Startup Stories: Influencer Marketing Association
New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. Here, newbies tell us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next.
Influencer Marketing Association
Launch: September 2019
Leadership: Executive Director Kristy Sammis
The Mission: “Influencer marketing is the practice of compensating, either through cash or products, people who are influential in social media to promote a brand,” Sammis says. “We feel there is not really an organization in existence that is helping to regulate the influencer marketing world. There isn’t one group helping to establish guidelines, benchmarks, good behavior, best practices, and good tools for influencers.”
Early Successes: IMA members include both influencers and the brands and marketers who hire them. “It’s a little bit of the Wild West still,” Sammis says, noting there are “hundreds of thousands of influencers out there. Brands still have a hard time understanding who a good influencer is as opposed to a bad actor. They can have a bad experience and write off influencers altogether. We don’t want that. The people joining our association want to be the best they can be.” To that end, IMA’s first agenda item was surveying influencers to get some benchmark data. Last fall, they asked influencers about the types of programs they run, their rates, and where they’re most influential.
What’s Next? Throughout 2020, IMA plans to release data from its surveys in the form of benchmarks and best practices. The association also is planning a slate of in-person meetings.