How Privacy Protection is Making Influencer Marketing Even More Powerful


Social media use may be growing, but along with it, the public is demanding more restrictions around data privacy and compliance. Marketers have to ensure that social media data is coming from reliable sources with API access to avoid legal troubles.

Aside from compliance, data that comes from sources without direct API access may be illegally obtained or inaccurate, skewing marketing insights. If you’re spending a lot of your budget on campaigns, it’s a waste with inaccurate data. These insights are vital to customer experience, targeted audiences, valuable content, and overall marketing campaign success.

This creates a challenge – how do you handle data collection and analysis ethically and responsibly, respecting the users’ privacy, while also gaining the in-depth insights you need for effective campaigns?

Lost Data and Lost Trust

In recent years, the market has been plagued with massive data breaches, unethical data collection practices, and privacy scandals that impacted brands and consumers everywhere. Even the biggest names aren’t immune, as the world saw with Yahoo! and Facebook.[1]

These breaches lead to roughly 3 billion accounts compromised, with customer names, phone numbers, and passwords leaked onto the dark web. Throughout the investigations, it became clear that leaders at these big brands were aware of breaches, but took no responsibility in protecting the data of their customers.

The Connection Between Privacy Protection and Influencer Marketing

High-profile data breaches and influencer marketing may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but they’re intricately connected.

The continued data breaches and uncertainty from huge brands – brands that customers thought they could trust – significantly eroded public trust and opinion. Consumers want to take more active roles in the companies they interact with, understanding that if a service is free, they’re the product.

The increased awareness of how companies handle data led more people to protect their data. They’re taking advantage of existing data protection and privacy laws to keep their private information private, giving marketers less information and fewer insights to go on.

These events also contributed to younger digital-native generations having less trust in traditional advertising methods, intrusive advertising methods, and salesy, disingenuous marketing tactics. These users are actively blocking ads to avoid seeing them and over 11 percent of the world’s internet-connected population run ad-blocking software.[2]

Essentially, digital outlets and marketing strategies are struggling with a huge lack of trust in the online audience, creating even more challenges with digital marketing. Social media networks are trying to bridge the gap with more transparency, better data control tools, and other features, but it could be “too little, too late.”

That’s where influencer marketing excels. All the advantages of influencer marketing, such as non-intrusive ads, transparent approaches, and improved brand trust, are all high-value advantages in an increasingly distrusting online environment.

Influencers target entire audiences that have been built and nurtured over time – the opposite of banner ads with drilled-down audiences. The user can choose who to follow, who to listen to, what content to see, and what purchasing decisions to make. If the influencer misses the mark, the user can simply unfollow them.

In addition, influencer campaigns and content are often collaborative. Influencers understand what works in content marketing, so they focus on providing value to the audience. They also know the value of their hard-earned audience, so they typically only promote products they believe in and partner with brands they trust. And when they promote these brands, some of their built-in credibility transfers to the brand itself.

How Influencer Marketing is Evolving

It’s clear that influencer marketing is here to stay, but what that may look like in the next few years is in flux. Massive influencers with millions of followers (macro-influencers) are getting less attention as brands recognize the value of smaller but highly targeted and passionate influencers.

Micro- and nano-influencers are the ones in demand. Though they have lower reach, they tend to have dedicated and passionate audiences that they have plenty of influence with, showing yet another effect of data breaches and new privacy laws.

Finally, some platforms are leveraging the power of influencers by facilitating brand and influencer partnerships. TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, the Amazon Influencer Program, and other opportunities offer platforms, tools, and databases to connect the right influencer to the right brand, creating more authentic professional relationships.

Instill Trust in Your Audience with Influencer Marketing

With data breaches on the rise, customer trust at an all-time-low, and marketers struggling to find new ways to reach customers, influencer marketing is the ideal solution to trustworthy brand partnerships and effective word-of-mouth recommendations.