Is Influencer Marketing Dead?

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Last month I attended an eCommerce event, in my home city of Manchester. The theme of the evening was sales and as insightful as the workshop was, it was the subject of Influencer Marketing, that really got people talking.

During one of the Q&A sessions, the panel were asked their take on “influencer marketing”. Specifically, whether using influencers on Instagram, is still considered to be a powerful way to generate brand awareness. This was a surprising question, given that Instagram has over 1 billion active users per month.

I assumed that the answer would be YES, as did many others. What we weren’t expecting was a speech on the so called “declining effect”, that influencers are having on buyers behaviour.

Now a few years ago, influencers were considered to be hot property. To some they still are. But unless you’re Kylie Jenner, you can’t guarantee anything. Which leads me back to my original question, is influencer marketing really dead?

The consensus of the panel was YES. The impact that influencers have now, isn’t what it was.

A few years ago, using celebrities and other well known personalities to endorse your brand was a big coup. Today it’s a different story as influencer marketing isn’t as powerful as you might think. If I look at my own analytics, Instagram has always been my least performing platform. Yet it’s the one platform that I put oodles and oodles of time, energy and money into! 

Recent studies published by Forbes magazine, have shown that people consume influencer content at a surprisingly low level—between 1-11% on average. This would insinuate that current influencer programs aren’t driving the sales and value that businesses and marketers had hoped for.

So, as business owners, what do we do? Do we continue plugging away and hope for the best, or do we invest in influencers in the hope of raising brand awareness, but without any guarantees?

If I’ve learnt anything in the last two years, it’s that YOU are your best advertisement. As much as we all want Kylie Jenner to give us a shoutout, we don’t all have $1million to invest - the fee she charges for promoting your brand on one photo.

I would love to know your thoughts. Do you think that influencer marketing is dead?

Maggie Colette