The fantastically unpredictable nature of influencer marketing has changed the nature of what PR is, and with breathtaking speed.
At the Holmes Report’s recent Innovation Summit in San Francisco that attracted key influencers and PR professionals, a salon series was held by Allison + Partners, one of the summit’s partners. At the Future of Influencer Marketing salon, much attention focused on Allison + Partners’ new major report “Unleashing Influence”, which says 2019 is a crucial year for influencer marketing. But if influencers and marketers are to reach their full potential, they will need to improve their communications abilities and establish more systematic ways and practices for demonstrating the value of their work, according to the study.
Big influence, big money
Businesses spent $6.3 billion last year and could splash out perhaps up to $10 billion in 2020 in the no-holds-barred industry of influencer campaigns. Only that clients are keen to see evidence that the big money they are willing to pony up on influencer marketing is actually being channeled in meaningful ways, preferably via influencers who can demonstratively rally the base and get followers buying products and services, and posting, sharing about brands on social media.
Until long-term trends and some normalcy emerges, influencer marketing is likely to remain marked by uncertainty. Who if anyone can or will play the gatekeeping, agenda-setting role once played by journalists remains to be seen. The influencers of today are even less regulated, and accountability guidelines have not been established. Influencers may never have the same clout the media once had in today’s world of scattered bandwidths, shorter attention spans, and multiple channels, where disruption is the norm.
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