Influencer marketing going strong and might be in for an upswing
18 January 2018
During 2016 the Swedish influencer market had a turnover of 500 MSEK, according to IRM. This corresponds to a growth by 40%, double that of overall digital advertising revenues at around 20% growth for 2016. No figures have yet been released for 2017, but the market is likely to have grown further. And 2018 has already delivered one major industry event. German media giant Bertelsmann finally made an entry on the Nordic market by acquiring Swedish YouTube and influencer network United Screens for 120 million SEK. Looking forward, another major event is the upcoming winter Olympics, in which Discovery Networks has focused on integrating influencers in their coverage of the games. During the Olympics, influencers will be seen in both traditional outlets as well as in Snapchat, after Discovery struck a deal with the social media company in October of last year.
Furthermore, there are other signs that indicate an upswing for influencer marketing. Last week Facebook announced an update to its news feed algorithm, saying that it would now prioritize posts made by friends and family higher than those from brands and companies. Mark Zuckerberg explained that the feedback they have gotten from the community indicates that posts from media, brands and companies take up too much space in the news feed at the expense of moments that connect users to each other. He also added that he expects people to spend less time in total on the Facebook platform as a result, but that the time spent will be perceived as more valuable. Advertisements are not directly affected, but less time spent on Facebook means less exposure to ads. If companies who rely heavily on Facebook for advertising start to receive less traffic as a cause of this change, they might have to look elsewhere. Some have already expressed their concerns on the matter. This could provide an opportunity for influencers as their posts will not be affected negatively by the update.
Lastly, YouTube had several run-ins with advertisers during 2017 in regard to ads being displayed in inappropriate contexts. This caused several companies to pull their ads off YouTube. The company has since taken steps toward being perceived as brand-safe. Recently YouTube announced that it is raising the bar for channels to be able to monetize their videos, thus kicking out thousands of smaller content creators from its advertising program in the process – meaning more leverage for already established influencers.
All in all, things are continuing to look up for the influencer community and 2018 is set to set a new record year for the market.