What is Influencer Marketing? 

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving key individuals that can affect potential buyers, affect global trends and provide a voice change. The world shifted to influencer marketing as it allows consumers to inform other consumers on their purchases. 

Influencers are the trendsetters of the digital age, attracting engagement through likes, comments, and shares, which brands can often lack. These individuals have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others. Their position, authority, and knowledge within their market are what attract brands and followers to the influencer.

Past

Celebrity endorsements turn into influencer marketing. The marketing concept evolved with modern times and the introduction of social media. The world shifted from TV advertising and magazine campaigns to social posts. Influencer marketing includes a wide range of influencers, from micro to celebrities, and they dominate social platforms. 

Influencers have been used to bridge the gap between a business and its consumers. This trusting relationship between influencer and follower, allows credibility to be added to a brand. By the creation of advertising campaigns created by the ‘everyday person’. It made brands and their products/services more realistic to a larger audience. 

In 2017, Linqia reported that 86% of marketers engaged in influencer marketing, of which 92% reported it being effective. From fashion to sports, influencer marketing has no industrial boundaries. The brand awareness which influencer marketing offers is often more valuable than the initial sale. 

Present 

Today, the general consensus amongst marketers are that influencer marketing is as strong as ever. ⁣Millennials are now the largest consumer demographics. On a daily basis, 34% of US Instagram users buy something on either an influencer or blogger recommendation. More than ever, the influence influencers have is in demand by their users, despite any circumstances that might affect their popularity such as PR scandals or inauthenticity allegations. 

It has now become illegal for brands or individuals to post sponsored or collaborative content without disclosing it. Due to the Consumer Rights Act, guidelines have been created to clarify how it can apply to social media. The idea was to make it obvious to a consumer that it is indeed an Ad. Now all collaborative or sponsored content should contain labels such as ‘Ad’, ‘Sponsored’ or ‘Gifted’. 

Future 

The question and debate surrounding whether influencer marketing has a future is often argued and heavily googled, with lots of people asking, is influencer marketing dying out? Well, it is expected that in 2019 nearly two-thirds of marketers will increase their influencer marketing budgets, which sounds like it is set to go the opposite way.

There are still challenges to influencer marketing as not all markets are educated or experienced in this field. If brands fail to identify the right influencers for them, then they will most likely lose out on what could have been a successful marketing campaign. But it is not a new phenomenon and has been around since 2006. With evidence suggesting that it is here to stay, it is the job of marketers to constantly evolve alongside the new trends in the industry.

With laws and guidelines coming into place for the protection of consumer rights, the next step in regards to this Act may be the appropriateness of sponsored content. YouTubers have come into criticism in the past for collaborating with gambling based brands when having a significantly young audience. To protect influencers and influencer marketing as an industry, the right fit needs to be considered when collaborating rather than just it being a quick way to make money. 

Whether you are in need of assistance with your digital marketing strategy or want to know more about Colewood, feel free to contact the team. 

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