It will come as no surprise that influencers were a big deal in 2018. They were everywhere; fronting big e-commerce retailers, launching clothing lines, collaborating with travel and food companies.
But since the Fyre Festival fiasco and the strict advertising laws now imposed on Instagram influencers, does this spell the end for influencers all together? Here are VerriBerri, Essex digital marketing agency, thoughts on if Influencer marketing has finally had its time.
When they first came on the scene, influencers wielded an immense amount of power. Unlike big budget ad campaigns with well-known celebrities, influencers were considered real people and far more trustworthy than regular marketing advertisements.
Fast forward to 2019 and influencers are fully fledged celebrities. While they’ve worked hard to achieve this status, it’s arguable that their elevated status as respected publishers, celebrities and marketing tools dampen their authenticity. In addition to this, influencers now have to state whether a post is paid, sponsored or gifted under new advertising regulations. As a result, audiences are now sceptical and less trusting of influencers as paid posts appear less honest.
It’s not just authenticity that puts the future of influencer marketing into question. From a business perspective, influence marketing can be expensive. Freebies and favours are now a thing of the past and many influencers expect to be paid for promotional posts. Unfortunately, this means big influencer budgets are becoming a privilege of big brands, rather than companies looking for innovative ways to reach their audience.
Instagram as a platform is also problematic. Algorithms oust organic content in favour of ads and big accounts; which means gaining brand exposure is harder than ever.
So, has influencer marketing had its time? Not really. But it’s future is uncertain. Thanks to new regulations, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of advertisements. But with a saturated influencer market and sponsored posts thrown at audiences on a daily basis; it’s unlikely it will still be as popular in five years’ time.
However, as an award-winning Essex PR Agency, we believe that influencer marketing can still be successful for brands. By seeking out individuals whose authenticity and principles align closely with their brands, companies should see a well-integrated content marketing strategy; that will raise awareness of their brand and increase ROI.
If you would like more information about how influencer marketing can help your social media marketing strategy, get in touch with our creative agency in Essex today.