We live in a world of “internet celebrities.” Internet celebrities are users on social media who have established credibility in a specific industry. They have access to a large audience and can persuade them to take action through their authenticity and reach. The term we use in the biz for this is called “Social Media Influencer” or “Influencer” for short.
We’re sure you’ve heard many stories of [insert marketing agency name here] and [insert brand here] collaborating with [insert famous celeb name here] and reaching sky high impressions, reach and followers and even going viral. It sounds amazing, lucrative and the quickest way to internet famedom for your brand, right? Yes and no. And here’s why.
The Truth About Influencer Marketing
The truth is influencer marketing could be a good thing, but it could also be a very bad and very costly strategy if not executed correctly with the right influencer or marketing agency. But before we get into the good, the bad and the costly, why exactly would you need an influencer in the first place? Well, there are many reasons to invest in influencer marketing, but the main reason is to tap into to your influencers audience and expand your own brand’s personal reach and influence through someone else’s influence.
There is also a level of endorsement in your brand from the influencer, which could help sell your product or service because it is coming from said influencer. Influencers can also create personalized content for your brand that will be posted on their own social media accounts for their followers to see and engage with. I’m sure by this part of the article you’re probably thinking, “this all sounds amazing! Sign me up with Bruce Willis and let’s sell my microfiber hair towels!”
In this scenario, without giving it any other thought, the marketing agency will blindly do just that for you: sign up Bruce Willis to sell your hair towels. Thousands of millions of dollars are poured into all types of marketing campaigns and initiatives. Contests, giveaways, email blasts, coupon codes, you name it, it was done. It’s three months later, and you’re wondering why your ROI is more pathetic than peanuts even though you spent all this money. And there it is – the answer – staring back at you, clear as day, shining off of Bruce Willis’ bald dome.
At this moment, you have realized the marketing agency you hired overlooked the fact that this particular influencer, Bruce Willis is bald and trying to sell microfiber hair towels. Let that sink in. A bald guy selling hair towels. And then you wonder why you didn’t make your projected sales after literally throwing away millions of dollars on these lucrative campaigns. You’re saying, “But, it’s Bruce Willis. The Bruce Willis. He’s famous and has a lot of followers.” That’s great, and all, but no amount of influence from Bruce Willis is going to sell your hair towels because he’s not the right influencer. And this was the point we were trying to make. This hypothetical situation is a classic marketing agency/influencer campaign gone wrong.
Influencer Marketing Is Still A Relatively New Space
The problem with influencer marketing is that it is still a relatively new space that needs more research and more discovery. Brands are sold on the notion that by participating in any influencer marketing campaign, they will get an influencer that will create content for them and it is just supposed to perform well, increase sales or brand awareness. And it may achieve all that, but then you have to ask yourself, is this right audience? Is it this the messaging? Is this the right influencer?
See what we mean? It’s a complicated space, so we’re going to make it easy for you and break it down to the pros and cons.
Paid influencer marketing is a great way for marketers to help brands raise awareness for their products or service. It’s important to understand the benefits and costs of paid influencer marketing before committing to just any strategy.
If done right, influencer marketing campaigns can create twice as many sales as paid ads, with customers acquired through influencer marketing campaigns having a 37-percent higher retention rate. And if you’re a newcomer in the space, there is a possibility for a rapid rise in brand awareness, but again, only through the right influencer.
Getting the right influencer can also reduce your sales cycle time. If your customers are entering your sales funnel after being contacted by an influencer or seeing your influencers post with your branded content, they are much more likely to be ready to purchase than a typical lead. In a nutshell, influencer marketing can reduce the time it takes for your customers to commit. If utilized right, influencers can be a huge mouthpiece for marketing your brand.
What are the cons? Like we mentioned, influencer marketing is still a relatively new space. Lot’s of preliminary research needs to be done before settling on Bruce Willis to sell your hair towels. You need to identify the influencers that are going to be sending the right message for your brand.
When it comes to influencer marketing, there is a level of expectation in that you’ll be able to see the results right away. This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, influencer marketing yields no results for months, and the reason why most influencer marketing initiatives fail is that the results of your efforts are either not being measured accurately, or the company is expecting to know if their initiatives are succeeding too early before pulling out. The truth is there is no actual guarantee that influencer marketing will succeed, but there is definitely a chance for success.
Ultimately, there is a lot of gray areas when it comes to influencer marketing, and there is no “one-size fits all” strategy, and that’s how most agencies will treat it.
At Brandamos, we know that each client has their own niche, their own target audience and their own unique, personalized brand messaging. We consume ourselves in your brand and learn everything there is to know before consulting any possible influencers, which is very important for trust-building, not just with your brand, but with the influencer who will have a hand in endorsing your brand as well.
Influencer marketing usually gets a bad rap, but if done right, technically and strategically, it can be mutually rewarding and profitable and who doesn’t like a good win-win every now and again? If you’re thinking about elevating your digital marketing strategy to the next level and are thinking about entering the influencer marketing space, let us help you.
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