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How Google is changing the game for influencers – the impact of cookies

Cookies. MMMMM.

This isn’t about THOSE kinds of cookies but rather the kind that helps the internet gods, and marketers, keep track of what you are up to while online at any given time. They do helpful things like making sure that you remain logged into a session when shopping for new shoes or allow you to go through the process of selecting a flight, your preferred seat, and checking out with your extra baggage fees. These are known as “first-party” cookies or “second-party” cookies. They exchange information between your browser and the site server.

“Cookies are a small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. Its purpose is to remember information about you, similar to a preference file created by a software application.”

https://techterms.com/definition/cookie

Cookies also fuel the online ad eco-system by providing more context for advertisers when using targeting capabilities. This includes layering in your behaviours online and allowing ad servers to put ads into your experience that more closely align with what it seems you would like based on your history navigating the web. These are known as ‘third-party’ cookies or sometimes called tracking or target cookies.

In January 2020, Google announced that within the next two years they would eliminate support for third-party cookies within the Chrome browser. Cue panic among advertisers, media buyers, and internet marketers! The move is definitely a step in the right direction as online privacy becomes more and more important to consumers and legal implications from privacy laws out of Europe and some US states push businesses to more transparently manage data. With consumers seeking new ways to block ads and silence those pesky follow me around ads, publishers and advertisers are left scrambling to build relevant connections in a tuned-out world.

As we put on our marketer hats vs our consumer hats…how the heck do we navigate a post cookie world? Some are calling it cookie-pocalypse.

This is actually really exciting news. For those of us who have long advocated the demise of display type advertising in favour of a more audience-focused contextual experience, this is a step in the right direction. What it means for us is that it is time to open up the toolbox and pull out the tactics that encourage more consumer-driven permissioned engagements online. Enter influencer marketing – stage right…

I am the very first in line to admit that influencer marketing has challenges. There are many examples via horror stories case studies online that show in MANY ways influencer has jumped the shark. We know that clients often have challenges managing influencer campaigns, getting real ROI and generally believing the hype when influencer tactics are on the table. We get it.

HOWEVER, this is a golden opportunity to get back to the roots and harness the power of first-person recommendations in a savvy way.

Thoughtfully deployed influencer marketing lends a credibility to your work that you can never get from traditional advertising. Moms trust other moms when making purchase decisions over all other sources.

Selecting influencers as a conduit to the intended audience based on more than just the influencers content category or demographic details is a huge opportunity.

The exciting thing about going audience first is you don’t have to engage the huge macro-influencers with millions and millions of followers. Those who do the best fit into the nano-micro variety with followings sometimes as small as a few thousand devoted fans. It becomes more about developing a strategy that connects the dots across the digital landscape and creates a cohesive journey for mom on the path to purchase.

As we prepare for massive changes with cookies demise and programmatic advertising getting less and less effective as we inch closer to 2022. The cornerstones of influencer in the early 20’s are going to include audience first influencer selection, authentic storytelling and soild measurement frameworks that allow delivering both the privacy that consumers demand while providing them an experience they can delight in with brands in both the offline and online world.

Not sure where to begin? We are…get in touch and we can chat about how to avoid the cookie-pocalypse and rechannel your budget into meaningful connections with moms.