How Influencer Talent Management is evolving with time
From merely being a ‘managerial’ task, to now being a one-stop-shop for all things influencer related, influencer talent management has come a long way
Dharika Merchant, COO, WORD and Alchemy Group on how content creation and talent management is getting its due recognit...
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How Influencer Talent Management is evolving with time

Dharika Merchant, COO, WORD and Alchemy Group on how content creation and talent management is getting its due recognit...
  • Today, Indian audiences are watching more online videos than ever before.
  • Nielsen studies show that home-bound consumers have led to a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched globally.
  • Dharika Merchant, COO, WORD and Alchemy Group, writes how influencer talent management as an industry wasn’t given it’s due importance or light up until very recently and how it is evolving with time.
The last one year saw a complete upheaval of how content is consumed. As more and more people turned to social media for quick entertainment and distraction, we saw an increase in budding influencers and bloggers too. The rising popularity of influencer marketing is hidden from none; interestingly, what has come as a by-product of the expansion of the industry is a surge in focus on influencer talent management.

Brands today are allotting much larger marketing budgets specifically to influencer marketing. As branded content increases, so does content creation. The numbers speak for themselves- a majority of brands ( 59%) have a standalone budget for content marketing, and 75% of them intend to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2021. What’s interesting to note is that 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year. As the graph continues to rise from every direction, here is where Influencer Talent Management comes into the picture. For most part, influencer talent management does exactly what it says; manage influencer talent. However, it’s what is under this large gamut of ‘manage’ that makes things captivating. Earlier, talent management was rather restricted to either an HR and/or celebrity or artist management. Lately, as the very impact of influencers and their content has increased, so has the need for managing this umbrella of talent.

Influencer talent management today has evolved drastically from what it was when it started. An increasing number of influencers are now looking to be represented by talent management experts. Talent Management experts, today, not just handle the onboarded talent but take care of everything at the backend, from A-Z. These experts are a storehouse of skills; starting from brand outreach and branded content, to storytelling, and managing finances, to name a few.

What came as a repercussion of radical change in content consumption, has now become imperative for the industry. Influencer talent management bridges the gap between brands and influencers to ensure a seamless experience. Every brief is decoded, and each brand is connected to an influencer that perfectly fits the brief. This is then followed by carefully curating content which not just fulfills the brief, but also tells a story and caters to the influencers’ niche. The content planning process in itself can be quite taxing- branded content tends to see a lot of back & forth between the talent and the brand and this is where talent management experts step in. These experts are able to oversee content, along with managing finances, curating insights and becoming a PR expert for the influencers.

With the newly announced final draft of ASCI guidelines for influencers and branded content, it is becoming evident that branded content and influencer management is only set to rise. As these guidelines are put into effect, the challenge to now create organic yet branded content, and keep up with these guidelines is something the industry will struggle with in the beginning. Here is again, where talent managers will come into the picture. From understanding the very requirements of the guidelines, to ensuring it is followed by their talent is something that will be of key importance.

From merely being a ‘managerial’ task, to now being a one-stop-shop for all things influencer related, influencer talent management has come a long way. Being able to provide the perfect end-to-end solutions for all influencers (& brands!) on-board by a team of experts is commendable. This team takes responsibility for email handling, branded content, calendar management and in most cases, each plan is customized to suit the influencer and their requirements.

It is believed that consumers prefer content that ‘looks organic’ and not advertised, however it is paramount to understand the immense hard work that goes into creating a single piece of content that satisfies multiple stakeholders. Influencer talent management as an industry wasn’t given it’s due importance or light up until very recently. As eyes turn towards this industry, so does the way it functions. The industry has evolved every step of the way, and will continue to do so as we progress.