Influencer Marketing in Desperate Need of Verification and Transparency
Influencer marketing is an industry open to everyone. Much like the Wild West of yore, it’s full of opportunity lurking around every corner – barriers to entry are minimal and pretty much anybody can start creating content with the goal of partnering with a brand somewhere down the line.
Does this mean that the industry is all sunshine and roses?
Of course not.
Influencer Marketing Threatened by the Lack of Standardized Measurement
Where there’s ample opportunity, there’s ample danger. Now that there’s plenty of land to stake a claim on, there should also be at least a semblance of order. Digital marketing is under major scrutiny these days. CEOs of major international corporations (P&G, Unilever, Bank of America) are threatening to pull their marketing dollars if companies and platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and, to an extent, Google) don’t solve their reporting and measurement problems.
In effect, marketers are tired of spending their budget dollars without the safety net that is independent third-party verification and measurement, which builds trust and establishes credibility. This carries over into Influencer marketing, which has massive potential but is sorely lacking when it comes to verification and measurement.
How much longer will marketers spend money on a marketing strategy that’s difficult to compare with other media buys; a strategy that defies benchmarking and that is in dire need of a tool which will act as a single source of truth?
In my opinion, if the influencer industry doesn’t wise up soon and start providing marketers with quality intelligence (and not just data), CMOs will pull the plug on influencer marketing media and, instead, focus resources and budgets on what is actually proving ROI. A promising industry (that’s providing value to marketers, creators, and publishers) will then be left on the fringe, without ever realizing its full potential.
What Can Be Gained from Standardized Measurement?
Marketers need standardized measurement to track and justify their investments. Also, platforms would welcome standardized measurement, especially if that is the only way they can keep taking their slice of the pie.
As for the creator community, there are two core benefits here that need to be considered.
The first is money. Marketing budgets might be tight (at least judging from the P&Gs reaction) but the purse strings are easily unleashed for strategies that truly work. However, marketers have issues with paying for dubious results or strategies they can’t measure and benchmark. Until they can do that, influencer marketing will stay in the realm of experimental, and so will the budgets allocated to it.
The second benefit is innovation. Standardized measurement gives marketers the opportunity to work on scale – it allows them to easily run campaigns on different platforms while gathering valuable insight. With more money, creators can afford to be more innovative with their content, seeking out formats that work across different channels. Since they can now see what’s effective, finding content solutions that perform well on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube becomes that much easier. As a consequence, creators will become more daring and will push the envelope when it comes to the content they create.
It’s Time to Take Influencer Marketing to the Next Level
It’s been years since influencer marketing started making a difference on the digital scene (at least in the format we’re familiar with now – first YouTube, and now Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms). We have a growing number of creators and brands willing to work with them, agencies connecting them to each other, and startups offering all kinds of services to both sides. It’s definitely high time to solve the pressing issue of standardized measurement in influencer marketing so that the industry can continue to develop. SYLO’s innovative approach to this problem adds order to this “Wild West” and enables the influencer marketing community to move the industry forward – learn more at meetsylo.com!
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