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Is Influencer Marketing Dying? Consumers Say Yes

Is influencer marketing dying? The business media say no, but a consumer study I just read says otherwise.

Needless to say, I was surprised. Don’t we – as consumers – look to others for recommendations? We turn to friends and family, total strangers and influencers (thought leaders, celebrities, etc.) to help us navigate an overwhelming array of choices.

I always thought influencers carried the most weight. So, what’s really going on?

Is influencer marketing dying?

This article about consumers’ overall disappointment with the brand experience quoted a study from Oracle and Consumer Bliss. As I skimmed the article, this caught my attention (phrases in bold are my doing):

“The study found it’s increasingly difficult for brands to influence purchasing behavior as consumers have little trust in influencers, celebrities, politicians and sources like social media, mobile advertising and voice-activated services.

“Consumers are twice as likely to trust family members (77%) and friends (75%) than any other source of recommendations. The next most trusted source is colleagues, at 38%. Among the least trusted for recommendations are politicians (2%), celebrities (7%), a brand associate (12%) and influencers/bloggers (14%).”

Interesting, huh?

I turned to my friend Tom Augenthaler, aka The Influencer Marketer, for his take on this study. Here’s what he said:

Influencer marketing is growing, not dying

The findings of this study don’t surprise me, and I don’t think your readers are surprised either.  After all, who doesn’t trust family members and friends over people we don’t know?

However, when consumers look elsewhere for help about what software to buy, shoes to wear or consultant to hire, they naturally look to authorities for help. This is where influencer marketing comes into play.

But let’s be clear, the bulk of influencer marketing is a form of advertising (media buys) and is focused on Instagram influencers.

Although there are some signs of consumer exhaustion with Instagram influencers, the strategy continues to attract brands, and it’s estimated that it will double in size to $15 billion by 2022.

That’s impressive growth.

Therefore, the safe money is on influencer marketing even with the negative news stories that pop up every so often.

For influencer marketing to work, a few ingredients are necessary:

The first is for brands to allow the influencers to communicate in their own voice. Brands like to control things because it minimizes risk. However, for influencers to resonate with their followers, they must be given the freedom to express themselves.

The next is having a clear objective. Anyone looking to work with influencers needs to have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish. Is it to get more exposure, attract more followers, or generate business leads?

Whatever your goal is, it needs to be clear so you and the influencers understand it.

Finally, the idea is to co-create content with influencers so they inject their creativity and expertise into it. Also, they’ll want to promote it because it’s something they helped to create.

If you follow these guidelines, your experience with influencers will generate the results you want and you’ll develop relationships with them – and that’s something you’ll be able to leverage for a long time.


So there you have it! Influencer marketing is not dying.

Photo by from pexels 

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