The $16.4bn industry looks set for reform as brands opt for gifting over paid #ads

Scrolling on Instagram, we’re often presented with ‘Insta-perfect’ lives from influencers – from back-to-back holidays, to the latest designer purchases. Yet amid ever-worsening economic conditions, the reality is far from this for many content creators, as brands begin to cancel campaigns, reduce fees, and broker gifting-only deals. With a new report unveiling that a staggering 30% of influencers have seen a reduction in fees, the era of easy cash and fickle relationships amidst a $16.4bn industry might just be coming to an end. Not only that, but a study from Emplifi found that 57% of Brits don’t trust mega influencers, highlighting the need for total reform with influencers shifting loyalty to the consumer, only promoting the products that they actually love and use.

The Room offers a solution to restore trust in this fragmented relationship by providing a marketplace which connects those with a profile to brands offering products and services they genuinely love. After registering with the platform, brands then create a brief with a reward attached – this could be in the form of a product or an experience, which is then advertised to the thousands of influencers who are also signed up to The Room. From a choice of over 4,000 opportunities, influencers can then contact the relevant brand and offer to share the product or experience on social media, simply in return for receiving it. This is an exchange free of transactional fees, and means influencers only post the things they are actually interested in using.
Founded in just 2017, their innovative and first-of-its-kind take on influencer marketing has already attracted the interest of widely recognised brands such as O2, Charlotte Tilbury, Mars and Odeon.Fundamentally, The Room is fighting against everything that is wrong with influencer culture, with brands historically trying to buy influence resulting in disingenuous content. The Room believes that this approach has created total distrust between influencers and the rest of society and is currently benefitting no one. When done right, however, it gives brands a way to weave their offerings into the social media experience which users log on for.

Not only is their method fixing a fractured relationship in society, but it has been proven to drive higher engagement rates. Proprietary research from The Room has also found that influencers are more likely to share more pieces of content when they have actively searched out the product or experience they’re advertising – further highlighting the benefits of this approach. Brands also have instant access to diverse advocates from A-list TV talent to macro and micro influencers, eliminating countless wasted hours of outreach on the wrong people, whilst also fostering relationships underpinned by love and not currency.

About The Room: 
The Room is a value exchange marketplace in which brands swap products or experiences for exposure from influential people. The platform is a space where brands and their influencer advocates exchange passion, not money. Brands offer their products and experiences to advocates – not influencers. In return, these people create engaging brand content that resonates with their audience, as opposed to the previous norm of disingenuous content.

Founded in London in 2017, The Room is joint venture between Sky Sports host Alex Payne and marketing executive Tanya Hamilton-Smith. Having spent their careers understanding the power of fandom, Alex as the face of English rugby broadcasting and Tanya as a leading figure for brands such as JWT and BBDO, they have developed a powerful proposition to bring together the worlds of Brands and Influence to unlock brand love. Today brands are having to buy influence, and influencers are having to sell themselves. This exchange is creating an unrewarding experience for both parties, which is neither truthful nor trustworthy.