Influencer Marketing: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Influencer marketing is by no means a brand-new idea, although it has been on the rise over the past few years and has recently become a critical tactic when it comes to marketing. An influencer is defined as “someone who has the power to influence the perception of others or gets them to do something different.”

You’ve probably been exposed to numerous influencers on social media sites such as Instagram, without even realizing you are subconsciously being influenced. Your favorite blogger accounts? Celebrities? Even one of your closest friends could be an influencer.

The Good

There are many benefits of adding influencer marketing into your social media strategy and according to Forbes, influencer marketing is growing faster than digital ads. A few benefits of influencer marketing are:

” Bottleneck:
By utilizing influencers who already have a large presence on social sites, this helps dwindle down a large audience to a specific target audience that you are interested in attracting. By strategically deciding who you want to influence your brand, they will attract a very specific group of people who fit to your desired audience.
” Trust:
Due to the fact that influencers have already built relationships and a fan base with their social following, it is easy for them to then transfer their followers trust to the brands that they are sponsoring.

The Bad

Obviously with any new strategy, downfalls are bound to come along with it. The cons of using influencer marketing are as follows:

” The sponsorship could feel inauthentic:
According to Inc.com, consumers are starting to catch on to when influencers are partnering with brands and being paid to promote that brand. As a potential result, followers may be less likely to buy from that brand and could lose trust for the influencer.
” Aligning with the wrong influencer:
There is an enormous amount of research that must go into choosing the right influencer to partner with, if you choose the wrong one then you could do more harm than good to your brand. For example, if your influencer has a hidden past that you do not know about or if they have lied about their experience this could damage your company’s reputation by deciding to partner with them.

The Ugly

There is one big thing to be aware of if you are a company looking to incorporate influencer marketing into your social strategy.

” FTC Guidelines:
A common issue with influencer marketing is that brands and influencers aren’t always transparent about their partnerships. By doing so, this makes it look like influencers are free-willingly stating their opinion on their favorite brands when in reality they are actually being paid to promote brands.

In 2017, the FTC put their foot down and made specific rules and regulations on what influencers and brands need to be doing in terms of working together on sponsoring content.

A main way to avoid legal trouble is to ensure the influencers are clearly stating that they are being sponsored or paid to post about the brand. Most influencers do so by using #ad or #sponsored or #BrandPartner.

Influencer marketing is an extremely powerful social media marketing tool and if executed correctly, can have a tremendous impact on your brand. While on the other hand, if you try to rush the partnering process or do not spend enough time focusing on the specific details of your influencer, you could end up doing more damage to your band.

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