Why it matters

The influencer marketing industry is losing its authenticity, and brands need to engage with content creators differently to build enduring relationships.


  • Customer-generated content (UGC) can be even more useful than paid partnerships.
  • Popularity can be fickle, and brands shouldn’t fixate on ‘going viral’ or one-off success. Short-term popularity on social media doesn’t always translate to sales.
  • More personal relationships with content creators build loyalty and create more long-term payoffs.

Influencer marketing is a successful strategy for many brands, but as consumers wise up the the ‘influence industry’, is the sense of authenticity which attracted so many marketers evaporating?

According to Lauren Spearman, Head of Brand Advocacy at British furniture company MADE.com, it’s time to move away from the transactional ideas of ‘pay-to-play’ influencer marketing, and toward building longer-term brand advocates.