The Rise Of Influencer Marketing Amid The Crumbling Cookie World

Nidhi Agarwal
Content Writer
December 29, 2022
3
min read

Influencer marketing is the route to thrive in the upcoming cookiepocolypse – ban of third-party cookies by Google.

Since Google's announcement to phase out third-party cookies by 2024 end, marketers have been trying to figure out ways to survive in the post-cookie world and reach their target audience. One of the approaches being influencer marketing. Experts suggest that influencer marketing will help marketers stay afloat after the cookie ban, the same way creators are helping brands in times of recession.  

Evan Morgenstein, the CEO of CelebExperts, a celebrity booking and consulting agency, says, "We're in the greatest economic boom for influencers the world has ever seen. Whether they have 10,000 or 10 million followers, they're making money from it. Influencers are hot because businesses have no idea how to talk to consumers anymore." 

Influencer marketing in a cookieless world will prove to be the most effective strategy for marketers to push potential customers down the sales funnel. Since audiences rely on influencers for product recommendations, influencers are the best way to reach the target audience – something which won't be possible any other way in the post-cookie world. Marketers will get access to first-party data, run contextual advertising campaigns, and build authentic relations with the audience, all through influencer marketing.

Let's explore in detail why Google is eliminating cookies, how it will impact marketers, and how influencer marketing will save brands from the cookiepocolypse. 

Table Of Content:

  1. Google's goodbye to third-party cookies
  2. Face of marketing in a cookieless world
  3. How influencers will help drive successful cookieless marketing

Google’s goodbye to third-party cookies 


Following in the footsteps of Mozilla Firefox, a recognized search browser that blocked third-party cookies in 2013, Google has decided to support consumer privacy and stop supporting trackers (third-party cookies) on Chrome. 

Google wants marketers to refine their strategies and focus on first-party data instead of using third-party cookies that invade users' privacy by tracking data without consent.  

Apple, too, took the step to maintain the user's privacy in 2020 by blocking third-party cookies that follow users across the internet. The tech behemoth's browser, Safari, blocks or later deletes the third-party cookies to ensure complete consumer privacy. 

With all the prime browsers ending cookie support, marketers can expect a worldwide cookie blackout in the coming years. 

Face of marketing in a cookieless world 


Marketers have relied on third-party cookies for more than 20 years to place targeted ads in front of their audience. The cookies store information about the user's device, interests, activity on the internet, and so on, which is sold to advertisers by ad tech companies. The advertisers use third-party data for retargeting their customers and luring them back to their website through targeted ads. 

The ban on third-party cookies will, however, limit marketers' access to customer data, like topics they search, websites they visit, ads they see, and more. The absence of such data will cause 90% of ad impressions to go unidentified, as the marketers won't have access to third-party cookies for recognizing or tracking the viewer's information. 

In addition, with no third-party data available, marketers won't be able to target their campaigns to pop up in front of their ideal audiences.

The loss of third-party cookies may sound all doomsday to marketers, but there's undoubtedly a silver lining to cookieless marketing. The third-party cookie ban is an opportunity for marketers rather than a setback as they’ll have to build forces to acquire first-party and zero-party data, which is way better and more valuable than third-party insights. 

The first-party data is derived from first-party cookies, which the consumers consent to when they first visit the website. These small data files don't follow the consumers on the internet and only store necessary information like website visits, language settings, geo-location, on-site shopping journey, and other insights that may help marketers provide a better user experience. 

The zero-party data is the information willingly shared by the consumer with the website owner. These accurate and valuable insights help marketers better understand customers and target them accordingly. 

This is where influencer marketing comes into play. As noted before, influencers will help brands emerge stronger in the post-cookie world. Influencers are perfect for carrying out effective cookieless marketing in every way. From accessing real follower data to using that data for connecting with the audiences, influencers are already equipped for facing the post-cookie world. 

How influencers will help drive successful cookieless marketing


1. Influencers have a gold mine of rich first and zero-party data 


Influencers have tens and thousands of followers who have shared their information on social media pages. They can access the first-party data from the follower profiles and churn out information like the follower's profession, interests, geo-location, birthday, etc. 

In addition, followers trust influencers and key opinion leaders in the space and willingly share personal information with them through polls, comments, and DMs, which can be placed under zero-party data. 

In preparation for the cookieless future, influencers can share follower data with marketers, which can be used to place targeted ads without third-party cookies. 

Nisarg Shah, Co-Founder and CEO at affable.ai, mentions this in the Influencer Marketing Hub Connect event held on December 6, 2022. “Brands and marketers are now realizing that the first-party data that the influencers have about their audiences is something that they can bank on for better targeting, better reach, and have more control in terms of who sees the brand’s content.”

Plus, influencers have a real connection with their audience, so they have access to first-party data and know how to communicate with the audience. Since influencers connect daily with their followers, they know what type of content the audience enjoys. 

So brands partnering with influencers for cookieless marketing will be able to better convey their brand message to the right audience with personalized content. 

2. Influencers are immune to cookie tracking 


Influencers have been immune to cookie tracking since the beginning because to know the amount of conversion driven by a creator, there's no need to install cookies and track the customers through the buying journey. 

“At affable.ai we’re seeing more interest in influencers as cookie tracking becomes a thing of the past because influencer marketing is immune to the cookie world, given that not a lot of influencers’ post purchase attribution is done through specific cookie tags on the website,” says Shah. 

Marketers can track with the help of discount codes or affiliate links shared with the influencers to measure performance in terms of sales driven by them. 

When shared with customers through influencers, discount codes and affiliate links will also help marketers drive traffic to their websites or landing pages. Once the consumer is on your page, you can ask the potential customers to consent to first-party cookies, making the first-party data hunt easier. 

“In the context of a cookieless world, in the last two years, we’ve seen that giving discount codes or sharing certain links, that can be tracked in terms of clicks and conversions, has become very very prevalent among ecommerce brands now,” adds Shah. 

Jason Wong, the founder of Doe Lashes, uses influencer promotions "to get influencer audiences to go on the brand's website, and that way, we're able to collect the data on these people and use the data for acquisition." The influencers who partner with Doe Lashes share a discount code with their followers through their posts, which leads them to their website. 


The influencer-driven website traffic will also help marketers carry out effective cookieless marketing by retargeting the audience through content-based or contextual advertising. 

Looking for high-performing influencers to prepare for the upcoming cookieless world? Use affable.ai influencer management platform.

Get A Free Trial today

3. Influencers empower targeted contextual advertising 


Contextual advertising refers to placing content-based ads in front of the target audience. In this advertising strategy, when the audience visits a website, for example, looking for laptops, marketers can place an ad about laptops on the site. 

Brands partnering with influencers in a cookieless world will be able to do contextual advertising much more efficiently. If someone is looking for a solution, they most likely visit Google, YouTube, or other social media channels. Suppose they find a content piece from an influencer related to their problem and see your ad right after, there's a higher chance of them making a purchase. 

In fact, since YouTube has become the go-to channel for users when they want to find information about a new product, advertisers should align influencer partnerships with contextual targeting on the platform. Research shows that 90% of consumers have discovered a product or a new brand through YouTube content. 

For example, if you're a beauty brand looking to place contextual ads, you can reach out to influencers on social media, creating content in the beauty niche. Working together, you can ensure the followers or viewers see your ad when they're active. 

4. Influencers have mastered the art of storytelling 


Influencers are master storytellers who can sell a product with the help of a story that can make the audience emotionally invested in a product. 

In a cookieless world, when marketers won't have access to third-party audience insights for targeting, influencers will be the only way to reach the audience's emotions and win their trust. 

Paola Mathe (@findingpaola), a mom influencer and Instagram star, has perfected the art of storytelling. She uses stories to connect with her audience in almost all of her posts. Leading brands like Gucci, L'OCCITANE, Urban Decay, Veuve Clicquot, and many others value her storytelling content and have partnered with her to emotionally target their audience. 


Read how L'OCCITANE uses affable.ai to find influencers who can boost product visibility. 

5. Influencer content is eternal 


The content created by influencers remains effective for a long time. The influencers only have to create content and hit publish, and it will boost awareness every time someone comes across it. The content can be used to educate someone who is looking for information on your products or can be repurposed across channels to boost customer acquisition. 

In the context of cookieless marketing, brands can follow up with the people who interact with influencer content long after publishing and convert them into buying customers or derive first-party information from their social media accounts. 

To drive better results from influencer marketing in a cookieless world, brands will have to focus on building lasting relationships with creators to keep creating authentic, evergreen content. Leading brands are entering into long term creative partnerships with influencers to capitalize on their knowledge of the audience. With influencer expertise, these brands plan to  customize products and services according to what the audiences would like. 

“More and more brands today want a roster of dedicated ambassadors they can constantly gift products to and involve into product decisions for let’s say launching a new flavor of soda to understand their unique perspective on what it should be. And beyond gifting and generating more reach, they are looping these creators as community members, as fans of the company or the product and building long term relationships with them,” says Shah. 

Data-driven influencer marketing - The way out of cookiepocolypse 


We've established that influencer marketing is the key to thriving in the cookieless future. But how do you plan to scale your campaigns manually? 

This is where data-driven influencer marketing can help you. 

Data-backed influencer marketing makes use of an IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) tool, which helps find the right creators, build better relations with the influencers, and get insights for measuring ROI. 

In the post-cookie world, an influencer management platform such as affable.ai will help marketers put their campaigns on autopilot and focus entirely on building authentic relations.

Nisarg Shah, Co-Founder, and CEO of affable.ai, addresses this in 'The Power Of Creator Economy - 5 Ways To Convert Influencer Marketing' masterclass hosted in partnership with Vinnie Potestivo, an Emmy-award-winning media advisor. "One thing that affable.ai has noticed after working with 100+ brands which can change the whole influencer marketing game is to set campaigns on autopilot so that brands can continuously run ongoing influencer collaborations without putting in the effort to actually work with every single influencer every time." 

To prepare your company for a cookieless world with influencer marketing, book a free trial and connect with our experts!  

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