‘Mummy when I grow up I want to be an influencer.’ These are words I hope never to hear my daughter say. However, in saying that I am being slightly hypocritical as I have spoken with friends (over a glass of wine or two) about how great it would be and bemoaned not finding a niche and jumping on the bandwagon back in the days of Zoella’s YouTube channel in 2009 (now worth an estimated £2.5m FYI).
I mean how hard can it be? Get some followers, people send you stuff, post a cute picture for the ‘Gram’ and bingo the likes and advertiser offers come pouring in!
On the face of it, it looks incredibly easy and the influencers doing it well, they’re doing it REALLY well. A recent article claimed that Kylie Jenner makes $1m dollars for every paid post on social media and its not just influencers focusing on fashion and beauty (these topics make up 48% of paid-for content on Instagram) it reaches all aspects with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly earning $750k per sponsored post.
There’s no denying we’ve seen huge growth in #ads. Campaign magazine recently reported that the number of sponsored posts in the UK alone reached 1.7million – up 90% vs 2018. However, influencer marketing has been plagued recently by issues of authenticity and transparency and I can’t help but feel that the tide is beginning to turn. Most recently there were media reports of Love Island contestants buying fake followers to boost their influencer status. Then there was the influencer in America whose surprise wedding proposal (documented on social media of course) actually turned out to be a marketing stunt that was pitched to brands at a cost. I hope for his sake he didn’t try to get the engagement ring as a freebie!
Love them or loathe them, there is no getting away from the fact that influencer marketing promises great returns and offers brands ways to reach an audience with engaging, highly impactful content. However, will the very real issues put brands off and ultimately be the demise of the all-powerful influencer?
I think its time we err on the side of caution when looking at influencer marketing as part of a response to client briefs. At MediaCom we have a number of tools that help us determine the validity of the influencers we are choosing but it’s vital that the industry is confident that the proper regulations are in place to ensure we are not putting our clients reputations at risk, if it’s done right it could it be the best #winwehaveeverplanned.
Sources: Campaign magazine, The Drum, Inews, The Independent