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The Wild, Wild West That Is Instagram Influencer Marketing
The explosive growth of Instagram and influencer marketing has created a perfect confluence of brand dollars and aspiring would-be influencers. The Instagram influencer market alone was forecast to be over $1B in 2017. Instagram just announced over 1B users and a staggering user growth rate of over 200M users in less than one year.
With millions of dollars up for grabs, the market has drawn in a plethora of people aspiring to build their following and get paid for posting to their Instagram feed. Brands pay top Instagram influencers tens of thousands of dollars for a single sponsored post. Top social media stars also regularly travel to top global destinations at no charge in exchange for coverage of hotels and resorts on their Instagram. The Atlantic recently reported that top hotels and resorts can receive up to 20 inquiries per day from influencers looking for free stays in return for social media features.
All the potential perks and income from being an influencer draw in hundreds of thousands of people who yearn to be one. Becoming an influencer is a time-intensive process and costly as well. The NY Post shared the story of a woman who went over $10,000 in debt while trying to become an Instagram influencer. That effort and cost only resulted in her gaining 12K followers. Fashionista reported that it would cost up to $31,400 per year to keep pace with the fashion and beauty standards to be a female lifestyle Instagram influencer.