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Influencer Marketing is Upending the Traditional Advertising Model

What do you think 200mm paid digital media impression, designed to promote a major brand, might cost on on the open market? $500k, $1mm, $2mm ... maybe even more? It’s not unreasonable to assume so, as the cost of digital media continues to rise and brands are willing to pay a premium to reach target audiences. And more so, in an efficient and digestible manner for the consumer (a.k.a. native content).

You may be asking why are we even talking about this, but there’s a movement in influencer marketing that is upending the traditional advertising model. Influencers … real people who have affinities for real brands … are increasingly disrupting advertising models and have brands scrambling to catch on to the latest "way in" to reach new customers. Their sway among consumers, either broadcasting or narrowcasting messaging to their loyal following, at little or no cost to the brand, is augmenting the pay-for-play model that has existed for ages on Madison Avenue.

Why? Because there is an affinity that exists among influencers and the brands they represent, which outweighs any monetary value that a brand could pay for. Recently, Bloglovin published a report that broke down the monetary cost of micro-influencer marketing to help brands market their efforts. According to the report, micro-influencers can command a market value of $10-$30 eCPM for talking about the brands they care about to their online loyalists.

From March 20-23, 2017, I participated as an unpaid influencer for Adobe during Adobe Summit 2017. Me and roughly a dozen other digital and social media experts were inspired to share game-changing tech to our close-network of social media followers. We received exclusive access to content, products and technological revolutions that inspired our imaginations and propelled us to talk about #AdobeSummit in a transformational way. Even more so, we were willing to storytell the amazing digital revolution that Adobe is building in Business Experience, and at no cost to the brand, itself.

To put this into REAL CONTEXT, let’s postulate "paid advertising" #AdobeSummit cost an eCPM of $20 (the mean of $10-$30 in influencer eCPM costs noted above). That would equate to $4.6mm in hard advertising costs. To put this into context, the top-nine influencers, including me, generated 227.35mm impressions at #AdobeSummit at no cost to Adobe.

Impressions were substantiated by Metricool, the ultimate tool to analyze, manage and measure the success of all your digital content.

Influencer rankings were substantiated by Zoomph, a social and digital influencer and analytics company dedicated to collecting, classifying and activating information instantaneously to amplify digital marketing understanding.

So what does this mean to brand and marketers? A brand could pay $4.6mm to advertise their innovations, products, events and more … or they could invest time in developing relationships with real people that are vested in being spokespeople for that brand. In today’s marketplace, influencer marketing isn’t a nice-to-have; rather is a must-to-have or brands simply won’t be able to support the hard and soft costs of amplifying their innovations.

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