Kagan: Influencer marketing coming back

5G Top Stories

There seems to be something very interesting going on in the world of influencers. As a wireless analyst for the last 35 years, I have met quite a few very interesting people over that time. Senior executives, investors, Board of Directors, researchers, reporters, the media and yes, influencers.

Over the last several decades, I have watched this industry grow, change and expand. It has been very exciting and that continues. However, it also changes with time.

There are influencers and there are Key Opinion Leaders and they come at this from opposite directions.

Wireless influencer marketing growing once again

Influencer marketing is relatively new as a cottage industry. It has been growing over several years through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps. As the years pass and as this industry segment matures, it changes as well.

Then COVID-19 came upon us several months ago, and it knocked this sector down, but the good news is it seems to be rapidly recovering. Based on what I am seeing, influencer marketing is picking up steam once again. I am hearing this both from executives at companies and from many influencers themselves.

Different types of influencers and Key Opinion Leaders

Some influencers are industry experts first, who share their thoughts and opinions on companies, products and changes. They also share that thinking on social media. These are often known as KOL or Key Opinion Leaders.

Others are not industry experts. Instead they have a follower list who they Tweet to. These are influencers. Some are well known within their sectors.

Both are important to the discussion. These are who companies like to work with.

That being said, not all is equal. Some companies, influencers and KOL are gearing up and getting back to business faster than others.

Full recovery will still take time, but all trends start somewhere and this one seems to be starting to reinvigorate the entire sector.

Companies coming to terms with COVID-19 showing growth

It looks like the business world is coming to terms with the coronavirus. It is learning how to do business going forward. Things will be different, but they will continue to move forward and to grow.

We are all starting to realize Covid-19 is just a bump in the road of business and growth. It will change things, but companies in many sectors can and will continue to grow.

I think that is why influencer marketing and KOL is starting to show solid recovery.

At this point I forecast this marketplace will continue with its rapid recovery and that is good news for the entire sector.

Of course, things will be different. Parts of this world will change. There are no in-person conferences, conventions, meetings and events yet.

While many companies are picking up where they left off several months ago, many others will start to focus on different goals.

It is also important to recognize this space had been a fast-changing sector for years. That is only continuing, with a Covid-19 twist thrown in.

Influencers, KOL must understand changing marketplace

That means the influencer community must understand what their clients want and need now. And they must be able to change and provide this if they want to continue to be a successful participant in this cottage industry.

Fortunately, influencers and KOL are typically individual businesspeople who are self-employed. This is the type of group who is close to their clients and their marketplace. The type of group who can sense what their clients need as the world changes.

This is the type of group who can quickly change their angle, understand the new and changing needs of their clients and re-position themselves to be in demand.

Companies work with KOL and Influencers differently

After all, companies are still in business to win. They still need to compete. They still need to grow. They are not shutting down. They are just learning the new rules going forward.

Just think of Apple as one example. They were the first company to reach the one-trillion-dollar mark a few short years ago. Now they just passed the two-trilling-dollar mark a few days ago. That’s in the middle of this Covid-19 crisis.

There are so many companies who are busier than ever in the middle of all this chaos.

That means there is still enormous growth potential for every company. To reach their goals, every company still needs the same things they have always needed. Advertising, marketing, public relations, analyst relations, media relations and yes, influencer relations and Key Opinion Leaders.

It’s important to be up-to-speed on how these groups are similar and different. The more a company and executive understands, the more they will benefit.

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