Is digital marketing overrated

Why influencers are overrated

are Influencer overrated? A recently published study on the subject of information dissemination (online) investigated this question. The value was also examined. The researchers have come to the conclusion that influencers are not the "non-plus-ultra" of information dissemination.

The result of the study is a heavy damper on the current trend in influencer marketing. This new professional group is currently receiving high praise. This new species is celebrated as the ultimate digital port of call. Companies that want to disseminate information about new products should therefore use influencers in any case. Important criteria for selection are: Awareness of the influencer, measured by the size and interaction of its community (number of followers, likes, interaction rate). It is undisputed that the new social media cracks with a certain level of awareness (= reach) can also be paid dearly. High prices are accepted on the market because this communication channel enables the efficient dissemination of information. Now this scaffolding is being shaken! He asked himself if Influencer overrated are?

A study was carried out at Stanford University in the USA by Mohammad Akbarpur, Suraj Malladi and Armin Saberi. The starting point for your study was the comparison of initial information about influencers with "random networks" (randomly selected people).

Random network vs. influencer

The main advantage of influencer marketing lies in the efficient dissemination of information. One person is connected to an entire community. Through this ā€œ1-to-nā€ connection, the information dissemination works faster and more penetrating. Wrong, this is only partially correct! This is because the study shows that information scattering across 7 randomly selected people can be as fast and penetrative as it is across 5 influencers. In addition, costs are saved because the random influencers are much cheaper than self-declared influencers.

Why randomness can be better

There are several reasons for this. On the one hand because the search for the person who sits in the center of the network requires a lot of information. Obtaining network information can already be very expensive. In addition, this approach can create redundancies that quickly lead to diminishing returns. In addition, it is unpredictable whether the content will really go viral.

According to Mohammad Akbapur, it is even possible to achieve a better result if the network is not carefully analyzed in order to identify a suitable influencer. But simply a few more people are provided with information within the network.

Because if you are now looking for people with a lot of friends, you will be choosing people who are likely to be connected to the core of the network. Thus the core of the network is addressed indirectly and possibly also smaller communities.

The fact is, however, that the effectiveness always depends on the nature of the network. How information spreads within a network depends on what is being talked about.

What speaks for real influencers

Disseminating news via an influencer can still make more sense in various cases. For example, if you know that this person is exactly targeting your audience. Especially if your target group is very small anyway. In addition, advertising using influencers is recommended if the process of disseminating the news is expensive, for example through a product that requires explanation.

The illustration shows the different approaches to information scattering (seeding). You can see that multiple random spreads give a very high probability of being hit.

Our conclusion on the study

Influencer marketing remains important. The way, however, could change. In order to operate successful influencer marketing, a great deal of effort has been required up to now. Above all, the selection of the right influencer remains a critical success factor. Even if you have already identified the right 5 influencers, there are still other essential questions (does the influencer's image, billing and fee, scope of services, detailed briefings, etc.) come up to you. This effort is now properly called into question by the results of this study.

Perhaps this study will help to push the proverbial quality bar against the drastic increase in influencers in recent years and months.

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