their creators are still emerging, so there's no better time to invest.

How can brands stay culturally relevant to a target audience when the landscape is ever changing?

It's no secret that investing in creator marketing is the ideal solution for brands wanting to strengthen their presence online, but how can you remain relevant and ahead of the game? Well, the answer lies in your values - i.e. sharing entertaining or educational material about the causes that Gen Z care most passionate about. In fact, a huge 81% of 16-24s prefer the people they follow to share their values and this accounts for creators' successes - their carefully nurtured communities and targeted content are things that Gen Z can relate to.

"Creators can quickly earn influence, as their community trusts that they won't compromise their content over money", says Ruby. "Quality, creativity and integrity will always reign supreme." Micro influencers and creators often have a stronger relationship with Gen Z consumers due to their authenticity, which helps young people feel like they're interacting with a friend, as opposed to a social media star. You can hear more from Ruby, as well as our panel of marketing powerhouses from brands including rag&bone, Foot Locker and Crewfare, at YMS NYC.

Crucially for brands, it's all about working alongside Gen Z in order to fully understand and empower them. "By working with Gen Z, brands are empowering choice within Gen Z. They're learning into the level of transparency and communication you find on social media, particularly TikTok", says Gia Lee, co-founder of Gen Z consultancy brand NinetyEight. "When your brand peels back all its perfectly manicured corporate layers and allows Gen Z in, you'll be surprised how many will choose you." You can hear more from Gia at YMS, where she'll be joined by NinetyEight's other co-founders.

What are the campaigns making a difference right now?

Campaigns come and go, but every so often one comes along that really resonates with Gen Z. Whether it's the Tiffany x Nike collab, Kim K's SKIMS x The White Lotus launch or Rihanna's expert marketing for Fenty Beauty at this year's Super Bowl, the world of Gen Z never fails to surprise us.

But one thing's for sure - user-generated content is the future. Whether used to drive organic traffic sales, populate brands' social media feeds, advance paid media advertising or appear in TV/OOH campaigns, UGC content connects audiences and brands. But how can this be used to drive your campaigns and take them above and beyond those of your competitors?

Founder and CEO of Digital Voices Jenny Quigley-Jones will be taking to the stage at YMS NYC to discuss how brands can reach their target audiences across multiple touchpoints, not just to survive this decade, but to thrive in it.

What’s the future of influencer marketing? 

With over $4.6B spending in the US alone and over 94% of marketers endorsing influencer marketing, if this is a model you're not in on, you're missing out. But with excitement comes growth and, inevitably, change. So what does the future of influencer marketing actually look like?

TikTok will, of course, continue to dominate the landscape for quite some time, but choosing a successful content creator to work with your brand will be more important than ever before. Over 30% of consumers say that a long-term relationship between a brand and a creator drives their purchasing trust, meaning you really have to consider the future, and not just the here and now, when planning your influencer marketing strategies.

But how can not only find these content creators, but work with them efficiently, both in a financial and creative sense? And how can you convert followers into buyers? CEO of the influencer marketing agency Ubiquitous Jess Flack will be discussing this in more detail as YMS NYC.

Interestingly, long-form content is also set to make a comeback thanks to its ability to foster meaningful connections between viewers and creators. Platforms such as YouTube are ones to watch and are worth investing in if you value community. You can learn more about the future of the industry at YMS, especially within Sebastian Wulff from Brandwatch’s keynote session.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Join us at YMS, where we'll be heading to New York to unite the youth marketing community, share relevant industry news, platform the most inspiring speakers and share the freshest insights to supercharge your marketing strategies.

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