Influencer Marketing: Borrowing Trust, Virtual Influencers, Native Advertising

The Influencer Marketing NFT (#0081) from the Meta Trends collection.

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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

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❓ What You’ll Learn

  • What is influencer marketing?
  • How to find influencers to work with?
  • Why are native ads gaining traction?
  • What is mimetic desire?
  • How to borrow trust?
  • How to build an agency around influencer marketing?

💎 Why It Matters

Influencer marketing helps brands build awareness and find customers.

🔍 Problem

Brands need to break through noise.

💡 Solution

Influencer Marketing transfers trust and attention from influencers to brands.

🏁 Players




  • Upfluence • Find creators to work with.
  • Grin • Helps ecommerce companies manage partnerships.
  • • Professional network for creators.
  • The Room • Platform for matching brands and influencers.

🔮 Predictions

  • Influencers will launch their own products. Opting for equity over one-time fees.
  • Native advertising will grow as audiences learn to sense and skip ads. Influencers are incorporating products into storytelling. Sharing favorite books instead of simply mentioning Audible.
  • B2B companies will embrace influencer marketing.
  • Virtual Influencers will play a bigger role in influencer marketing. Miquela formed brand deals with Talfar, Calvin Klein and Prada.

☁️ Opportunities

  • Do guest posts, podcasts and keynotes. Borrow trust from established entities. Podcast hosts extend trust and share their audiences. Many Trends Pro Members found through my Indie Hackers interview with Courtland Allen.
  • Use influencer marketing to land clients for your service.
    • Delverise built a new landing page for and we made a video testimonial.
    • Red Antler leverages success with top DTC brands to land new clients.
  • Offer services to influencers and brands.
    • Rel Brands helps creators incubate and launch products.
    • The Outloud Group helps B2C brands build relationships with influencers.
    • Justin Moore helps influencers find brands to work with and negotiate deals.
    • Steve Stoute brokers deals with artists and brands such as Reebok and McDonald’s.
  • Turn your influence into equity. Dan Runcie says, “Selling music can make you a millionaire but it won’t make you a billionaire.”

🏔️ Risks

  • Reputation Risk • You are commingling brands. Embarrassing actions on either side can destroy trust on the other. Be careful who you work with.
  • Bad FitsDoes the relationship feel real? Has the influencer mentioned the brand organically?

🔑 Key Lessons

  • Find out the brand’s goals. Do they want conversions or awareness? Use this to craft and price offers.
  • Influencer marketing is the force that powers music features, book testimonials and stock recommendations.

🔥 Hot Take

  • Celebrities and influencers are not the same. Celebrities are well-known people. Influencers influence decisions. They often overlap. But not always.

😠 Haters

“It’s influence marketing. Not influencer marketing.”
Sure. Non-personal brands have influence as well.

“This is less effective for
B2B companies.”
We’ve seen examples from Notion, HubSpot and ConvertKit.

🔗 Links

📁 Related Reports

🙏 Thanks

Thanks Stewart Townsend, Justin Moore, Jordan Divecha, Brad Hoos, Alex Llull, Kaleigh Moore, Ashwin, Shayla Price, Breno Ferreira, Andrew Holliday, Kevin Lloyd and Yarty Kim. We had a great time jamming on this report. 

📈 What else?

Trends PRO #0081 — Influencer Marketing has more insights.

What you’ll get:

  • 20 Examples (150% More)
  • 10 Tools (100% More)
  • 10 Platforms (150% More)
  • 10 Predictions (150% More)
  • 9 Opportunities (125% More)
  • 5 Risks (150% More)
  • 4 Key Lessons (100% More)
  • 2 Hot Takes (100% More)
  • 10 Links (233% More)
  • 10-minute audio episode with exclusive Influencer Marketing stories, insights and opportunities.

With Trends Pro you’ll learn:

  • (📈 Pro) How are companies monopolizing content?
  • (📈 Pro) How to work with micro-influencers?
  • (📈 Pro) How to build an ambassador program?
  • (📈 Pro) What is exclusivity risk?
  • (📈 Pro) Why are companies building media arms?
  • (📈 Pro) Why are influencers undervalued?
  • (📈 Pro) How to pick a platform as an influencer?
  • (📈 Pro) How to use referral programs to grow?

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