The fast-paced influencer marketing industry generates a lot of news very quickly and very often. It generates so much news that it can be difficult for even dedicated industry experts to keep up with it all.

And there are very good reasons for the high volume of news that influencer marketing delivers. One key driver is demand. As the influencer marketing industry increases in value, brands and marketers are searching for and devouring news about it like never before.

In fact, over the last three years, Google charted a 1,500 per cent surge in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing.” That means your colleagues and competition want to stay current on influencer marketing news too. They know it pays to stay informed on a rapidly changing industry.

If you’re looking for an overview of what’s been happening in influencer marketing lately, read on. Here’s a roundup of the top influencer marketing news brands and marketers need to know from the third quarter of 2019.

Influencer Marketing on the Upswing in the U.S. and Canada

Influencer marketing news reveals that cash is flowing freely as brands and marketers are spending more on influencer marketing in the U.S. and Canada. And the numbers are impressive—growth in influencer marketing spending has surged by 83 per cent so far in 2019 compared to 2018.

And as influencer marketing has surged in Canada, so too have regulators’ concerns about what’s considered “deceptive marketing” by brands. As influencer marketing has come under closer scrutiny from the FTC in the U.S., it has also come under the microscope with Canadian authorities. Brands using influencer marketing to reach Canadian markets should be aware of the country’s paid sponsorship disclosure guidelines that affect their content.

Fake Followers Cost Brands Billions

Savvy brands and marketers know that it’s important to carefully vet influencers for fake followers and fraudulent engagement before partnering with them. Fake followers and fraudulent engagement in the form of bots and paid followers put a big dent in budgets, ROI, and influencer credibility.

Researchers put the overall cost of fraudulent influencer followers at $1.3 billion. That figure also represents about 15 per cent of the total value of the influencer marketing industry, which is estimated to reach $8.5 billion in 2019.

Consumers Notice Lack of Influencer Diversity

Consumers notice and find it troubling when a brand’s influencer marketing doesn’t accurately reflect a diverse audience. They’re less likely to make purchases from brands that seem to target homogenous markets and that leave other groups out of their influencer marketing.

Close to half of the members of Gen Z—the generation born after 1996—are ethnic or racial minorities. And members of Gen Z now comprise nearly 30 per cent of the population. They care about social issues, and key among those issues is equality.

Consumers Appreciate Transparency

Although it might seem natural to think consumers would be turned off by sponsored posts, the opposite is actually true. The big news about engagement rates is that they’re higher for sponsored posts than they are for posts that aren’t sponsored. Consumers are increasingly rewarding transparency and honesty in promotions.

Instagram Allows Advertisers to Promote Influencer Posts

Advertisers can now reach more consumers on Instagram by paying to make their influencer posts look like ads. The new partnership tool allows brands to reach audiences beyond an influencer’s Instagram following. This development and consumers’ new appreciation for transparency are ironic when you consider the original idea behind influencer marketing. It was for influencer marketing not to look like paid advertising.

Video Shows No Signs of Stopping

As social media video apps like TikTok take off, and YouTube remains a top choice for consumer search, video rules influencer marketing. Consumers want to know what works, and what doesn’t, and they want to see videos of people using and reviewing products.

TikTok now boasts more than 500 million users monthly who are drawn to its short video format. Brands are searching for influencers to partner with on TikTok in order to reach its youthful Gen Z audience.

Micro Influencers Grab the Spotlight

Follower engagement rates in general are down in 2019 compared to 2018. But not when it comes to micro influencers. Although micro influencers typically have fewer followers than macro influencers, they show higher engagement rates than those that reach larger audiences. Micro influencers average a Like Follower Ratio (LFR) of 8.8 percent.

Micro influencers tend to reach niche markets with very specialized content that attracts loyal, engaged followers. Their followers also tend to see them as real people who create authentic content, generating a sense of trust and credibility. They’re more likely to make purchases based on a micro influencer’s recommendation than they would on a celebrity endorsement.

Influencer Discovery

The latest influencer marketing news makes it clear that influencer discovery is more important for brands and marketers than ever. It’s crucial to partner with influencers who have real, engaged followers and who reach diverse audiences and the right target markets with the right content.

Whether they’re searching for micro or macro influencers, brands and marketers can find more influencers like this at