75% of brands relied on influencer marketing in 2018, and 92% declared its effectiveness. But brands disagree about how much they’re willing to disclose creator partnerships. Nearly a third of influencers were asked not to share that they’re partnering with a brand, in favor of making the post seem more neutral and organic. It should be noted that this does go against FTC regulations.
Interestingly, the Harvard Business Review reported a shift from 2017 to 2018 — as of recently, social media users don’t really care if they’re purchasing something that’s clearly an #ad.
The main takeaway: It doesn’t deter potential customers if you’re transparent about advertising on Instagram. What really counts? Finding trustworthy creators who build followings that trust their recommendation (even if it’s sponsored). An engaged and trusting following shouldn’t care whether or not a product review is sponsored.
Instagram has launched an investigation into inauthentic activity, including fake users viewing Instagram stories. Instagram is aware that there are brands using third parties to inflate their engagement and audience numbers, and they are taking steps to stop the fraud.
In addition to this, Instagram is testing a feature that will allow users to report misinformation on the platform, hopefully to expand Instagram’s options for detection, and to make it easier for them to proactively catch false information.
So what does this mean for influencer marketing efforts? The clock is ticking for brands and influencers utilizing fraudulent growth tactics. Brands should look to comprehensive anti-fraud suites to make sure they’re in the right with their creator partnerships.
We all know that Instagram’s possible “like” removal will dramatically impact how users engage with brand and influencer content — not to mention, further decline the importance of “vanity metrics.” Read about HYPR’s stance on removing likes.
Although many seem to hold the opinion that this change will be all-around bad for influencers, this might not actually be the case. Micro-influencers, who have smaller but also more loyal followings, might in fact benefit. Why? Because without vanity metrics, users will divert their attention away from content with loads of likes, and towards the content they truly care about and engage with.
A couple of weeks ago, a clothing chain called Altar’d State shared pictures from an influencer trip it hosted. Viewers were quick to realize something was off: with the exception of one brunette, all the girls on the trip were skinny, white, and blonde. After years of scrolling observing homogeneous influencer marketing campaigns, brands are finally being called out for not working with more diverse groups, and companies are taking measures to ensure more inclusive influencer marketing campaigns in the future.
Bottom line: This is more than just pushback from diversity advocates. People everywhere seem to be speaking up in a trend that may finally produce some permanent change in the influencer marketing landscape.
Ryan Berger from HYPR suggests on CNBC: Find micro-influencers who can serve as a base, add in one or two “big names,” then add one or two “amplifiers” who may have much smaller followings but who have an audience that is passionate about a given topic.
#Humblebrag: HYPR was chosen as the winner for the Best Influencer Marketing Platform in the 2019 Digiday Technology Awards.
After winning the title for Best Content Marketing Tech Platform at the Digiday Content Marketing Awards earlier this year, we’re ecstatic to once again be recognized alongside major tech companies for our work in modernizing media and marketing.