The Rise Of Influencer Marketing Amid The Crumbling Cookie World
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:
- Google's goodbye to third-party cookies
- Face of marketing in a cookieless world
- 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.