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Does Influencer Marketing Actually Work?

If you are an active social media user and follow any celebrities, chances are you have seen influencer marketing in the works. Businesses have been using celebrities and iconic figures to promote their products for years now. However, the term “influencer marketing” wasn’t coined until more recently. Influencer marketing refers to a marketing strategy that combines this traditional strategy of endorsements with the growing trend of an online and social presence for businesses. Does this marketing strategy actually work though? We’ve outlined some of the most commons advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing.

 

The Pros

Like any marketing strategy or campaign, the success of the campaign is heavily dependent on the specifics of your company. However, there are certain things to keep in mind when developing an influencer marketing strategy to ensure a positive outcome.

 

Influencers allow businesses to reach engaged audiences at-scale, which is a huge plus. But as far as creating conversions, there is much more to it. It is important for brands to be selective with their ambassadors. Simply going after the most popular celebrity at the time will not do. Brands must choose who they partner with based on the audience they are trying to reach. In other words, your target audience must match with the followers (or audience) of your ambassador.

 

Other advantages of influencer marketing include access to niche audiences, as well as creative content and delivery. Whoever you decide to partner with has their own unique audience, which hopefully aligns with who you want to target. In addition, today’s top influencers are visual content creators. Allowing them the creative freedom to promote your brand (but within brand guidelines) is a win-win. It allows the opportunity for fresh, creative ideas that will resonate with the specified audience.

 

The Cons

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of an influencer marketing strategy is the unpredictability of the person or persons whom represent your brand. You can control what a creator might post with regard to your content, but you can’t control what they post outside of that. Anything potentially controversial surrounding that person affects your brand solely by association.

 

Another setback to influencer marketing is the risk of inauthenticity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set specific regulations regarding proper disclosure. This requires influencers to clearly disclose when they are in a paid partnership with a brand and has resulted in many users feeling like the posts are not genuine.

 

Overall

Influencer marketing has proven itself it be a very successful strategy, if applied and implemented properly, and is most commonly utilized by brands with larger budgets. The ROI in terms of sales can be challenging to pinpoint, but the added reach and impressions are exponentially favorable. If you are considering adding influencers to your marketing strategy, it is crucial to select influencers that are in line with your brand and its values.