December,14th 2017

How the Influencer Marketing “Bubble” Won’t Burst

By Brett Garfinkel, CEO and Co-Founder at SYLO

When winning and executing any type of campaign, a key thought process for media sales teams is that they need to maintain this business to help deliver on or above their set quota. To achieve this, they need to show campaign success so that the brand marketer looks good. When the brand marketer looks good, this increases the media vendor’s chance of gaining repeat business and overachieving on quota.

For media types, such as TV, digital advertising, or website advertising, there are third-party independent measurement solutions to verify and validate this success. The way we know which are the best performing TV shows during Tuesday primetime is because there is standardized reporting – the Nielsen rating.

In the influencer marketing space, there was such no third-party out there where they could see the success. Up until now, reporting is often just creating the story to keep brand marketers satisfied and keep the business coming.

My team has been told this over and over again in meetings with brand marketers. They’re left with the apparent reality that every campaign is a success. We ask, “When was the last time you received a report that showed that your influencer marketing campaign performed poorly?” Answer: *crickets*, and then *chuckles* as they realize the reality of the situation.

It is for that reason that independent, third-party standardized measurement is necessary for the influencer marketing space.

The Current State of the “Bubble”

Several articles have described influencer marketing as a bubble that’s going to burst. Yes, it will burstas long as brand marketers and CMOs are unsure of the value or metrics being reported.

Then, there are a number of vendors who present themselves as all-in-one solutions with matching, execution, and reporting components for influencer marketing campaigns. Can you see how this might introduce conflicting factors when it comes to real, accurate measurement? They have a horse in the race, but are still providing reports.

Perhaps your influencer marketing tech stack includes an influencer identification/matching tool and/or a platform that manages and executes the campaigns. Regardless, you will need a third-party measurement platform to validate the results and truly justify the spend.

The Most Valuable Word in the Influencer Marketing Space

What we need to prevent the influencer marketing bubble from bursting is: Participation! That should be the most valuable word in the influencer marketing space. MCNs, vendors, talent managers, creators, agencies, PR firms, and brands all need to get behind a solution, that is third-party standardized measurement. You need a village to make this a reality, with all of the key players in the influencer marketing universe coming together for the betterment of the space.

There are countless articles quoting top marketers from the likes of P&G, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., and Unilever, demanding for transparency and accountability in the advertising space. This needs to be demanded for every type of advertising. So, if you believe this, then participateno one entity can make this a reality. For brands and their agencies, standardized measurement will legitimize their reporting and provide confidence in what is succeeding and what is not so that they can tailor and improve their strategies; when you receive conflicting numbers and reports from various sources, there is no moving forward and the “bubble” will burst. And for the talent side, it will bring more budget into the space as there will be actual measured performance, as well as an increased confidence in the brand partnerships, content strategies, and creators themselves.

What is It Worth?

As you increase your influencer marketing spend, and see yourself working with more creators across more platforms, shouldn’t you expect a better understanding of your results via third-party standardized measurement? If the answer is yes, then how much is it worth to you? Not in terms of just budget, but in efficiency and the ability to positively affect your business goals. What is it worth to you to be able to have third-party standardized measurement and content benchmarks that will save you so much time, effort, and money on underperforming campaigns and influencers?

I’d love to hear your answers to the above questions, as well as hear your thoughts and position on what was discussed in this blog post. Please contact me at to continue this conversation, and you can also visit to learn more about standardized measurement for the influencer marketing space.


Image source: Pixabay


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