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Influencer marketing: what is it and what can it do?

By Burn •

  • Digital

Influencer marketing, courtesy mostly of Instagram and Youtube, is already big.

Influencer marketing, courtesy mostly of Instagram and Youtube, again, is going to get bigger.

That’s why it’s being spoken about so much as we steam on in to 2018.

Let’s take a look at what it is and how we predict it panning out in the future.

What’s influencer marketing?

Well, it’s pretty Ronseal in its definition. Influencers have perfected the art of influencing. Some make it their business to influence. Some are influential as a result of being known for something else.

Scrollin’ through a blog, gettin’ influenced.

Influencers come in many shapes: vloggers, bloggers, Instagrammers and many more. In short, they’re content creators.

These are people that people like, and people want to listen to. They also sell you stuff. A bit secretly…

Take a look at Digital Marketing blogger  Shane Barker’s list of top influencers to follow in 2018.

Are influencers advertisers?

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) do like to make interesting subjects necessarily boring.

“We hold both the brand owner and the influencer to public account… our interventions can erode consumers’ trust in the brand and followers’ trust in the influencer; so, neither party wins from a failure to disclose advertising as such.”

Their view then, in normal human language, is that influencers should consider themselves as advertisers and make it known to their viewers.

Should influencers be honest about the £££?

Well known blogger Mr Scratchface (see blow) soaking up rays – courtesy of you!

An influencer’s strength fits neatly into the marketing mantra that people buy from people they like.

That’s all very nice for everyone involved.

That is, until the influencers’ dedicated following realise that they’re paying for that lovely lifestyle they like to hear, watch or read about.

As soon as influencers announce that they’re advertising products as part of their content, the masses may be cheesed off.

So what’s going to happen?

When it comes to influencers’ audiences, many of them –  being brought up in the internet age – are forgiving of product placement. They see it as a necessary intrusion in otherwise fantastic content in order to keep it free.

A bit like how we used to tolerate TV ad breaks. Remember those?

This means that for now, we’d predict that influencer marketing will remain a very strong force. Perhaps up until it’s ebbed away at by the ASA, who’ll want to make the whole thing much more transparent.

Until then remember: with great influence comes great responsibility. Wait, is that the right quote?


*Mr Scratchface is not a real blogger. But if he were, you’d follow him, wouldn’t you? Here’s a little montage of how we imagine his travels would look.