Transition of Influencer Marketing: Project-Based to Long-Term Approach

Published: February 01, 2023

min read

Marketers seek longer-term relationships with influencers as well as influencer marketing agencies as influencer marketing matures.

The change comes as marketers shift away from project-based approaches toward a longer-term vision. Nowadays, influencer marketing agencies have started to participate in strategy meetings alongside other agencies.

As marketers look to work more directly with influencers, the relationship has become more formalized. Previously, other agencies—such as media or digital shops—that brands worked with would tap influencer agencies.

Some influencer marketing agency executives see this Agency of Record relationship as a natural progression, given the growth of influencer marketing and the fact that brands typically work on an annual basis. Initially, the transition was slow but has become more prevalent as of 2023.

In 2022, influencer marketing accounted for $16.4 billion in ad spending, up from $13.8 billion in 2021.

Influencer Marketing Hub

According to industry experts, larger budgets bring more scrutiny as CFOs seek to understand where dollars go, what the metrics of success will be, and what the overall plan is. The continued rise in influencer marketing spending comes at a time when marketers examine their budgets more closely due to the current economic environment.

Trends come in cycles. Earlier, long-term brand ambassadorships were the only way to go. Then micro- and nano-influencers exploded and became more focused on the short term. Now, again, the trend moves towards longer-term collaborations.

Can the shift be considered a long-term game in the marketing landscape?

Influencer marketing has emerged as a critical component of digital marketing. In fact, it enables brands to capture people's attention in ways that most other marketing methods cannot.

In recent days, marketers have begun to seek long-term relationships with influencers and influencer marketing agencies as more brands increase their budget for influencer marketing to boost sales.

Marketers even started to include influencer marketing agencies in strategy meetings, unlike before. This shift in approach is indeed huge in the marketing landscape, as it emphasises how much influencer marketing has evolved.

We believe there are also many other reasons for this shift. The world of influencer marketing is a bit complicated because there are thousands of influencers collaborating with thousands of brands on each platform. Nowadays, many influencer marketing campaigns fail only because the influencers were chosen inappropriately and were not relevant to the brand’s target audience.

This way, a detailed review before partnering with influencer marketing agencies and working with them on a long-term basis in order to set clear expectations with influencers becomes more than a requirement for marketers.

We expect the adoption of long-term collaborations with influencer marketing agencies will help brands in many ways.

When influencers consistently post about your brand over time, their audience will be exposed to it on a regular basis. It, in turn, increases their chances of purchasing from the brand, thereby maximizing the ROI. Besides, when it comes to content creation, investing in a long-term relationship will be immensely helpful for marketers. It will ensure an ongoing working relationship as well as a consistent pipeline for the creation of creative assets.

That said, doesn’t the long-term collaboration have any challenges? We don’t think so. While working long-term with agencies, brands may end up working with the same influencers as influencers tie up with multiple influencer marketing agencies at the same time. This happens because of the disjointed way of working. Problems like this are yet to be addressed in this system.

Though trends in influencer marketing frequently occur in cycles, we believe this recent shift can sustain itself in the long run if the minor challenges of this approach are addressed. It can also possibly propel influencer marketing to the next stage in the marketing landscape.


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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