Influencer Marketing: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
2017 is shaping up to be the year of the influencer, with success stories such as Boohoo’s 51% revenue increase – which they attribute to influencer activity - proving that influencers can deliver not just social media hype, but actual revenue increases for brands.
This has resulted in many brands rushing into similar activity, but not all of it will deliver the results they desire. After all, social media can be a place for dreamers – people who wish to glimpse a lifestyle beyond their means or indulge a guilty pleasure that wouldn’t appeal to them in real life. These people won’t help your bottom line, so with this in mind, let’s dive into the benefits and dangers of influencer marketing.
Cue the Ennio Morricone score… as we meet the good, the bad and the ugly…
THE GOOD – HOW INFLUENCERS CAN HELP BRANDS
Provide awesome reach and engagement
Top UK YouTubers have millions of followers and video view numbers that would make many broadcast media outlets jealous. KSI, Zoella and ThatcherJoe received 60 million combined views of their videos last month alone!
Instagrammers have similarly impressive stats. Lifestyle influencers like Rosie Londoner can generate 10,000+ engagements from a single post.
But this is where many brands start to go wrong - they get dazzled by big numbers, whilst ignoring the true power of influencers, which is the dynamic, interactive relationship they have with their fans and the ability to reach specific interests.
A good influencer can do more than raise awareness – they can contextualise your brand’s product by showcasing it in their (often glamorous looking) lives. They have the power to spark discussion amongst their fans and drive them to visit your brand’s website, join its social communities or share its social content.
- Don’t focus exclusively on top tier influencers – consider building a network of ‘micro-influencers’ within your sector or region. This network will deliver impressive reach with a stronger fan relationship.
- Harness your influencers’ skills. Get them to create regular content for your social channels to give them legitimacy and drive fan interest. This content shake-up helps guard against becoming a ‘droning corporate voice’ on social.
- What does a successful network influencer programme look like? Our work for The Crown Estate included recruiting a network of 28 ‘Park Ambassadors’ to create fresh content.
THE BAD – WHERE BRANDS SLIP UP
Poor return on investment (ROI)
Some influencers are overpriced. This applies not just to the big players (£3k per Instagram post – not mentioning any names!). Some smaller influencers may seem like great value but can’t deliver meaningful results.
Spending big money can be worth it if the fan base is perfectly matched to your target audience and the influencer has proven sway in the exact area that is the focus of your campaign. Do your research and take each on a case-by-case basis.
Reaching the wrong followers
An influencer’s fans might be interested in your brand and be located in the correct area, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they are relevant to your campaign. For instance, YouTube viewers are often younger than the channel might suggest, possibly placing them outside of your target audience.
- Ask for details on every aspect of an influencer’s fan base and use social analytics to uncover common interests shared between your brand’s fans and the fans of influencers.
- The post below is from a campaign which identified photography Instagrammers with a strong interest in architecture/history and invited them to shoot the Historic Dockyard Chatham. By engaging their hip followers, we reached people who were not previously aware of the attraction.
THE UGLY – WHEN RELATIONSHIPS HARM THE BRAND
Some influencers will do anything for money
Until recently, brands and influencers showed little interest in publically declaring their paid for relationships (despite a legal requirement to do so). This has become a bigger issue recently with high-profile examples such as ill-fated Fyre Festival’s leaked pitch doc, which exposed its deceptive influencer programme to the global media, further adding to the festival’s problems.
This sparked criticism in the media, leading to Instagram adding more visibility to influencer posts in an effort to address this.
- Ask your influencers to make a real contribution to the brand by creating looks or hosting events. This ensures legitimacy and shows fans that it’s a true partnership, not just ‘pay for play’ arrangement.
- You MUST be honest and clear about your partnership. If it’s a good match, fans will appreciate the honesty.
Want to talk more about Influencer marketing and interested in what we do? Get in touch at hello@Kallaway.com or call the team on 020 7221 7883.