The FCC is working to repeal net neutrality rules and the impact on mid to large sized influencers could be dramatic. Net neutrality has ensured a level playing field across the internet by banning broadband and mobile providers from prioritizing content from specific sources over others. This has been key to enabling influencers, who are often average consumers and small business owners, to build strong consumer followings through the creative use of social media and SEO channels.
The longer it takes for a webpage to load, the more likely consumers are to bounce, or leave that site quickly. A recent Google study found that an increase in load time from 1 second to 3 seconds increases the probability that a consumer will bounce by 32%, an increase from 1 to 5 seconds increases that probability by 90%, and so on. If net neutrality is revoked, larger companies that are able to pay for faster load speeds with providers will have a major advantage over smaller players in the market.
Of course the influencers care about the potential impact of these changes, and brands should as well. Influencer marketing is leveraged by 86% of brand marketers. Some of the benefits to brands include improved search rankings for their own brand sites due to the links from influencer pages, as well as the ability to reach a targeted audience that has already demonstrated trust in the influencer. MuseFind did a study that showed 92% of people trust recommendations from influencers over ads or celebrity endorsements. These valuable brand benefits would also be negatively impacted if net neutrality rules are revoked.
Influencers have fulfilled an important role for today’s marketers as authentic voices providing valuable insights to engaged consumers. Net neutrality rules enable those voices to remain loud and clear.
Post written by Tara Trocki, Inmar.