There's no shortage of opinion and conjecture on the subject of influencer marketing - many instances in which the 'influencers' are commanding 6 figure salaries for a few pictures and a video (go figure).
Dom Burch, Asda's Director of Marketing exhausts the subject here for the Drum and Marketing Week exhausts the subject here - I'll spare you on the merits of whether it's a justifiable strategy to invest in and whether you'll see a ROI, or whether it's safer to gain customers via earned media or organic media, or how to calculate their lifetime value. No - that's a headache for your compliance and financial team.
Many startups are earning a pretty penny by shining a light onto those with millions of followers and serving up a beautiful dashboard for you to track and manage product placement campaigns. We're quantifying curated, not created content after all.
And this is after you've assessed the applicability of most social media monitoring systems, many will fulfil the capacity to track influencers across all platforms for private a outreach.
You may or may not have noticed that recently Instagram and Twitter have decided to change the way you view your feed (whether you're happy with it or not) - And platforms that many of these social media related startups depend upon, can have their red carpet swiftly pulled from beneath them. We're talking about Instagram's 'moments' and Twitter's 'while you were away', of course.
Instagram and Twitter no longer serve up your feed in a chronological order, this poses severe problems for Influencers exerting their... influence and the extensive reach they have to the customers you're hoping to commandeer, or buy. The change is invariably impacting the reach and eye balls their posts conjure up, those cosy product placements you previously had might not be getting through.
Why the change, you say?
Facebook, Twitter and Co have a history of changing things up, both have previously punished their developer ecosystem with changes; in a way their APIs are used as candy for developers to test hypothesis' at zero cost to the platform rights holders.
Instagram and Twitter may be feeling left in the cold; why should all these influencers make a pretty penny at their expense? The algorithm and content publishing alterations could be the first step in changes to the influencer relationship, not necessarily the death of it. However, it's likely to be internalised at some stage and this unfortunately means a few will be left looking in from the outside, not invited to the popularity contest. Influencers and startups, alike.
Rapid video and content consumption demands placed on brands to become more creative are also likely to squeeze the influencer domain, they're getting it from both sides, an influencer sandwich of despair? Perhaps, many will remain (for now) but there's a big shake up afoot.
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