The rise of the ‘influencer’ has been significant in the past few years as bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers are becoming increasingly popular vehicles for brand advertisement. These influencers are not models or actors but rather everyday people who have gained a following on their respective platform based on specialised skills or expertise knowledge.
Influencers have become popular amongst brands as they are able to both promote a brand and create their own content, therefore reducing costs of hiring a third party photographer, editor and advertisement team.
It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and assume that all brands will benefit from a social media influencer. However, we’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes that marketers make when making this investment.
Being fooled by the follower count/reach
Many marketers fail to understand that a large follower count does not necessarily translate to a large influence. Due to the financial benefits that influencers can gain, many social media users have falsely inflated their following count in order to cash-in on this new occupation.
To prevent being fooled by this, observe the follower to likes/engagement ratio. A large follower count but minimal audience engagement indicates a false and inflated reach. Therefore this particular influencer is not a sound investment, as they cannot provide appropriate advertisement for your brand.
Not understanding the market
As mentioned earlier, influencers gain popularity through a certain skillset or niche, this means that not all influencers are created equal. Be aware of the different target audiences that influencers cater to and from this, make an informed decision.
For example, you would not employ a luxury brand influencer to promote a mid to low price range brand. This is because the influencer does not have the reach for this particular target market, not because of the brand itself, therefore rendering a potential investment ineffective.
Working without the influencer
Many marketers and brands are under the impression that providing a script for their influencers is the most effective form of advertisement, however, this can prove to be detrimental.
Influencers are not a traditional advertising platform. As a result the marketing approach should not be traditional. Rather than providing your influencer with an exact script in which they are to follow, instead provide a guide or checklist of advertising points you wish to cover.
The popularity of influencers as marketing tools largely stems from their ability to relate to the audience, this relationship can be damaged from obvious and direct advertisement techniques.
Another mistake is the opposite of the spectrum. Do not allow your influencer too much creative freedom as this can result in important brand messages being miscommunicated.
Influencers are a useful marketing tool and can result in excellent returns on investment. Before you take this plunge, make sure that you and your business are aware of mistakes and pitfalls that can prove damaging to your success.
Written by Katreena Pevec