Does Influencer Marketing Still Work?
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has become one of the most talked about marketing strategies in the business world. Piggybacking off of the success of social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, social media personalities, who we refer to as influencers, have provided brands with a streamlined method of reaching their fan base.
Unfortunately, like with any other industry, there are people that will find loopholes to exploit it for personal gain. In influencer marketing, deceitful practices have come to be commonplace. Because of this, many brands have become reluctant to put their dollars into the pockets of these social media stars. However, when done correctly, influencer marketing is absolutely still valuable for a brand. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores four reasons of why influencer marketing still works, and what dangers a brand should look out for.
The Problems With Influencer Marketing
Sure, influencer marketing definitely has its hiccups, especially in recent years. Lacking industry standards, influencer marketing is a prime target for deceit and manipulation. There are few different problems with influencer marketing, all of which can lead a brand to believe that investing money into this strategy simply isn’t worth it. These include:
- Fake followers: There are services out there that allow influencers to buy thousands of fake followers for just a couple bucks. When a brand sees those high follower counts, their first thought is “Wow! This girl or guy is really popular.” Unfortunately, that’s not always accurate. You can read our blog 5 Steps To Tell If An Influencer Has Fake Instagram Followers to find out how to tell if the influencer you want to work with is the real deal.
- Well intentioned pricing models end up biting brands in the butt: The whole “pay for engagement” pricing strategy originally seemed like a good idea. Brands were able to put influencers to the test and only pay for the amount of engagement that their content received. In doing this, brands were able to avoid overpaying influencers for their work and instead, only paying for what they got. Unfortunately, engagement tools began popping up that allow influencers to pay for likes and comments to make it look like their content is getting way more engagement than it actually is. So from a brand’s standpoint, it may look like the post got 10,000 likes but in reality, it’s all fake.
- Artificial influencers: Yes, you read that right. Companies are building artificial influencers using AI. Considering these aren’t real people with real bills, you can count on these campaigns to cost significantly less.
- Mega influencers aren’t as effective anymore: This is a true statement. The power of influencer marketing has shifted from the hands of mega social media starts into those of their more nuanced and niche counterparts, micro influencers. On one end, this is good for brands because micro influencers are way more cost effective than mega influencers, however, these campaigns require the use of multiple influencers at once which can quickly become a logistical nightmare. When implementing micro influencer campaigns, your best bet is to work with an agency that specializes in influencer marketing.
Want even more ways to spot fake influencers? We wrote a second blog 5 Ways To Spot Fake Instagram Followers PART II to the one referenced above to provide you with even more insight, and actual tools to use, to help protect your brand.
Why Influencer Marketing Still Works
Look, influencer marketing absolutely works. We know it because we see the results for our clients. You just need to know how to do it effectively and how to watch out for. And there are four reasons why it still works.
#1 People love popularity: Sure, finding a new product via traditional advertising may work but it’s not all that exciting. Instead, influencer marketing allows people to find new products by placing it on popular figures. Not to mention, the likes and comments that influencer content get make it even more enticing for a prospective consumer to want to purchase your product.
#2 Trust: Who trusts traditional advertisements anymore? There’s nothing more annoying than seeing a brand plaster ads in front your face trying to get you to buy their product. Instead, influencers serve as trusted mediums for your brand to deliver your “ad” in an authentic way. How? Well simply put, people trust people.
#3 Scalability: It’s hard to reach all of your consumers on one platform. In order to combat this, companies need to run large scale campaigns on multiple platforms at once. When it comes to traditional advertising, this can be a logistical and financial nightmare, especially for smaller brands. Instead, influencer marketing allows you activate multiple influencers on multiple different platforms for a fraction of the price.
#4 Content is King: In today’s world, having quality content is incredibly important for brands. With that said, there is no better way to get content that effectively resonates with your consumer base than through influencers. First and foremost, influencers are content creators. If it weren’t for their content creating abilities, they would have never reached their influencer status. Secondly, you will be able to get a lot more content out of an influencer for a lot cheaper than what you’d have to pay a creative agency to create content for you. When it comes to content, influencer marketing takes the win.
A lot of brands that have given influencer marketing a try are a bit discouraged from the method. For some, we really can’t blame them. Influencer marketing may seem like a straightforward strategy but in reality, it takes an expert to implement a successful influencer campaign. Those that try to jump into it without understanding how to avoid some of those pitfalls will surely lose trust in the strategy. But, that’s not to say influencer marketing is going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, 92% of brand marketers say they plan to increase their budgets for Instagram influencers. Those that fumble through some of the low points of influencer marketing will surely reap the benefits when the industry full matures. We recommend your brand does the same.
Check out these 5 blog posts our team has written.
- How To #7: 5 Steps To Tell If An Influencer Has Fake Instagram Followers
- 9 Tips To Organically Market Your Brand on Instagram
- 7 Secret Social Acronyms Brands Need To Know For Influencer Posts
- How To #13: 10 Ways To Create More Successful Instagram Posts
- A Brand's Guide To Kourtney Kardashian Instagram Posts
As an agency we can help you find influencer marketing success, whether you work with us as a client, or take one of our influencer marketing classes. We offer three different classes which will help you up your influencer marketing game whether you work for an agency, a brand or are a student with a career path in marketing. Check it out below!