Over the years, influencer marketing has risen to become one of the most effective marketing and awareness creation forms. Of all the industries that utilize influencer marketing, the fashion and luxury industry has probably been one of the greatest benefactors. Influencers have also made most of their income from working with luxury brands.
For the most part, this has been a marriage of convenience. But the cracks are beginning to appear.
Why is this?
One word- Expensive!
Influencer marketing is often one of the most expensive means of marketing that luxury brands use, and when you consider the difficulties in gauging its success, continuing at these high rates seems unsustainable.
Social media platforms like Instagram are impossible to ignore in any influencer marketing campaign because of their unique demographic and reach. Yet, Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in their post text. This makes affiliate links a little challenging to utilize on the platform.
Most followers exposed to a brand via an influencer’s page still have to find the brand via Google. This makes it hard to trace the impact of the campaign.
Brands have to utilize promo codes and other measures to track impact, but these elements only work for leads that reach the end of the marketing funnel. A lot of data about those still in the funnel is lost in the mix.
These difficulties are responsible for the reduced enthusiasm of both influencers and luxury brands in utilizing influencer marketing; while influencers are starting personal brands, luxury brands are utilizing more data-driven marketing approaches.
It appears that the cost of influencer marketing campaigns may drop significantly, and brands will likely utilize it more as an awareness tool than as a lead-generation tool.
Influencer marketing should always have significant value to luxury brands, especially newer brands seeking to break into the industry. However, this relationship is being redefined constantly. This marriage will likely end in a divorce, but luxury brands intend to retain visitation rights.
Full-time social media influencers may have to consider other careers, sorry to say.