• Live Oak Management

Influencer Marketing as a New Form of Advertising

By Anna Cave, Media Analytics Executive


When thinking of the marketing landscape, traditional forms of media are the first to come to mind: television commercials, magazine spreads, and newspaper advertisements. In the past few years, however, brand deals have emerged as the newest form of marketing for leading brands. Brand deals are a contractual partnership between an influencer and a brand, where an influencer is compensated for using their platform to promote a brand or product. 


Brand deals are a form of native advertising, which mimics the rest of the content on the platform. As a result, influencers can use their usual style to connect with their audience in a way that feels authentic, which motivates the consumer to trust the influencer’s opinion. This curates a customer that is more susceptible to the campaign than some forms of traditional advertising. 


Brand deals take on many different forms, the most popular being full integration, sponsor mentions, and brand trips. Full integration is when the entire piece of content is focused solely on the brand, with the influencer and brand working together to match the creator’s personal style and normal content flow, resulting in media that acts entirely as an advertisement. 


Sponsor mentions are a less integrated form of advertising and are most commonly found in YouTube videos. The sponsor mentions break up the video to acknowledge the sponsor, functioning similarly to a commercial during a television show. In other forms of media, sponsor mentions will just be quick shoutouts. They usually are not as embedded in the content and stand out more from the rest of a post. A great example of sponsor mention content is David Dobrik’s YouTube channel, particularly when he partners with SeatGeek to gift cars to his friends.


A more recently popular form of brand deals is brand trips, where brands send around 10 to 20 influencers on an extravagant trip centered around the launch of a new product from the brand. The location of the trip usually has a connection to the product being launched. Brands can diversify their reach by inviting influencers with varied audiences that are all good fits for the product that is being promoted. This allows the brand to make the most of their marketing reach by targeting multiple different audiences that would be interested in the product.


Advertising is changing as we become and more and more reliant on social media for our information and entertainment, so don’t be surprised if #ad is one of the more common hashtags crowding your social feed!




Example of a full integration post



Example of a brand trip



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