Scott Galloway on Social Media Influencers

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Traditional advertising is dying. Specifically, because ad-supported media is in structural decline. The Olympics were wonderful and they had lower viewership in any Olympics of the last few decades. How do you reach young people? Influence or marketing or endorsement from people with social media clout. The number of influencer posts on Instagram doubled to one and a half million between ‘16 and ‘17 and of course, that doesn’t account for all your favorite bloggers who are happening to mention a specific brand over and over. 70% of the brand’s we track at L2 use influencer marketing from sportswear labels to beauty companies. Details are murky but estimates suggest marketers spent over a billion dollars paying influencers last year and will dish out two billion dollars in 2019. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, from micro influencers to celebrities with more than 7 million. But bigger isn’t always better. Our research reveals that influencers with fewer than a hundred thousand followers mentioned brands three times more frequently and stir up more organic engagement. Likely because they’re more grateful for the business. They have also fewer competing endorsements. So, they’re perceived as more authentic. Just as in CPG, we see growth in the long tail, we may be seeing growth in the long tail of influencers. The average celebrity influencer tracked by L2 works with 21 brands. Micro influencers work with just three. Brands including Adidas and Nike rely on thousands of smaller influencers in addition to their mega athletes.

So, who are the winners and the losers? The relationships aren’t always obvious. Toyota partners with influencer Loki, a wolfdog with 1.6 million followers, twice as many as Toyota. Loki’s Toyota posts have generated over a million interactions with each post averaging 16 times more interactions than the parent’s brands content.

Beauty brand bareMinerals is a loser for paying half a million dollars for an endorsement from top influencer Ingrid Nilsen. She’s posted just 5 times about the brand on her Instagram feed and never mentioned the bareMinerals in her YouTube video titles, meaning the brand has effectively paid about a hundred thousand dollars per post and $2.56 per interaction.

The platform winner here: clearly, Instagram. The platform is monetizing the trend and building tools that facilitate partnerships between brands and influencers. if Conde Nast was reinvented for our age, it would look something very similar to Instagram.

The loser: any platform when influencers decide they’re leaving. Kylie Jenner obliterated 1.3 billion dollars of Snap’s market capitalization with one tweet. The ultimate loser: Tastemakers. The editorial and fashion industry is no longer in control. So, I’m here to announce that I’m open to being a paid influencer, specifically I’m waiting on Chipotle although I have been banned from the Chipotle on Astor and Third, where they believe that turning wine into water may be a miracle but when I turn water into sprite it’s stealing.

People have got to know whether or not their president’s a crook. well I’m not a crook. I earned everything I’ve got. Bitch.