Connecting linkedin

Banner Blog Image

Are we over influencer marketing?

Influencer Marketing

Influencer is a term that has changed the landscape of marketing. Described as an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others, influencer exploded from a barely known phrase to a full-on profession in just a few years. But has the influencer bubble burst? Negative press around influencer authenticity was dealt a heavy blow by the well-publicised Fyre Festival fiasco – a fraudulent ‘luxury’ music festival promoted by high-profile social media influencers. There is also an increasing audience awareness of paid promotion on platforms like instagram. 45% of social media users find sponsored post hashtags annoying, according to research conducted by UM for Campaign as part of the Post-Influencer Culture report.

This negative press along with reluctance from some brands and agencies to engage with this form of outreach has created backlash when it comes to influencer marketing. With many seeing the market as saturated and untrustworthy. However, the numbers indicate that influencer marketing is far from over. Research from Viral Research and Neoreach found that the influencer market was worth $1.7 billion in 2016 growing to to $4.6 billion in 2018. The sector is predicted to grow to $6.5 billion this year. 

So, if the influencer marketplace continues to grow, how can brands tap into this valuable resource without being burned by recent negativity? 

Know your influencer 

Unfortunately, there are some stereotypes that follow the influencer community, with the image of the cash-strapped reality star being unfairly used as the typical face of the ‘lifestyle’. In fact, an influencer is simply someone who holds some level of influence over a group of people and these can run from global movie stars to niche hobbyists. Micro-influencers (those with followers under 10,000) are being increasingly targeted by marketers to provide access to small but highly-engaged groups of consumers. 

Find your community 

An influencer can have 10-million followers, but if they have little interest in your service or product then money spent on paid promotion could be put to better use elsewhere. It’s important that brands think really carefully about the communities they want to engage in and actively target those influencers with links in these areas. 

Grow trust 

There is increasing distrust, not only of sponsored social media but of the artificiality of social media in general. Consumers are less likely to trust those social media stars who are advertising a wide variety of products every week. 25% of those surveyed in the Campaign and UN survey referenced above said that content feeling ‘authentic or real’ was very important to them, and this figure rose to 40% amongst 18 to 25-year-olds. Brands must look to partner with those influencers who embody their values and can help them to build authentic and lasting relationships with their audience. 

Looking for the social media experts who can help to hone your influencer approach? Or your next marketing role? Talk to one of our marketing and PR consultants today.