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The following is a transcript from our CEO's video on LinkedIN on the future of influencer marketing. We felt it was especially interesting so decide to reproduce it for you all to read here:
In my opinion, there is going to be three ways in which influencer marketing will fundamentally change in 2019. This phenomenon, which has been going on for the last four or five years, is about to undergo a massive, massive shift.
And the first thing that is going to change is that influencers are going to be seen simply as distributors of content. Now, let me kind of unpack that a bit. So for a very long time, when you thought about influencers, you thought about people like Zoella, and other big influencers. And fundamentally, they started being treated like the identical of digital celebrities with the internet version of Cheryl Cole, for example. And as a consequence of that, a lot of the people who manage these influencers could essentially charge a premium primarily because they could talk about the kind of brand and authenticity and all that kind of soft metrics, which they can then charge a premium on. So rather than perhaps paying Zoella or something, based off her views you are paying the views, but you are also paying the added premium because of the kind of cultural cache that she had. I think that, as so many influencers are now on the market, the power of this cache that these special celebrities have is going to come down, and people are fundamentally going to be paid in the exact same way that you might treat any media by, based on things like cost per view metrics, and cost per impression metrics, so actual metrics which you can then put on a media plan next to all your other spends on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. And as a consequence of that, a lot of influencer talent agencies, a lot of people who actually manage influencers, I think, are going to basically get their business destroyed because that extra premium now is wiped away and it's now primarily focused on the actual audience that the influencers have, and that's how people are going to buy influencer campaigns. So that's number one.
I think there is going to be an alignment and a convergence between the influencer business models and then the brand business models. For a long time, there's always been this tension, and the tension has been that influencers want to be paid a set fee; they want to be paid a fixed fee, primarily because they have some idea of how much they're actually worth. Brands, however, want to pay for the actual result. So in an ideal world, they might want to pay for the cost per clicks or the cost per install or the cost per signup or something like that. So you have this tension here between the both of them. I think because there's now an abundance of influencers whether they're big influencers, micro, nano whatever the hell you call them these days, and I think because of that, competition is going to mean that influencers are going to start performing via brand metrics. So rather than these fixed fee style deals, they're primarily going to be paid on cost per view or cost per install or something like that. For example, with Fanbytes, the way we price our campaigns has been on a cost per completed view, and that has been a really good thing, because influencers know they have to perform because they're paid on a cost per complete view, and brands as well know that they're only paying for the stuff which people actually engage with. And so, when you have that convergence here, you can now actually treat that as a scalable, reliable marketing channel, rather than this constant tension between, "I want to be paid a fixed fee," and, "I want to be paid on the results as well." So that there is a second thing that I think is going to massively change the way we do influencer marketing in 2019.
And the third thing is what I'm going to call the "Facebookification" of Influencers. That sounds like a massively long word. But what I mean by that is if you think about influencer marketing now, it is primarily based on surface metrics, so you think about things like, "This is the average impressions you get, this is the average likes, the average comments, and stuff." But suppose you are buying an ad on Facebook; you can get so and so detailed, to the extent that it's like, Jesus Christ, I can target that 35 year old mum who is interested in Liverpool. I can target people that specifically. And I think that is the way influencer marketing is going to go in 2019, because as so many people enter into the industry with just the surface level metrics which even brands can get themselves, then I think the people who win are going to the people who can be very detailed, and to understand this is the proportion of their audience, which is this, and of that proportion, these are the interests that they have. That level of sophistication is the type of thing that you get on Facebook ads, and that's the reason why I call it the "Facebookification" of Influencers. So that I think is going to be the third big thing that's going to impact influencer marketing. To recap, the first thing is that I think there is going to be a shift with influencers being treated less as content creators and more actually as distributors of content. The second thing is that I believe there's going to be an alignment between business models where influencers are going to be directly compensated via their results, and brands are also going to do it via the results. And then the third thing is this idea of the “Facebookification" of Influencers, and this video is going to serve as a reminder and so, when it all comes right, you can come back and say, "You told me so."