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The Black Box of Influencer Marketing

Ok, we’ll say it... Influencer Marketing has an ROI problem 

Influencer marketing has been around in various guises for over a decade now. Looking back, the first wave of gifted items and sponsored posts seem equally short-sighted for brands (lack of authenticity or strategic engagement), and as they are cringe-inducing for influencers (renting space on their feeds to brands, to the detriment of their community’s trust). It’s little surprise “influencer marketing” soon became a stigmatised term and a punching bag for social media’s fiercest critics. 

In recent years, we’ve seen the evolution of influencers (social billboard renters) to creators empowered by platforms (e.g. Youtube, Patreon, Substack, OnlyFans) and solutions in monetising their followings directly, whilst maintaining trust-centred engagement and an authentic tone of voice. Rather than renting space (like a TV channel during ad breaks, to the annoyance of viewers), creators are rewarded for who they are, rather than what they are forced to post. 

This provides a unique opportunity for brands, in identifying complementary content partners and ambassadors, to reach broader audiences, and start new conversations, with a trusted, authentic voice. Despite the transformative change in content creation, there are still plenty of brands and agencies operating on outdated and sometimes meaningless measures of success and engagement, which have changed little since the advent of influencer marketing.

We founded HYDP as a reaction to this. We want to challenge the industry, brands, and creators to be more ambitious, authentic, and accountable. We’re tired of seeing loosely established internal benchmarks for engagement, CPV, and CPM - these translate into complacent campaigns, poorly matched creators, and expensive mistakes. 

Influencer marketing, when deployed without a deep contextual connection in brand values and strategy, can quickly descend from a black-box approach to costly ineffectiveness. 

For too long, we’ve seen clients and campaigns missing the promise of reaching and converting new audiences. Plenty of established players have done their marketing mix modelling and realised that in spite of YouTube creators having a limited impact, and social creators having little to no short- or long-term on sales, collaborations continue to be renewed (at eye-watering CPMs).

The first question any CMO should ask is “what’s my return on advertising spend?” 

Before you start thinking of hashtags, collaboration videos, and creators. Before you look for your agencies and creative studios. 

At HYDP, we’re excited by the challenge, and here to answer the question with you. That’s why we’ve developed an industry-first approach to put our skin in the game, so you only pay for real results and impact, rather than artificial engagement and forced conversation. We do this through: 

  • HYDP Performance Pricing Model - so you’re only paying for genuine results 

  • HYDP Influencer Matrix - so you’re working with the most authentic, engaged influencers 

  • HYDP Satisfaction Guarantee - so we’re only driving conversations you’re proud of

If you’re tired of the opacity and cost of influencer marketing, get in touch. At HYDP we’ll show you how it’s done.


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