Under The Influencer: The Future of Influencer Marketing

Influencers have become one of the newest tactics in social media marketing. What's an influencer? Influencers are girls who sell fitness tea, former Vine stars, and basically anyone with over 50,000 Instagram followers. Influencers seem like normal people, which is their exact appeal. Marketers know that the new generations are weary of traditional ads, feeling they're untrustworthy. Influencers give a false sense of security, making you believe they're providing an honest review. In reality, most influencers will provide positive reviews in exchange for financial compensation, free products, and additional influencer opportunities. 

 Photo Source: The New Yorker

Photo Source: The New Yorker

74% of people turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions. That's a lot of people looking to girls who are famous for being famous for their next purchase. Influencer marketing is no joke, with companies seeing an 11x higher ROI than with traditional marketing strategies. There's no question that influencer marketing works, but is it legal? The FTC recently issued warnings to an array of influencers for not disclosing when they're being paid for endorsements. Turns out placing #ad at the end of a post just isn't cutting it. With FTC unrest and drama around recent celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing is about to go through some changes. 

The influencer bubble may be ready to burst. Fyre Festival (may she rest in peace) created an entire marketing plan around influencers, or "Fyre Starters" as they called them. The plan was your typical influencer marketing plan, but with a much higher price tag. Now that Fyre has culminated in a Lord of The Flies meets 90210 PR disaster, influencer marketing is being analyzed by the courts. The newest lawsuit against the festival targets the festival planners and 100 influencers for misrepresentation and fraud. Uh-oh, Bella, this could be expensive. 

If this lawsuit comes to fruition it could change the way influencers work with companies. As things currently stand influencers aren't liable for any misguided promotions, so they take these opportunities without fear of repercussions. If the lawsuit against the "Fyre Starters" finds that influencers must be held accountable for false promotions, influencers will surely become more selective of the companies they work with. There may also be more strict FTC guidelines upon the horizon. If you're going all in on an influencer marketing strategy make sure you keep your eye on the lawsuits and regulations that are soon to come. 

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