Over recent years we have seen a substantial increase in influencer marketing. For those not familiar with the term, influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which “influential people” often those with large followings on social media, advertise products and services through their social content. Brands carefully select individuals and pay them to participate in certain activities to promote products on their social media channels. Instagram in particular has been a popular platform in which influencer marketing has become prominent.
People seem to listen to what other people have to say, so it comes as no surprise that this type of marketing has taken off and become an extremely effective marketing strategy that many brands feel they can’t ignore if they want to continue to see growth and an increase in sales.
So, what should brands consider?
If your brand is considering working with influencers, it is important to remember that they are going to have some responsibility in sharing content or generating interest in your brand, therefore, it is essential that you select your influencers carefully and do your research to check that they align with your brand.
When choosing your influencers, you will also want to consider how much influence each individual realistically has; someone with 20k followers is going to get your brand in front of the eyes of a lot more people than someone with 2k followers. Those with larger followings might come with a heftier price tag, so again this is something to consider when planning your influencer strategy.
Take a look at how much engagement your possible influencers are getting on their posts before you sign them. More followers doesn’t necessarily mean greater success. You want to check that they actually have some value and that consumers are liking and commenting on their posts. There is no point in selecting someone that has a large following if no one is “listening” to what they have to say.
Keep your wits about you
Influencer marketing should always be taken with a pinch of salt: take a look at Fyre Festival as an example of where influencer marketing has gone remarkably wrong. In this instance a number of very famous celebrities were paid to advertise this upcoming festival, under the instruction of festival organisers. However, the advertising of the festival was a complete flop, a disaster some might say. The event was completely mis-sold and in the end, the festival did not take place.
When it comes down to the thin line, as a brand you have a responsibility to uphold what you are advertising. As an influencer, you have to disclose that you are being paid to advertise this content and as a consumer, you need to remember that the individual is being paid to advertise. So, whatever your position in the influencer cycle, you should always remember that this is just another form of marketing.