Perhaps the most contentious form of marketing that has been popularised in recent years is influencer marketing. If you are considering investing in an influencer marketing campaign for your business and haven’t quite weighed up the pros and cons – this blog is for you!
Read for more on the positives and negatives that come with influencer marketing, specifically, how it can affect your brand’s audience reach, trust and credibility and resources.
Who does your brand actually want to reach?
This is among the most, if not THE most important question you should be answering before launching an influencer campaign. It is extremely rare (we’re talking Coca Cola realm) that a product or service fills a universal need. You should be identifying your specific niche or at least industry and this will help you streamline the influencers you are likely to recruit.
If you do approach influencers who endorse brands similar to yours, there’s a higher chance that your products or services will resonate with their followers, leading to more conversions.
Obviously if you do not choose an influencer whose brand feels like an authentic fit to yours, the campaign will likely be unsuccessful as it’s targeting the wrong market. Beyond this, a major con of collaborations is that your brand is now tied to the association of this influencer’s brand. This becomes particularly difficult when ethical or political issues become involved and there’s a possibility that your brand’s reputation will be compromised.
Your trust and credibility is malleable
Within any context in life, trust takes time to cultivate and is extremely valuable. However, the smallest things can effectively break this trust.
Successful influencers have conventionally established a strong group of individuals that have immense trust in their opinion and what they have to say. For this reason, they can be incredibly useful tools for your brand, as their followers’ trust gets translated back to your brand and enhances your credibility.
In recent years, the ethics of influencer marketing have come under scrutiny for appearing inauthentic, so much so that Meta’s platforms now require users to identify which content is paid or organic, through #PaidAd markers. Hence, if an influencer you have chosen to collaborate with does not overtly disclose that a post is sponsored, you run the risk of mass scrutiny. Similarly, if the influencer inflates their followings or engagements with third party bots, this will diminish the credibility of your brand not only to consumers but to the platforms themselves, as Meta are increasingly deleting accounts with third party associations.
Time is money – how influencers can affect your resources
Collaborating with influencers on a campaign can have a major effect on how you leverage your internal resources, whether this be actual staff members, time or money.
A major draw-card for micro-influencers is that they are extremely economical, especially when assessing the ROI you are receiving when comparing them to celebrity influencers. Influencers on a micro-level tend to have a more micro influence, meaning their content is a lot more targeted and specific. You’d surprisingly receive more conversions from them than a larger influencer who is campaigning to a saturated online environment. Also, influencers who are new to the industry are likely to agree to work for free as your brand’s influence is valuable to their growth.
Finally, influencers are often very conscious of their own image and want direct input in their brand’s content creation. As most influencer content is UGC, this would mean eliminating any of the time, skills or money your brand would normally spend on generating content.
“So influencer campaigns can be valuable in terms of time, money and staffing resources? Seems like there’s no cons…”
Well, while influencer marketing is immensely valuable, there is an inherent high risk involved. If an influencer lacks the ability to create content that resonates and cuts-through, the time and money that you have invested will unfortunately be done in vain.
Although extremely valuable on its own, if you’d like to delve beyond Influencer management, Wise Up offers professional public relations management solutions for businesses who want consistent and complimentary public attention and awareness. We set strategies to convey and amplify the personality of your service or product, whilst meeting your objectives and linking brand messages with imaginative and topical communications.
If you’d like to hear more about our services, get in contact below!