21 Feb 2018
There’s no escaping the news of social media changing and how it will affect the future. And no one is more conscious of this than influencers.
From Canada to Mark Zuckerberg’s mind we have a look at what the future could hold for the influencer in 2018.
Facebook Switches Up Newsfeeds
Mark Zuckerberg is concerned with us connecting more to family and friends than to businesses and media. We can’t blame him, and although companies will see a hit, influencers could benefit from it.
The content they produce is more in line with the family and friend approved posts, meaning we’ll still see public figures pop up on our newsfeeds.
As brands become aware of this it’ll make sense to focus on sponsored content. This means a boom in influencers providing coverage of new products rather than companies themselves. There’s even evidence that people believe these kinds of posts more authentic.
The bad news is that Facebook could start to regulate influencers. With a few already encouraged to change their pages from public figures to businesses we could see a push to have them hidden alongside brands. Infleuncer content could eventually file under the same category as other ads even if they beat the new Facebook system for now.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an app that allows us to taste sweets through the phone, but it could still create waves.
Toronto-based tech company Dubdub have released an app that allows influencers to create and directly monetize video content.
Brands are used to paying for influencer content, but often struggle to attribute direct sales to it. Dubcandy is a chance to change this.
As well as filming and editing in-app, Dubcandy users can let viewers buy directly from their videos. Through this, influencers will have proof of their success with brand partnerships.
This could be game-changing for other reasons as well. Influencers could make money without relying on companies to approach them first. People who use the app can list up to five products in their video for people to click and buy. This lets people earn revenue without needing a partnership from a brand. With Amazon being one of many in the catalogue of sites, there’s a huge range of things we could be buying directly from video.
If influencers monetize without waiting for instruction from brands, companies might need to regulate who’s connected with them more than ever before. People can affiliate themselves with products without permission from the brands first.
All in all, it will be interesting to see how Dubcandy use plays out.
It all seems pretty positive for influencers in 2018 so far, but there is still some bad news.
We’ve mentioned the FTC’s crack down on sponsored content before and as long as influencers follow the terms correctly they’ll be safe. The problem here arises in the views of their loyal followers.
Whether it’s paid for, in partnership or even a free gift, all followers will know is if it is #sponsored or an #ad. In various surveys online there has been confusion over what people believe sponsored even means. There is a difference between receiving a free gift and choosing to share it, and having a paid-for opinion.
I’ve been testing out the @thebodyshop Amazonian Saviour Multi-Purpose Balm & it’s fab! You can use it for your cuticles, your lips and on dry elbows, but it’s also great for reviving & moisturising tattoos! It’s got no nasties in it and £1.30 from every sale goes towards bio-bridges to help protect endangered species #tattoocare #ad 📷 by @theannaedit
If people are confused this leads to suspicion.
Although these statistics seem damning, influencers do still produce content that the consumer feels has a personal connection to them. Influencers are people first and they market content second.
Or who knows, will we have companies creating robot influencers in the future? That’s probably a topic for another time.
Influencers have always created sponsored content and usually had success from it, so the evidence suggests they’ll continue to do so.
The Adblock Solution
There’s been a lot of talk about the damaging effect of ad blockers, especially with 50,000 to 100,000 downloads of Ad Blocker Plus a day.
This is another place influencers can beat the usual ad techniques.
These blockers won’t touch the content they produce. As mentioned before, they have authentic content as well as reaching a wide, dedicated audience. This means influencers can be a solution for brands struggling against ad blocking.
It seems as if 2018 could be a move in the right direction for influencers as they see continued success. Brands should continue to utilise the hold influencers have over certain audiences.