Should Brands Stop Using Influencers?
In the second episode of the series, we explore the exploding area of influencer marketing in Ireland and around the world.
In the United States, according to emarketer.com, brands pumped more than $500m into Instagram influencers alone last year. Couple that with the fact that in 2016, online ad revenue surpassed TV ad revenue and the industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
However with more and more people growing frustrated with the industry, at least in Ireland anyway, we wanted to find out whether or not brands should stop using “influencers’ as part of their marketing campaigns.
Speaking on the podcast, head of social and content at TBWA Dublin, Andrew Murray has been tasked recently with reviewing the effectiveness of ‘influencer marketing’ for numerous large brands.
“My outlook now would be very different than what it was 12 months ago and it’s all down to that high level of scepticism amongst consumers [towards ‘influencers]… brands that have used influencers not so well in the last 6 months, there has been a lot of negativity about that.”
He commented further noting that genuine bloggers and reviewers who got into the industry for very good reasons are being overtaken by a large crowd of people who appear to be seeking the fame and fortune of it rather than providing information or content of value to consumers.
MD of BDifferent Marketing Eimear McCormack commented on the use of ‘influencers’ moving forward:
“It’s just so hard to distinguish between who is real and who is fake… influencer marketing has been around for centuries, it’s called PR. I do think that influencer marketing will be around, I just think that people will be very selective of who they deal with.”
In this episode Eimear highlights some of the negative behaviours that “influencers’ are engaging in and she had a disgrutnled fitness influencer threaten to send none of his 22k followers to a hotel she managed online after he was refused a free 2 nights stay.
You can hear that story in full on the second episode.
Fashion presenter and social media influencer Ciara O’Doherty has been producing content online for over 7 years and has said she has seen the industry develop from a time when no one was getting paid, to when she is getting offers of thousands of euro to take part in certain campaigns.
“I don’t think influencing is going to die out, but I do think it will start to change. I don’t think influencing as an industry will stop but people are going to have to be a lot more standardised and a lot of regulations are already coming in, so that will change it, but I don’t think it’s just going to ever end.”
With online advertising budgets constantly increasing, more money is being funnelled into the space and online personalities with large followings will surely be able to command some of that cash.
However, the scepticism is growing, the Advertising Standards Authority is regulating people online and many believe the market in Ireland is being saturated.
Time will tell whether brands continue to receive a positive ROI on their online spend in this section of the market