29 Mar Is Influencer Marketing Dead in 2018?
This was a question posed on Quora. I found it odd, and thought I would share what I wrote on this blog.
I’m not sure how anyone can honestly think influencer marketing is dead in 2018. Distribution and engaging with an audience is not an overly complex formula in the current mobile era: nearly all distribution comes via the dominant platforms (eg Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, etc) and audiences follow and engage with people they like. Sure, audiences still find content on publications and larger news organization, but it pales in comparison to the amount of content they find on the major platforms of the day. And even then, most content discovery comes by way of a Google search or share in a Facebook feed.
Therefore, Influencer Marketing is only poised to grow in 2018, because influencers have built their influence (ie followings) on the major platforms and that is still the easiest way for audiences to become aware of content. A follow or subscribe is just a button press away on mobile.
Let’s move this back to advertisers. What do they want? Engagement, purchases, awareness, etc. That’s exactly what content creators bring to the table. Along with story telling. Additionally, trust is sort of a big topic nowadays in the era of “fake news,” and you don’t build a following of hundreds of thousands to millions of followers legitimately if you haven’t earned the trust of your audience. Those that have are worth their weight in gold and advertisers are eager to integrate their product or brand into an original piece of content on their channel which will lend credibility to the brand and position it favorably among their target audience.
Another battle advertisers are facing is the pesky ad blocking conundrum. The ability to target a person based on past behaviors was seen as a positive for the industry but an unintended consequence is that publishers, at the mercy of advertisers because visitors don’t pay for the content, let their properties be overrun by ads that hurt the user experience and then gave rise to ad blockers, since the audience was tired of the poor experience. This ultimately hurt advertisers who now had fewer opportunities to reach customers.
So what advertisements can’t be blocked? Native sponsorships. That’s right, influencer posts are the advertisement and are unaffected by ad blocking. They also enjoy all the benefits laid out above.