Influencer marketing is a "thing" even for social networks

Snap is now using influencers on Instagram for the promotion of its products – that is the world we live in today. Influencers use Instagram stories, which is a feature Instagram copied from Snap and used it to overshadow them. Despite Instagram using their idea against them, Snap fell behind their competitor due to their over-reliance on using a standard approach.

Snap wanted to use Instagram to promote Snap Spectacles and hired Luka Sabbat, a social media celebrity to do it. They paid him a $45,000 advance, but Sabbat, whose followers are slightly above 1.5 million, didn’t deliver. Now Sabbat is being sued by Snap, as they try to recoup what they lost plus damages.

This is just one case of many – brands making advance payments to influencers. Sometimes they deliver on their promise while other times they don’t deliver or deliver fakes results, which is even worse.

Influencer fallacy.

Connecting influencers with brands was the sole purpose of influencer marketing technology in its early days. To bring the biggest names on board and entice brands into relying on them as the go-to guys for big name influencers, millions were spent by companies to create rosters populated by opt-in influencers.

This created an industry-wide conflict of interest, with brands and platforms fighting for the most popular influences while simultaneously forgetting to check if they had an audience that was relevant and could be engaged. And to make brands drop huge amounts in advance, the platforms glorified the return on investments of these influencers through incentives.

Despite how hard to measure their impact was and that they required too much work to activate, naive brands still invested in the influencers. And in doing so, they overlooked influencers with a dedicated niche and audience that could deliver results with far less effort.

Luckily, change is happening. There are millions of people aspiring to become influencers, with a large audience in their dedicated niche. However, brands usually go with the more obvious option, even though this comes at a hefty price, due to lack of knowledge.

A shift in the marketing is happening.

You could only choose from a few thousand influencers back in 2013. Now, you have millions. The audience of these influencers regards them as experts in their field, which means they have a lot of influence, despite not having a huge following.

Amazon has created a program that enables influencers to promote products after opting in. What sets their program apart is the influencers don’t see a penny unless they produce results, making it a U-turn from the advance-payments-first option from other platforms. There is a risk involved in hiring influencers, and it is Amazon's understanding that these influencers want to share that risk in hopes of seizing the opportunity.

RevenueGrow expects we will see a radical change in the methods used to pay and activate influencers in the coming years. There will be a focus on smaller influencers with a dedicated niche and audience as brands become more adept at identifying their actual target consumers and their alternatives.

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