The world of influencer marketing is becoming a downright scary place. A few years ago it was based on free products, fun reviews, and a grassroots mentality for companies using the influencers. Today, the murky waters of social media are muddied by blackmail, threats, and fraud. Kinda, sounds like a new HBO show.

Currently a multi-billion dollar industry, influencer marketing is a neologism used to describe whenever a popular online figure is paid to promote a product or service within their social media feed. Spend any time on Instagram or YouTube, and chances are you’ll encounter these stylish, photogenic influencers who hawk clothes, makeup, and nutritional supplements, often with a #sponsored hashtag placed somewhere prominently within the post’s description.

The industry has grown rapidly in recent years and is projected to generate as much as $10 billion by 2020. As more and more brands have waded into the market, demand for influencers has gone up.

Simon Owens, Writer at New York Magazine

The astronomical growth of the industry has caused an unchecked leap in pricing as well.

In 2016 an endorsement from a top-level influencer would generally cost about $5,000 to $10,000. Now, brands are expected to pay well over $100,000 for the same placement.

Paris Martineau, Writer at Wired

They should take a lesson from Ice Cub, and check themselves before they wreck themselves because bad business is bad for your health.

Simon Owens unravels the web of social media influencers at the New York Magazine.


Ryan is the content guy at Rareview and thankfully, not related to the Pearsons. Bringing over a decade of writing to the table, as well as a hefty pour of bourbon, his delusions of grandeur keep him writing and drinking.

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