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How Sustainable is Influencer Marketing?

Kitty Lana Carr
Written By
Kitty Lana Carr
Published On
May 11, 2020
Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is projected to be a $15 billion dollar industry by the end of 2020. People often ask us how this type of growth is sustainable with social media platforms becoming increasingly saturated with sponsored and branded content. Keep scrolling to see why we think the Influencer Marketing Industry is only just beginning!

The Competitive Landscape of Paid Sponsorships

As the number of people becoming or attempting to become an Influencer increases every day, the standards of photography and quality of content are pushed higher. The number Influencers relative to the number of available paid sponsorships is not equal. This breeds competition as Influencers are being forced to ‘level up’. The competition and drive to produce better content is beneficial to the industry as it encourages high quality and meaningful content, as opposed to posting for the sake of being present.

The Saturation of Branded Content

Now, Influencers are tasked with pushing the boundaries of creativity and finding new ways to incorporate brands into their content in a meaningful and organic way. As people become hyperaware of brand partnerships when scrolling through their feed due to mandatory disclaimers such as #ad and #partner, brand integrations are incorporated into content that people seek to engage with. Influencers are leaning into apps like Mojo and Unfold to elevate their Instagram Stories, and learning programs like Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance their photographs. Further, video content is essential to engagement and Influencers are artfully incorporating brands into videos through cinematic social cuts and captivating visual storytelling.

The Rise of Transparency

Before Instagram released the option to tag “Paid Partnership with ___” in posts, not all Influencers operated under the best disclosure practices. There were many cases where #ad and #partner were buried in a sea of other hashtags or not included at all. This led to mistrust of Influencers and gave the industry a bad reputation for misleading people. Now, Instagram makes it easy to tag brands in Paid Partnerships and there is less guessing about sponsored vs. organic content, and people are able to build back their trust for the platform and the Influencers they follow.

The Platform for Empowerment

People have always taken to social media to express their opinions (hello people from high school sharing their alarming political opinions on Facebook). Now, instead of blasting opinions, people are using their efforts towards supporting each other. Enter Instagram accounts like The Wing and The Birds Papaya who operate under the concept that “we rise by lifting others”. Increasingly, we are seeing more people attracted to the community aspect of social media and participate in positive ways, whether it be writing a supportive comment, or re-sharing a post that they wanted to help gain more reach. We are especially looking forward to the rise of community on social media!

The Growth of New Social Media Platforms

The TikTok boom illustrates that new platforms can emerge and disrupt the key social media players (albeit, TikTok is not completely new as it was formerly known as Musically). Currently, there are over 500 million active users on TikTok. As the antithesis to Instagram, TikTok fills the market gap for a social media platform that requires minimal effort and is completely focused on entertainment as opposed to education or aesthetics. New social media platforms provide more opportunities for Influencer Marketing. Currently, TikTok is not as saturated with sponsored partnerships as Instagram, as brands are still trying to figure out how their products and services can play in this space. We are excited about the opportunities that new social media platforms will bring to sustain the Influencer Marketing industry and encourage new formats for brand integrations.

We would love to hear your thoughts about the Influencer Marketing industry and where you think it is heading. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on the industry and follow along to see all of the programs we are working on!

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