Monica Banks is the Founder and CEO of Gugu Guru, a company helping brands reach parents in creative, targeted digital marketing campaigns. Gugu Guru is also the largest community of parents sharing and creating content about products and brands they love, allowing many moms to become content creators themselves.
Many people can benefit from becoming content creators. However, the flexibility and ability to work from home are significant for many moms. As a result, Gugu Guru specifically focuses on providing resources for moms to start working as influencers.
Keep reading to learn about Monica’s eight influencer marketing predictions based on her extensive experience in the influencer marketing industry.
8 Must-Know Influencer Marketing Predictions From Monica Banks, Founder And CEO Of Gugu Guru
- Budgets are Tightening
Unsurprisingly, many brands are tightening their marketing budgets as the economy becomes increasingly uncertain. Companies are also scrutinizing their marketing spending and what ROI they receive from campaigns.
Monica shares, “There’s less budget, and for the budget that they have, brands want to make sure that it’s going to the right place and it’s going to get the most ROI and bang for their buck. Influencer marketing is a bit more tricky as far as ROI goes because influencers are really at the top of the funnel or they are one step in the funnel, not the entire funnel.”
- Increased Demand for Performance-Based Campaigns
Companies are looking for more performance-based campaigns to ensure they receive a good ROI for their marketing dollars.
Regarding Gugu Guru, Monica explains, “We are really trying to empower our mom creators with knowledge of affiliate marketing platforms. How to get into more performance-based marketing and really show brands desirable data on how much they’re converting or how much traffic they are driving, etc.”
A challenge Monica sees with performance-based campaigns is that brands want data from influencers but often aren’t willing to share their campaign data with the influencer.
As a result, Monica is pushing more creators to take ownership of their performance and learn about their conversion rates and data.
- More Creator Storefronts are Coming
Many creators are making storefronts or curated shopping lists to share with their followers. This allows creators to make affiliate money from their storefront without physical inventory while recommending products they already use and love.
Monica says, “The great thing is that if creators are using storefronts and affiliate links there, they have total visibility into how their content is converting, which is really great because it puts them in a better position to negotiate with brands that want to have the creators perform on a performance basis.”
- Greater Focus on Nano Influencers
More and more brands are looking at quality over quantity when choosing influencers to work with.
For example, a brand may choose a smaller, nano influencer with a highly specific audience over a larger influencer whose audience isn’t as engaged or targeted.
Monica explains, “I think brands see that nanos have very niched down connection and community. They are converting at a higher rate than a mega influencer who has millions and millions of followers, but those millions and millions of followers may not resonate with a specific brand.”
- Creator Brands Continue to Explode
Creators are continuously looking for new ways to diversify their income, and a common approach is launching a brand or product.
A creator brand also gives influencers ownership of their products and monetization opportunities, rather than waiting for a brand to reach out about a sponsorship.
Monica shares, “When you own your audience, and you can monetize your audience, that’s a very, very powerful thing. I think a lot of influencers are doing that, and they’re doing that through not only physical products and services but also digital products.”
- Influencers are Building More Income Streams
Many influencers are watching the social media space become more and more saturated. While some social media platforms pay creators well, others leave much to be desired.
This reality leaves many influencers wanting to diversify their income by adding extra revenue streams. For some, this looks like expanding onto other social media platforms, creating merch, or taking on more sponsorships.
- Authenticity Rules Above All Else
With recent scandals, like Mikayla Nogueira allegedly promoting mascara while wearing false eyelashes, more viewers are prioritizing authentic content above all else.
Monica notes, “People are really starting to get skeptical of influencer marketing in general. Authenticity is super important. Transparency and disclosure when you’re getting paid to do something – being real. That’s going to be very important, especially for audiences to keep their trust.”
Authenticity is crucial for influencers looking to monetize their personal brand. A strong community connection built upon trust is paramount for an audience to feel comfortable investing their hard-earned money into a creator’s products or recommendations.
- The Rise of AI Technology
AI technology has exploded in so many industries, including content creation. More creators are using tools like Chat GPT to write captions for their posts, find brand deals, and more.
Monica shares, “It’ll be really interesting to see how that [AI] plays out. I think we’re going to continue to see people using it more. How do I predict it will play out? I don’t know, but my personal experience with AI, because when I launched my company, it was all about AI-driven product recommendations for parents, is that AI is great as a tool.”
She adds, “It can’t really replace the human touch, so it will be interesting to see, kind of going back to what I just said about authenticity, how influencers leverage AI to produce content at a more scalable level.”
However, authenticity will still be essential.
Influencers must find ways to balance using AI technology to scale while maintaining authenticity in their content to stay relevant.
The Lasting Power of Influencer Marketing
Monica doesn’t believe that the power of influencer marketing is going anywhere.
She explains, “One thing that has been incredible about the creator economy is the explosion of tools that really allow anyone to monetize their influence. So, I think that there will be change, and there will be less emphasis on the mega and celebrity kind of influencers and more focus on that authentic and close trust and relationship with his or her community.“
Monica believes there will still be a place for celebrities and mega influencers, but smaller influencers with loyal audiences will be the go-to for more brands.
As for Gugu Guru, Monica shares that she is very excited about launching their accelerator program for moms wanting to break into the creator economy. The six-week accelerator program helps moms understand and overcome the challenges of becoming a creator, how to work with and be paid by brands, and much more.
The Gugu Guru community is free to join.