Everyone wants to be an online influencer, because it seems to pay well, but who is really benefiting?

This article from the USA Today actually takes the unusual step of trying to reverse engineer a “rate” for influence and ended up with an estimate of “up to $100 for every 10,000 followers per sponsored post.” The amount of money has created a rush of wanna-be influencers and big headaches for brands who have to deal with their unrealistic expectations.

These influencers rely so heavily on social media that a recent glitch which caused some accounts to lose followers overnight sparked a quick and panicked “existential  crisis” among influencers.” Not to dismiss all this as a solitary pursuit, there was even an article several weeks ago about the “Instagram Husband” who is behind the camera helping all these (mostly) female personalities to stage the perfect photo.

What is driving all of their revenue and success? The truth is, brands are hungry for ways to reach younger consumers who largely ignore television, and the influencer economy is one place where they can realistically spend the money. The problem is, the scale is different – and so they are bringing big spending to a space that is quickly becoming oversaturated by it.

Right now, that means a cash grab and everyone wants their piece. The big question is, what happens when those brands take a closer look at what they actually paid for … and realize it is not what they expected?