Are influencers a dying medium?

I came across this interesting opinion piece on influencers, which was inspired by the controversial wedding of influencer Melissa Koh. I found it to be quite thought provoking and relevant to what we recently discussed in class, and it’s definitely worth a read.

It’s quite a long piece, so for those of you who are time poor, here’s the TL;DR:

  • Many brands believe that the use of influencers are equivalent to word-of-mouth, and that consumers will blindly believe what is said
  • Authenticity and transparency are two factors which should be highly prized by brands and consumers alike, however, sometimes brands fail to see this
  • There are guidelines by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, in aims to increase transparency, and in turn, authenticity; However, these are not being adhered to
  • Engagement in the long-run is built on trust and transparency
  • Brands should evaluate which influencers they work with carefully

All that being said, in the end it’s up for consumers to ultimately decide – after all we have the power.

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What do you think? Is it time to say goodbye to influencers?

6 thoughts on “Are influencers a dying medium?

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. Today influencers are selected de facto certified by the force of collective intelligence… definately subject to the power of ethical/potlicial consumerism….

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  2. Hi Samantha, thank you for sharing! Interesting read!

    In my opinion, I don’t think it’s time to say goodbye to influencers. Influencers can help businesses. especially small businesses, attain significant brand awareness when used appropriately. Companies should ensure that the influencers they engage with fit their overall brand image well.

    Nonetheless, I do think it is an overrated and overused strategy haha! I guess, it takes a bit more effort for a business to truly rely on its own resources to engage its audiences.

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  3. Thank you for sharing, guys! I agree that influencers are definitely useful in helping a small and new business build on their brand awareness. However, I feel that the returns on their investments might not be worth it. As much as a brand might gain awareness through the use of influencers, consumers these days are wise, and they might not be convinced of a brand’s offering, simple because an influencer endorsed it. That being said, I think the usefulness of an influencer depends on many factors, like the industry, the product offering, and of course, whether or not the influencer fits the company image.

    Furthermore, a lot has been said recently about influencers buying followers on Instagram, hence misleading their potential clients into believing that these influencers have a wider influence than they actually do. Thus, it is important for companies to be careful when choosing influencers to work with.

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  4. Hi Samantha, thanks for sharing the article – it was a very good read.

    For me, the article does not seem to be saying that it’s time to “say goodbye to influencers”. Rather, I think the article acknowledges that influencers are a web 2.0 phenomenon that is here to stay. The issue that the author wants to highlight is that influencers MUST be trustworthy and transparent.

    It targets a very ethical consumerism problem – and I think for good reasons. With the advent of Social Networking Sites, influencers wield greater power with each passing day. They have great power over what many people eat, buy, do, think or talk about. If these influencers were unethical and corrupt, so as to engage in poor defamatory behaviour for example, the spillover effects on many social media users would be tremendous.

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  5. Thank you Samantha for the sharing! Recently, I believe many have raised the issue on the credibility of influencers and the products that they are carrying. I guess all these issue are magnified after the post by Xiaxue back in 2014 (http://xiaxue.blogspot.sg/2014/12/the-big-gushcloud-expose.html). From then on, I believe many have started to be a little skeptical about the content the influencers are posting.

    Based on the summary you have given on the article, ‘Many brands believe that the use of influencers are equivalent to word-of-mouth, and that consumers will blindly believe what is said’ –> to a certain extent this is true, I do have friends around me who have purchase something/visited a place because they saw an influencer sharing it on their blog or social media platforms. But on the other hand, I do have another group of friends who will question the products that are being advertised online. Therefore, I would say that using influencers as one of the promotional tools will still work but companies have to be wise and like what you say in the post, to have transparency.

    Honesty and Transparency will go a long way these days. That goes for both the company and also the influencers as well.

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