Traditional advertising may not be on its way out anytime soon, but influencer marketing has picked up over the last few years, garnering significant industry growth from 4.6 billion dollars in 2018 to 6.5 in 2019.
However, some businesses have grown skeptical of what influencer marketing has achieved, questioning whether this is a magical marketing wand that achieves results left and right. In light of this, Netherlands-based influencer marketing firm Storyboard chose to respond to traditional critiques of the phenomenon in an article published on Emerce NL.
“Influencer marketing may sound like pure hype, but it’s actually a traditional marketing tactic that’s experiencing its second youth stage through social media,” the marketing agency wrote.
Storyboard cited Lilly Langtry, a British actress, who in 1882, was depicted in the packaging of Brown’s Iron Bitters, a cure-all tonic sold during the period. More recently, names like Michael Jackson (Pepsi) and Michael Jordan (Nike) come to mind.
The evolution of influencer marketing isn’t something that just suddenly came out of the ether; it has a long and storied past with incremental steps and only recently experienced its boom because of the availability of social media.
In fact, the industry is expected to grow to roughly 8 to 10 billion dollars in 2020 for a good reason: Marketers are starting to grow past the hype train stage, thinking instead about how they can leverage strategies to maximize the success of their campaigns.
As brands become more surgical in the approaches they use to promote their products with online influencers, the ROI of their campaigns will necessarily increase overall.
In addition to this, marketers are becoming more intelligent about who they approach and trust to involve in their projects.
“The criticisms of influencer marketing have not gone unanswered. For example, there are now many options for identifying fraudulent influencers with fake followers,” Storyboard added.
The company, like many other influencer agencies, has an audit methodology in place that ensures that both the brands and influencers it works with operate with integrity and have aligned interests that would be conducive to each other’s plans.
Perhaps the most important signal that indicates that the influencer marketing industry is maturing is the fact that the influencers that appear on social media today have a heightened sense of responsibility towards their followers and are therefore more transparent about paid partnerships.
All of these factors combined suggest that 2020 will not only be a year in which the whole influencer marketing phenomenon achieves more growth but also one in which the industry itself will continue to be seen in a more positive light.