Social Media Week: Influencer marketing no panacea to rise of ad-blockers

Campaigns with online influencers are often used by brands to reach consumers who use ad-blocking technology - but social media experts agree that this cannot be relied upon as a way to beat the blockers.

Influencer marketing is no panacea to the rise of ad-blockers (© @_seenit via Twitter)
Influencer marketing is no panacea to the rise of ad-blockers (© @_seenit via Twitter)

At a Social Media Week London fringe event hosted by agency Text100 last night, Tata's Matt Sykes and Microsoft's Devin Moore both agreed that it was important to declare when influencers had been paid to take part in campaigns - even if it was frustrating that that declaration could make the content seem less authentic to users.

Moore, who is the global social lead for Microsoft's Windows and devices group, said that when he saw #spon or #ad on a post from a brand that he followed, his reaction was "ooh, why did you have to pay them?".

As discussed in PRWeek UK's special edition on influencers, published last week, some PR professionals and marketers feel influencer marketing can combat the rising use of ad-blockers.

However, in response to a question from PRWeek both Moore and Sykes, who is a senior manager in Tata's marketing centre of excellence, admitted that anyone capable of writing a script could create ad-blocking technology that meant posts tagged with #ad, #spon or similar would not be seen by users.

"I think it will happen," Sykes said, going on to say that the cybersphere was experiencing "a quite seismic change" in the way consumers interact with content. "People are still reacting," he said, also commenting: "With the best of intentions, marketing people do tend to spam people."

Moore also told the event attendees to remain data-hungry, and not to underestimate its audience.

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