Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat stars have replaced celebrities as the new normal for marketers and retailers. Generation Z in particular craves authenticity, and social media stars provide them with just that.
A recent study revealed that teens trust these social media stars – or “influencers” – as much as they trust their own friends, Adweek reported.
It’s no secret that these “influencers” can get paid tons of money for product placements.
Women’s Wear Daily highlighted how fashion bloggers can make millions of dollars – between $1 million and $3 million annually.
But a new anonymous interview in Digiday with a social media marketing executive reveals that influencers might be paid too much – and that “there is a decrease in quality of work and too many influencers.”
“We threw too much money at them and did it too quickly,” the anonymous executive said.
Some of these influencers’ ascents to fame have been pretty arbitrary, too.
“At this major car brand I worked for, we paid $300,000 for a few photographs because the CEO’s kid liked someone,” the executive said.
The executive believes that the allure of social media stars will soon wane.
“Influencers are going to start disappearing,” he said. “Brands are going to start realizing the amount of followers you have doesn’t mean s—. Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing. You can’t rely on content creators all day long.”
In other words, we may be on the brink of the end of an era.