Find out the truth about Influencer Marketing—is it all a big scam or worth the investment?
Good or bad, Influencer Marketing is constantly at the forefront of debate when it comes to digital marketing strategy. Some marketers, like myself, think it’s a worthwhile investment (when done well) but many marketers and business owners remain sceptical of the whole process and see ‘influencers’ and the services they offer as something not to be trusted—a viewpoint that was significantly reinforced by the recent Fyre Festival scam.
Because of the significant bad press Influencer Marketing has been subject to, and the highly emotional and polar responses the mere mention of the term now creates, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of confusion and mistrust of influencers and the campaigns associated with them.
As someone that works with bloggers and influencers on a daily basis, I’m here to tell you that a lot of the stuff you’ve heard and read about Influencer Marketing simply isn’t true. It’s a fantastic marketing strategy that is here to stay, so let’s bust some of those common myths…
“Influencers Can Be Paid to Say Whatever a Brand Wants”
Although this can be the case with some so-called influencers, any influencer or blogger worth their salt will only post about something they believe in and that aligns with their own personal brand.
Most bloggers and influencers are 100% honest with their following when they post a product review or talk about an item or service that has been gifted to them by a brand. This helps build credibility and trust with their fans and followers.
Furthermore, when influencers are given the autonomy to create their own authentic content it works out much better for brands. By allowing influencers this freedom, the reviews they produce are more convincing and credible than if they’re forced to use a script or follow a certain formula specified by a brand.
Despite the inevitable fakes within the influencer community, the vast majority are legitimate and according to InfluencerDB, influencers are actually one of the most trusted sources when it comes to product purchases.
According to data collected by Twitter, 49% of consumers would trust a social media influencer before purchasing a product with roughly 40% of Twitter users saying they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.
“We Already Have Loads of Ads, We Don’t Need Any More”
Adverts aren’t anything new; whether they’re on a screen, in a magazine, on the side of a bus or in the street. With all of those platforms already existing, consumers don’t need social media ads as well, especially from their favourite bloggers and influencers—right?
Influencer marketing can be much cheaper and more effective than standard brand advertising, plus if your customer’s favourite influencer posts about your product they’re much more likely to go out and buy it than if they see it on TV or in a magazine advert.
Influencers add an element of trust—we know standard advertising is created to make us want to buy what they’re selling, but bloggers and influencers are sharing something they genuinely like and this can have a huge impact on our view of a product or service, without us realising it.
A few years back Zoella mentioned a concealer she liked and the brand was sold out of it for months afterwards! Great influencers can help boost a brand in ways that traditional advertising simply can’t dream of.
According to Conductor’s Future of Marketing report, by 2020 over 50% of ‘commercial’ content will be created outside of the marketing industry—i.e. indirect marketing user-generated content (UGC)—which means brands and marketers are no longer going to be the primary creators. In the immediate future, the main question on every brand’s lips will be “How can I adopt user-generated content?” (Kathleen Schaub, 2017).
“Influencers with Loads of Followers Are Way Better Than Micro Influencers”
For those who are onboard with influencer marketing, it’s common to assume the more followers an influencer has the more likely they are to be able to sell a product or influence their audience.
Influencers such as the Kardashians or YouTubers like Zoe and Joe Sugg are more likely to be able to promote a brand/product which is likely to achieve massive results in terms of clicks and sales. However, working with these types of influencers comes with a huge price tag.
Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are cheaper and despite having a smaller audience their followers are often more engaged and more likely to purchase what they’re being shown. According to Social Media Today, micro-influencers are more authentic and turn around quality content quicker.
For small and medium-sized businesses, teaming up with micro-influencers is not only budget-friendly but also more likely to be authentic to your brand.