Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are experiencing huge growth because their ‘always on’ approach to content offers users on-demand video insights into the lives of people with similar interests. So, while positive sentiment toward traditional advertising continues to decline with consumers, it’s no surprise that confidence in influencer marketing is rapidly growing.
With brands all over the world frequently engaging influencers and leveraging their social media channels to reach new customers, PR and social media agencies are dedicating entire teams to nurturing relationships with the hottest and up and coming social media talent. There’s no doubt that influencer marketing has opened up a world of possibilities for brands to connect with consumers more directly, and organically, through content. But there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about influencer marketing too
It’s not as simple as it sounds
Influencers can be made overnight. However, as the talent pool (and authenticity) becomes evermore distilled it can be hard to stand out on social – not just against competitors but more importantly, in a way which offers value to your target audience. The hardest part of influencer campaigns can be finding the right influencer to engage with in the first place: motivated, creative talent with an engaged social media following, who can positively interpret your brand and products through relevant and authentic content. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
Notice how we said ‘engaged’ social media audience, and not ‘huge’. There’s a perception that influencer marketing is a popularity contest; the bigger the influencer’s social following the bigger the reach of the product message. Many brands see influencers as modern-day ad-boards who are the gatekeepers to a holy grail of huge and engaged audiences. But just because an influencer has a huge social following, their message shouldn’t be mistaken for genuine influence.
Take Kim Kardashian for example. Do you think all 92 million of her Instagram fans follow because they share the same interests? Celebrities and influencers should not be mistaken for one another, which is where many brands fall foul. Celebrities should be measured on their likeability across various audiences, while influencers should be measured on what impressions they can generate across their own niche audience, and even how receptive that audience is to branded content.
How we’ve used influencer marketing
At Outpost we practice what we preach. Our last two annual campaigns for Luxaflex have used influencer marketing extensively – with bloggers acting as our brand ambassadors to start conversations, increase engagement and humanize what can be beautifully stylish, but slightly faceless, brand.
We carefully chose 24 influencers, based in both the UK, and across Europe, with impressive social followings, but more importantly, excellent reputations. The written blogs and photography they posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their own personal blogs, produced were viewed over 200,000 times by their avid followers. So, as you can see, experience has taught us that influencer marketing – when you get it right – is well worth considering in your marketing mix.