There's a new trend coming into the influencer marketing industry that brands and influencers need to be aware of. At Carusele, we're predicting that within the next 12 months, we're going to see new metrics released to help identify what percentage of influencer's content is sponsored versus unsponsored.
How Much Sponsored Content are Influencers Creating?
Think about how influencers today built their followings - they were creating authentic content about their lives and their interests without any monetary incentives. But as influencer marketing grew, soon 20% of their content was sponsored, 50% of their content was sponsored, and now, increasingly, we're seeing a lot of influencers who have 100% of their content sponsored. This alone has the potential to damage the entire industry. After all, the big benefit of influencer marketing is authenticity and third-party credibility. If an influencer can't be trusted because all of their content is paid, what does that do to the business?
It makes sense that marketers would soon need to know not only the percentage of content that is sponsored versus unsponsored but also have insights into the engagement rates for sponsored content verse the engagement rate for unsponsored content. That information can show brands and marketers how well these influencers are engaging their audience, and will also be a new way to flag those who are buying likes and engagements on their sponsored content.
So over the next 12 months, I expect to see more and more attention to what percentage of content is sponsored versus unsponsored, but as brands and agencies, we need to remember that we can't set up a system that encourages bad behavior. We did this as an industry with paying for likes, paying for performance, paying for follower count. The industry's just now getting away from it, let's make sure we're not setting up a system that incentivizes our influencers to have every single one of their posts sponsored. That's not good for anybody.
Here at Carusele, we'll be keeping an eye on this over the next 12 month and continue to share more information as things develop.