Influencer Marketing Builds Confidence in the Era of Fake News
“News outlets around the world are reporting on the news that Pope Francis has made the unprecedented decision to endorse a US presidential candidate. His statement in support of Donald Trump was released from the Vatican this evening. . .”
Really? Who’s buying this stuff?
Shockingly enough, a lot of people are.
By the time the 2016 campaign cycle had reached its shocking conclusion, fake news articles had amassed more likes, comments, and shares than legitimate news stories.
False stories are propagated all around the web under the pretense that it is factual and accurate; and to the average content consumer, it is often difficult to tell the difference.
Even, or should I say especially, mainstream media is largely distrusted in the United States today. As it currently stands, the public’s trust in major news organizations is at a historic low; only about 6% of citizens have “a great deal of confidence in the press,” while 41% state that they have “hardly any confidence,” at all.
Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute. The reporters that our nation entrusts to bring us accurate journalism are not regarded as reliable sources. Even prominent publications such as Forbes are announcing the death of journalism.
As the world enters into this new “post-truth” era where any number of absurd statements can be published and passed off as news, where can citizens and consumers turn for reliable, accurate, and trustworthy information?
Influencers. Yes, that’s happening.
The Influencer Impact
As mainstream media and major publications continue to unintentionally reveal their bias and push away the general public with what largely feels like political propaganda, more and more individuals are turning to digital media to tap sources that are more authentic, candid, and credible; this is how YouTube’s The Young Turks claim to have become “…the world’s largest online news show,” based on their number of view videos and more than 3 million-member subscriber base.
Influencers like the TYT network, Casey Neistat (who recently joined the CNN umbrella), and other internet influencers resonate so deeply with their sizable audiences because they bring to the table something that seems to be a scarcity in today’s world; honesty and authenticity. And this is how brands and consumers can rekindle relationships based on credence.
Influencers have worked long and hard to build confidence in their audiences, and have successfully done so through their genuine nature. As it currently stands, influencer recommendations are 92% more trusted than similar endorsements from celebrities.
What’s more powerful and telling, however, is that Twitter recently released a study which shows that influencers are nearly as trustworthy to consumers as their real life friends are.
If that doesn’t transform you into a believer of the credibility and power that influencers hold. . .
So how exactly does all of this stop fake news from proliferating throughout the web?
The Influencer Investment
Like many websites in existence today (including Google), a large portion of fake news sites’ revenue comes from advertising real estate. And many reputable brands have unwittingly fed these spurious sites through programmatic ad buys. This type of advertising automation has allowed these organizations and publications to spread their nonsense as news and effectively confuse the public.
Brands must eliminate this type of unmonitored behavior and instead partner with knowledgeable influencer marketing agencies or leverage popular influencer marketing platforms to recruit trusted social authorities to help spread their message, effectively starving disingenuous reporting portals from their means of survival.
As long as brands continue to nourish these websites with ad dollars, fake news will continue to be a digital problem that has real world consequences; we have already seen this in a variety of instances and it will happen again.
In order for brands to capture the trust-seeking public’s attention and build a more meaningful and prosperous organization for tomorrow, they must invest in trustworthy avenues; today, that is social media influencers.
If your business continues to operate in the same way that has allowed these issues to become so widespread, consumers will see you as part of the problem. Which route will you choose?