The Rise and Fall of the Influencer: Only the Authentic Will Remain

By Bayleigh Way (Social Media Account Executive)

The term ‘influencer’ is normally associated with an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed, filled with artfully displayed products, moments in Bali’s most luxury villas and fast-fashion outfit hauls.

The original influencer was born out of a desire for relatable social content – to give us something more behind our smartphone screens. However authenticity and credibility are now, more than ever, carefully considered by brands and advertisers.

Today the power of social influence relies on its legitimacy. The only way for influencer marketing to survive is to ensure the legitimacy of partnerships, done so by protecting the industry.

Considering this perhaps it would be more credible to use influencers with a smaller following so content is targeted to more genuine, specific audiences. We are so used to seeing individuals marketing to the masses which arguably seems less imaginative and a lot more disposable.

Jamie Curry, a well-known New Zealand influencer and content creator says the influencer space has transformed from where it was 5 years ago.

“It’s such a saturated market now. I’ve noticed that influencers come and go a lot quicker than they used to; their life span isn’t that long.

“There is a real opportunity for brands to position themselves alongside authentic and honest talent,” Curry comments.

Audiences are also becoming increasingly aware of influencers who are over-exposed and used by many brands, which makes us question: “does that person truly use and like that product?”

Instagram influencer Simone Anderson’s recently had fans push back on her promotion for Postie Plus after she copped backlash over an ‘inapproprate’ social media post in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

Anderson’s social faux pas shone a spotlight on influencers and their challenges.  Consumers are now more than ever at the ready to speak up when their “idols” mess up in their eyes.

People are demanding authentic social media content, bringing about a shift towards real people supporting real brands.

Gone are the days of macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. Watch this space for micro-talent supporting smaller companies – this is where authenticity lies.

Rather than getting influencers to hold up a product or create a pretty flat lay, we’re now integrating them into our campaign ideas.

We’re welcoming the change with open arms.

FCB Social are a dedicated, award-winning social specialists team, delivering socially-led content across campaigns and bringing clients’ “brand personalities” to life with effective, two-way community engagement.

Date: July 15, 2019