Influencer marketing could have hit its peak as both retailers begin to scrutinise returns and “influencer fatigue” sets in.
Following explosive growth over the past few years, which has seen the average cost of placing a sponsored post skyrocket from $134 in 2014 to a whopping $1650 today, experts believe influencer marketing could begin to decline.
According to a report by InfluencerDB, the number of likes on posts as a percentage of an influencer’s follower count have dropped over the past year.
The $8 billion industry could also become a victim of its own success, as both regulators and social media platforms seek to crack down on influencers who purchase likes and artificially inflate their engagement statistics.
“Influencers have completely eroded public trust,” head of marketing company Zyper and former reality TV star Amber Atherton said.
“Consumers are so bored of seeing another product. Brands are completely exhausted with the greyness of this industry.”
Instagram itself is also making it harder for influencers after recently deciding to hide the number of likes each post receives, making it far harder to gauge the popularity of posts.
Some believe this move is part of a strategy to encourage greater advert spend by brands by nudging them to place adverts in the ‘Stories’ feed rather than in photos, while others believe it could start to charged influencers for their own metrics.
Influencer marketing agency Clever’s founder Stephania Pomponi added: “It is a little bit concerning if only Instagram or Facebook are the gatekeepers to that information, especially given Facebook’s history with data and privacy.”
Instagram told the Financial Times that there was “no truth to the theory” it was hiding likes to encourage bigger advert spend, adding that it is exploring ways to allow influencers to share metrics with brands.