Influencer marketing has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the last few years. That’s not at all because influencer marketing is bad or ineffective.
It’s neither of those things.
It’s because fake or insincere influencers have been taking advantage of unsuspecting businesses that want to get in on this marketing trend but don’t know what to look out for.
So, “in the midst of all this turmoil, what’s to love about influencer marketing?” – Forbes
In this blog, we’ve broken down some of the myths in the hope that it will help you make a better and more informed decision about whether or not influencer marketing is right for you and how to go about it correctly.
Influencer Marketing Is Expensive
While certain kinds of influencer marketing can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Micro-influencers are a great way to gain traction with your marketing efforts on social media if you have a tight budget. They’re also beneficial regardless of the size of your budget.
“If a micro-influencer decides to work with your brand, it is because they know that they will be providing real value to their audience and to your company as a result of the partnership. Micro-influencers won’t take advantage of you or the market since they are not in it just for the money.” – Like A Voss
Micro-influencers are amazing for your engagement rates. They tend to have a smaller, but more dedicated following. When looking for a good micro-influencer, check out their comment section. If their followers are enthusiastic and engaged and the influencer is an authentic, active social media user, you’re on the right track!
“It is best to try to find micro-influencers or ambassadors. These are individuals with highly engaged followings within a niche. The key here isn’t follow count, it’s engagement rate and the loyalty of their followers.” – Like A Voss
If you are careful about your budget and take the time to understand what influencers are really worth, you won’t be taken advantage of.
Influencer Marketing Is Impossible To Track
While influencer marketing is difficult to track every step of the way, ROI isn’t impossible to gauge. But it is important to track the right ROI and be realistic about what you expect out of it. It helps to know the basics of how influencers are paid based on follower count, engagement, and reach.
When it comes to influencer campaigns, there are 3 indicators of success that you should always be looking for.
- Quality Of Content – Not only does quality content get your campaign more reach, but it also provides you with precious collateral that you can use afterward to run ads.
- Campaign Reach – Reach is an important part of making sure your campaign is getting in front of audiences. It also helps you plan future costs by helping you calculate CPM against other forms of online marketing.
- Engagement – Engagement is key. Engagement shows that people are reacting to your brand and the content your influencers are putting out there.
Forbes lays out some more of the intangible benefits of influencer marketing in their
article about the real benefits of influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing Doesn’t Work
Just because you can’t track ROI every step of the way doesn’t mean your campaign isn’t working. Like our previous point, there are certain public metrics like engagement that you can measure even if you don’t have access to the entire marketing funnel.
Once you know the averages for your industry, you’ll be better able to measure whether or not your campaign is working.
Check out our post on how to create a successful influencer campaign for more on how to keep your campaign moving in the right direction. It may seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. In the end, it’s almost always worth the effort.
Clients Don’t Like Influencers & Think They’re Fake
While there has been a slew of fake influencers trying to take advantage of businesses, most influential social media stars are actually sincere. If they’re not, it’s pretty easy to tell through their content and engagement.
Clients often report feeling inspired, included, and even an increased sense of trust for a brand after seeing it associated with their favourite influencer. Influencer marketing works BECAUSE people trust influencers.
“Consumers trust other people more than they trust brands… 82% of those in the U.S. trust recommendations from people they know and 66% trust recommendations from opinions posted by consumers online… these recommendation methods are trusted more than any kind of advertising run by a brand on TV, newspaper or similar outlet.” – Forbes
This means that customers would rather other people advertise brands on social media rather than see the brands themselves doing the promotion. It’s like if a friend of yours recommended you a brand of shampoo, you’d then be far more likely to pick that brand of shampoo in the future. People trust people. You may be the most authentic brand out there, but you’re still a brand, not an individual.
Influencer marketing, if done correctly, can work really well alongside other more traditional marketing and branding tactics. But it always helps to be informed when it comes to new ways to promote your business online. Make sure you do your homework so you don’t get taken advantage of, and always be prepared to change course if things aren’t working out.
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This blog post was originally published in September 2019 and has been edited to improve accuracy and readability.