From newsstand to newsfeed: why brands are choosing influencers over magazines

By January 10, 2019YouTube

No one seems able to make up their mind about the future of print. One minute it is declared dead, the next Facebook and Airbnb are launching their own print publications (just don’t call them ‘magazines’).

But while the print scene is riddled with uncertainty, influencer marketing is enjoying an increasing sense of confidence. Influencers are gaining in popularity and reputation and starting to steal slices of the magazine’s share of the pie.

So, asks Mediatel, are today’s influencers tomorrow’s magazine publishers?

There’s clearly an overlap. The type of content produced for print magazines is not a million miles away from that created by influencers. When looking for inspiration, consumers now have the option of either leafing through a print magazine or scrolling through their newsfeeds.

The stats don’t lie

The figures tell a similar story. According to AA/Warc Adspend data for Q1, magazine spend was down 11% between 2016 and 2017, was expected to fall a further 8.2% last year, and down another 5.8% this year.

Predictions from eMarketer suggest that UK spend on social network advertising was £3.3 billion in 2018, up 24% from the previous year. Meanwhile, hot on its heels, the influencer economy was estimated to be worth £1.6 billion last year.

Similarities in content

The most obvious connection between influencer marketing and magazines is the content published. Both veer towards content that is visual and aimed towards a specific audience.

Another similarity is the tendency to cater for more niche – sometimes verging on the bizarre – interests. From magazines about cranes or croquet to Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner’s social feeds, who’s to say which makes for a better read?

Influencers are stealing a march

There are a number of reasons why influencer marketing has an advantage over magazines. For one, it’s cheaper to get out there; quality does not need to be sacrificed in the process. It’s also more accessible, with content tailored to the individual as users take control of what they view.

There is also much less confusion about elements that have troubled the influencer marketing space previously.

For example, consumers are now understanding that when influencers post ads they should not be viewed as deliberately misleading. After all, no one feels surprised or deceived to see adverts appearing between content on the pages of a magazine. We are now moving towards a place where the same can be said for influencers. Sponsored posts are the price readers pay to access high-quality content.

Another reason marketers are turning to influencers is the measurement capabilities on offer. Whether it’s the comments, likes, click-throughs or views, there are clear indicators as to how well a specific ad is performing and to gauge consumer response to the product or service.

At Spot Digital, we work with more than 6,000 influencers across the UK, USA and Asia. Find out how we can help you boost your content distribution and drive more organic views for your brand.

Get in touch with the team today.