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Influencer or Influenza?



  • An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.
  • An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.

According to the Humanz Influencer Marketing Statistics & Benchmarks South Africa 2019 report “Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing practice and media channel worldwide, expected to become a $10bn market by next year. 80% of marketers worldwide say that they plan to grow their influencer marketing spend in 2019, currently sitting on average somewhere between 4, 3% and 7, 6% of their total digital budget.”

With consumers in the driver’s seat and social media as the roads on which they drive, traditional advertising has taken a back seat. With the new age consumers being more vocal with what they want and what makes them tick, brands have had to adjust their approach to their market. Content has become determined by what consumers want to see on their timelines and not what brands THINK consumers are interested in and there has never been a better time or way to appeal to a brands market then being relatable. Brand influencers offer the following benefits to both the brand and the audience:

  • New Audiences
  • Trust & Credibility
  • Creative Flair
  • Relevance

But how reliable, accountable and sustainable is this new trend that is taking over the digital marketing space one tweet, Instagram post and Instagram story at a time? Nearly all marketers and agencies face the same challenges when it comes to accurately reporting and tracking return on investment, lack of benchmarks and widespread fraud. Let us take a step away from the numbers, and look at the social impacts of influencer marketing fails and what it means for both the brands and influencers. There have been many epic fails between influencers and brands and as such it is always in the best interest of both parties involved to vet each other and their alignment to avoid any future fails.

The fail of the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas has called into question the legitimacy of influencer marketing for both marketers and especially consumers:

  • Can influencer posts be trusted?
  • With the rise of this type of marketing, are audiences becoming more dubious of the authenticity of sponsored posts? 
  • Is the experience the influencer is touting what a customer would get?

When it comes to influencer marketing, if there’s no trust, there’s no point, so it begs the question Influencer or Influenza?