Go big or go home (except in influencer marketing)

By Lauren Consiglio | 10 Jan 2020

Over the last five years, influencer marketing has grown from an additional marketing tactic to a $5-10 billion-dollar industry. In fact, the second quarter of 2019 was the most booming yet, with brands spending $422 million on influencer strategy across the US and Canada alone. These figures speak for themselves: brand collaborations with ‘social media superstars’ is a lucrative market and one that industries are willing to invest in.

Yet it does raise the question: could its lightning speed success lead to an even speedier crash? With Millennials and Gen-Z prioritising authenticity above all else, brands are becoming scrutinised for their strategies. Are they choosing influencers for the right reasons or are they simply being swept up in the dazzling metrics of likes, followers, reach and ultimately, monetary gain?

According to Social Media Today, traditional influencer marketing is undergoing a fall from grace. While going big may be a quick win for your brand, organic influencers will become key in championing values, while authentically building your numbers over time. Here’s what they had to say.

Influencer marketing has lost the trust factor

In today’s industry, traditional influencer marketing is something we stumble upon with every click, scroll and press of a button.

As SMT points out, we’ve seen a lot of influencer slip ups that have shaken our trust – from reality TV stars accidentally posting brand instructions on their posts, to influencers promoting products without knowing what it is (think Fyre Festival). Over time, this creates a lack of consumer confidence, with only 4% of what influencers say now being believed online. This leads us to the next point…

Invest in real influence instead

According to SMT, a recent Stackla study found that people are 9.8x more likely to make a purchase after seeing a peer’s post over a traditional social media influencer.

This is not surprising. In this saturated market, we have become so used to seeing celebrity and high-profile influencer posts as a finance transaction. With organic influencers however, they already buy your products and services – so why not gift them in return for creating content for your brand? If they love it, they’ll promote it – if they don’t, they won’t.

Go beyond social

Finally, when it comes to traditional influencer marketing, they own the content – not you. Unless agreed otherwise, it’s the influencer’s content and can’t go beyond the agreed Instagram post, tweet or ad. If you want to amplify this influence and shout about it on other social channels, you better check your contract, or else you could be in trouble.

In a world where constant content is an increasingly important factor for brands, this simply isn’t sustainable. By tapping into your organic influencers however, you can agree on terms that will allow you to generate more assets. This means they can be featured across all your marketing channels without the strict rules and regulations that come through monetised posts.

So, when looking at your 2020 marketing strategy, remember this: organic influencers can help to build a loyal community, with the added benefit of scalable and authentic content that creates a positive impact for your brand long beyond the initial post.