Article March 29, 2022

Influencers: How are they so successful, and what are the risks?

Social media has come on leaps and bounds over the last decade, and with this has come the emergence of content creators capitalising on a captivated audience. For better or for worse, nowadays, it appears that anyone with an opinion and access to the internet can become a influencer.

This new type of celebrity can take the form of Instagram travel bloggers, health and fitness YouTubers, or the latest and greatest TikTokers… doing whatever they do best.

Influencer marketing has grown to a staggering $13.8 billion industry since the start of 2021. This social media boom, particularly born from the creation of Instagram back in 2010, transformed the marketing industry by providing a platform that had unprecedented scope and accessibility for every user. Early-adopter Instagram influencers were able to build huge, loyal followings and generate significant income for themselves in the process. Instagram users have grown exponentially from 100 million in 2013 to more than a billion today. As the platform grew, the incentive to become an influencer grew with it.

It may seem an easy route to fame and fortune, but influencers constantly battle issues such as posting unlicensed images, using music without permission, and breaching advertising regulations. The need for insurance policies that are fit for purpose in this space becomes increasingly clear.

Kim Kardashian was sued by a photographer for uploading a picture taken of her and Kayne West to her Instagram without the photographer’s permission.

Made in Chelsea’s Louise Thompson has also come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority after an Instagram post promoting a skincare brand had to be removed for not transparently communicating to her fanbase that she was benefiting financially from the post.

It’s estimated that Instagram influencer earnings will exceed $16.4 billion in 2022, which is a $13 billion increase since 2017. Given the speed and dynamism of the industry, we’re likely to see influencers become more ambitious and evolve to new platform updates and their audiences’ demands. These opportunities will also bring more exposure and risks.

CFC’s updated media policy provides comprehensive cover for social media influencers, as well as influencer marketing work undertaken by businesses. We offer media liability cover which protects policyholders from defamation and libel / slander, as well as intellectual property (IP) infringement from content or images shared with the public. We can also offer comprehensive cyber for these modern online businesses. Find out more about the policy here or contact the team