In 2017, the global Instagram influencer marketing industry, which is one of the biggest alongside YouTube, was worth $1.1 billion and will hit $2.9 billion in 2019, according to Statista.
I don't know about you but that's a lot of ad spend focused on an industry that's still in a period of steep growth, fake news, and ridden with 'persona fraud'.
I can definitely see the attraction for brands to use so called 'influencers' particularly if they (the brand) operate in highly regulated industries, because by aligning themselves to the niche 'wannabe' celebrity influencer is not only good for cuedos, it also helps them to get messages across that they would normally be allowed to do.
In simple language, an influencer is someone whose story you are prepared to listen to, and maybe act upon, something we all do every day in real life - example;
Jenny from marketing comes back from the sandwich shop that's just opened down the road, she tells you it looks really cool, and here's the sandwich she just bought, so you decide to take a trip in your lunch hour and buy a similar sandwich - now all you have to do is multiply that story on social media and that sandwich shop just got some very cheap, indirect, and yet highly relatable marketing from Jenny.
From what I can see the key attraction for them is the same old measurement around 'reach' and not engagement, the article (link below) suggest that brands who used to outsource this activity to the agency are now looking to bring it in-house and divert even more of the budget in this direction, which if you an 'influencer' must be music to your bank accounts ears.
Agencies are already being asked for more ROI proof around campaigns, and with the key measure for brands being reach most of that ad spend goes into 'programmatic' real time bidding which is already ridden with ad fraud costing brands circa 50% of every dollar spent, its also subject to ad blocking and ad skipping, let alone the data privacy issues, so why are we to believe that a company can do any better than the agency who has more resource and tools at their disposal than the brand?
I don't know if your on Twitter, or Instaglam but if you are you will have seen all the spammy messages from all around the world with promises of building your 'follower' base for pennies, "We can take your followers to 100k people in a week" is the promise, and many people get caught out on both sides of this false and corrupt approach;
- Your feeding ego by 'buying followers' especially if your engagement levels stay the same, and your not only wasting your money, but most definitely your time.
- Your committing fraud by accepting 'paid' promotional campaigns by a brand because your profiles show you have 100's of thousands of followers, and you know they are all fake.
- There are those that say the brand, company, or agency who is paying you to do this without any due diligence and social listening capabilities deserve to be ripped off.
Social Selling is about being authentic, and growing 'followers' is not something that can be bought, it has to be earned.
However, we do know a way where you can grow your authentic social proof, increase engagement, warm up the sales pipeline, and reduce all your marketing cost.
Maybe we should talk?
“Instead of spending money on traditional media, we’re putting it into influencer marketing,” said Monica Jungbeck, global marketing manager at Malibu. Jungbeck declined to say how much money it spends on influencers, though said they are a major focus for Malibu’s marketing, and dip into social, events, production and traditional budgets.