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THE NE W BEGINNINGS EDITION

wants to be a social media influencer. Bloomberg news nailed it: one-third of British children aged 6-17 expressed their wish to become YouTubers in a recent survey, which was three times more than those who wanted to become a doctor or a nurse. Malta isn’t exempt from an influx of influencers either. Tamara Webb, a motivational lifestyle guru who documents her daily updates, from life and love advice to enduring personal health issues, has got some 30,000 followers. Blogger and TV presenter Grazielle Camilleri is another local Instagram success story, sharing everything from travel images and outfit photos to red carpet snaps with her 78,000 followers. However, do you feel that social influencers are a good fit for your business? Richard Muscat Azzopardi, CEO of leading digital marketing agency Switch Digital says: “We work with influencers for brands regularly. Brands tend to use them because they offer the opportunity of endorsement and exposure in one message. When you're paying an influencer to promote your brand, you're getting to their followers in a way that is natural to the influencer and with their explicit endorsement. It is a riskier route to take than regular advertising since you have the potential of bad publicity if an influencer goes rogue or if they do something that does not match your brand values, even when they're not talking about you. Therefore, we always advise our clients to be very careful with their choice of influencers. Having said that, we’re entirely behind the use of influencers as an agency, because, when used well it's an extremely cost-effective way of marketing for brands, informative for audiences and rewards influencers for their hard work. “But I can understand why some may express some concern. Influencer marketing

INSIGHT

has the potential of being exploitative and dishonest. However, it all depends on the influencer and the brand that's working with them. Regulation, and making sure that ads are marked as such, are not good protection from dishonest influencer advertising. Just like regulation does not stop dishonest advertising in any other medium. There are dangers, as with anything else, and it would benefit people if they could take more time to be aware of the content they come across in general and the agenda behind those who posted the content. Sensationalist coverage of the danger of influencers is naive and only helps to drive attention towards an issue that's a current symptom of a much larger problem.” →

INFLUENCER MARKETING HAS THE POTENTIAL OF BEING EXPLOITATIVE AND DISHONEST... HOWEVER, IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE INFLUENCER AND THE BRAND THAT’S WORKING WITH THEM

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Profile for Be Communications

MONEY MAY 2019 ISSUE 54