Online Influencers Tell You What to Buy, Advertisers Wonder Who’s Listening

Does this sound familiar?

Go to any conference with “late breaking abstracts”? (or the “fine art of marketing”)? Or the fancy resorts sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies where the “thought leaders” deliberate about “guidelines” (primarily a rehash of what they did last year)?

The parallels aren’t easy to ignore.

“Consumers can see if someone honestly cares about a product or whether they are just trying to push it,” said Anders Ankarlid, chief executive of online stationery retailer A Good Company. “The bubble is starting to burst.”

Advertisers can’t ignore social media. Instagram alone has more than 1 billion monthly users. Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, estimates companies will spend between $4.1 billion and $8.2 billion globally in 2019 on influencers. That is up from $500 million in 2015, but still a fraction of the $624.2 billion companies will spend globally this year on advertising, according to an estimate by media buying agency Zenith.

via Online Influencers Tell You What to Buy, Advertisers Wonder Who’s Listening – WSJ