In just a few short years, influencer marketing has established itself as one of the most prominent digital marketing channels for consumer brands.
By one estimate, businesses spent more than $2bn on influencer marketing campaigns in 2018. What does 2019 hold for the channel? Here are five issues in the space that should be on marketers’ radar screens this year.
The emergence of fake sponsored content
Given the large sums of money some influencers are paid to promote brands and their products, it’s no surprise that a growing number of individuals are trying to become influencers. Put simply, becoming an influencer is the 21st century equivalent of becoming a Hollywood celebrity, especially among members of younger generations. Unfortunately, in an effort to kick start their careers, some wannabe influencers have resorted to publishing what purport to be sponsored posts on behalf of brands that they are not actually working with. In some cases, the influencers engaging in this dubious behavior are reportedly then using their fake sponsored posts to dupe brands into believing that they have a proven track record.
Fake sponsored content obviously has the potential to create headaches and risk for companies whose brands are hijacked and associated with individuals they aren’t really working with, but it could also present broader challenges for influencer marketing.