Is 2019 the year the influencer bubble pops?

Believe it or not, influencer marketing is much older than the majority of 2019’s most sought after influencers. It may not initially have been in the form of picture perfect Instagram posts, or seamlessly edited YouTube reviews, but it was very much alive in the form of celebrity endorsements and figures of association.

Let’s not forget that even as far back as the 1930s, Santa Claus was curated by Coca Cola in a pairing that has truly stood the test of time. Fast forward 70 years and look at the influence that David Beckham had in the success of the iconic Adidas Predator boots.

But after so many years of collaborations, endorsements and cultural influence – is 2019 the year this marketing trend kicks the bucket?

Will this year be game over for Influencer Marketing?

The reason this question is being raised in the first place is purely down to recent issues and obstacles with Influencer Marketing surrounding a lack of transparency, trust and authenticity, which has only been made worse by poor influencer selection. And it’s got the industry talking too. How many brands would have dared to speak out about their fears of fake followers and lack of authenticity before Unilever took to the mic?

You can bet your bottom dollar it would be a lot less than all the big names that spoke out in 2018. But it’s movements like this that empower the industry to make necessary changes and to give it the longevity it needs to continue to flourish. ASA and CAP have done their bit to help support the cause by finally introducing some tangible guidelines to help social media users and potential consumers alike to identify when they are being marketed to but also to help the influencers curating these posts to disclose the content as clear as it’s required to be.

An example of a collaboration we did last year, with clear transparency as to the nature of the post.

As an agency, we are constantly evolving in order to jump over the hurdles and concerns that are being raised within this space. Even the way we research influencers has changed in the last five years and it’s no surprise that the notion of data-driven searching is becoming the norm. Everything we do at Found is centred around data, from ensuring an influencer has an authentic following and is actually the right fit for a brand, to meticulously tracking the success of a campaign. This is one sure fire way that we can sing from the rooftops that Influencer Marketing can be measured and can reach those all-important KPIs – one of the key myths that people believed would be the reason the bubble would indeed burst.

We touched on it in our previous article, that Instagram are set to roll out their Creator profiles, again another act of support for the marketing trend that has given new life to the photo-sharing app, this time in the form of a social platform.

So, is the bubble set to burst on Influencer Marketing this year? No. We don’t believe so. All the signs are there that regulators, agencies, platforms and brands are entrusting the industry. Just like any other form of communication, Influencer Marketing will simply need to adjust in order to overcome the hurdles, questions and crises that 2018 rightly raised however we truly believe that 2019 will be the year of change and resilience.

If you want to take your brand to the next level with a killer influencer marketing campaign, reach out to hear more about how we can help.