The Online Influence Awards 2020: influence and journalism
By Phoebe-Jane Boyd
20 Nov 2020
While the media world has steadily shifted further online over the last decade, the move to all things digital (and socially-distanced) has sped up since March. Vuelio’s Online Influence Awards have also gone digital for 2020, with tonight’s ceremony to celebrate the best in bloggers, vloggers, influential Instagram storytellers and campaigners an all-virtual affair.
Still relatively new to the media landscape when compared to journalism – England’s first printing press was set up in 1476, apparently, so vlogging has some catching up to do – 2019 research from Markets and Markets estimated the worth of the influencer industry at $5.5bn, with predictions of a growth to $22.3bn by 2024.
Content from this sector – made up of people who may be without formal training like an NCTJ, but with detailed know-how of social media and staying ahead of algorithms –is undeniably valuable. To brands who want the attention of potentially paying audiences, certainly, but also to those more directly-descended from that 15th century printing press. Loyal fanbases follow influencers they trust to columns in national press print titles and mainstream magazines, to primetime reality TV shows, music videos and more.
While journalists continue to be considered more important than influencers by PRs and marketing pros, and only 35% of influencers considering themselves more important than journalists (according to Vuelio’s UK Influencer Survey 2020), the authentic (or at least, the appearance of being authentic) influencer can reach audiences passively scrolling through a phone at home, during a break from work, while half-watching EastEnders – anywhere, and anytime.
Your mileage may vary on whether this is all part of the natural evolution in the sharing of content or a bit of a worry for ‘traditional’ media, but it is clear influencer marketing is here to stay and will continue to find new and innovative ways to work with its traditional counterparts.