You know the drill. I cajole, flatter, and blackmail the smartest, hippest, edgiest, and hopefully sexiest people I know to answer one question and we see what happens. Without further adieu!:


ONE QUESTION #3 with James Creech, Co-Founder and CEO of Paladin Software


James is one of my favorite guys in the digital media space. Super smart. Paladin Software has some of the best influencer management tools for media companies in the space. Some of the best media people I know swear by James and Paladin.

So I was texting with James over the holidays, and got him to tell me how he sees influencer marketing going in 2019.

Ben: James! I know it’s the holidays, but don’t you wanna do “One Question” with me? 

James: Not really, but ok.

Ben: GREAT!!! Tell me about Influencer marketing in 2019. 

James: Fine. Here is how I see it…Follower fraud cast a dark cloud over influencer marketing in 2018, prompting advertisers to demand better protections and accountability. YouTube and Twitter took early steps to purge fake accounts and post activity, as they’ve done occasionally for the past few years. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, had been dragging their feet on the issue before completing big purges of their own this fall. YouTube also changed its monetization policies this year, requiring channels to maintain 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of annual watch-time to be eligible for ad placements — yet another signal that social networks must self police more closely to appease advertisers.

That said, expect third-party measurement solutions to become the norm in 2019, just as they’ve become commonplace for TV, display, and mobile advertising. These third-party measurement tools will require influencers to provide authenticated data access to their social profiles in order to verify their audience demographics and content performance. Ultimately, this will result in greater transparency for advertisers and an emphasis on quality content for creators and social platforms.


Note from Ben: Influencer marketing is NOT going away any time soon. It’s incredibly powerful, but NOBODY knows what the hell is going on and how to make it better. I’m watching to see which companies build trust with consumers in the space. 

James Creech 

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