Do You Even Influence?

The term “Influencer” has been at the top of digital marketeers minds over the last number of years. Breaking it down, the act of using influential individuals to sell consumer goods and services is nothing new. Listen I’m still convinced I’m going to have a mane like Blake Livelys if I keep using L’Oréal (any day now!).  What is new is how accessible these new digital influencers are for brands. Big celebrity’s equal big budgets, and limits the number of brands that can afford to work with them. Girl next door with a relatively large and engaged following? This is accessible for all.

Is this necessarily a good thing? That depends. When marketeers and brands are jumping on this opportunity because they think they should, not properly assessing – does this make sense? Does this align with my brand? My message? Then no. Jumping on this Influencer bandwagon does not make for a successful nor engaging campaign for brands, and more importantly for the audience.

And let’s not forget how saturated this space has already become. Influencer fatigue for the consumers is already evident.  Just look to your own social feeds – endless scrolling through a sea of #Ad and #Spon. Consumers are savvy to this and are choosing to disengage.

So, what’s the remedy? To start, hunt out the brilliant Influencers. The Influencers that stay true to their own brand, their own ethos and their own beliefs and values. Steer clear of the Influencers looking to make a quick buck in this short-lived career. Once an Influencer chooses to promote something that doesn’t align, their audience recognises this and will lose trust in them.

Secondly RESEARCH. Landing on an Influencers social pages and seeing a large number means nothing these days. Are their posts engaged with? Are the likes and comments disproportionate to their overall following number? If this isn’t adding up, it can mean a couple of things. One, the followers are fakes, bought, bots – useless. Or two, their audience are following for a voyeuristic “love to hate” view on the Influencer. This, generally, isn’t helpful for a brand and their campaign.

Lastly, and this one is for the Influencers. KNOW the brand/ product you’re endorsing. One of the largest Influencer marketing fails of 2017 has to be handed to Fyre Festival – now dubbed as the festival where “the Rich Kids of Instagram meets the Hunger Games”. The kicker? Some of the world’s most-renowned Influencers were backing the campaign, including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner.

Jenner can also credit her name to the worst advertising campaign in 2017 – solving world peace one Pepsi at a time.

I’ll leave you with this last takeaway; The bubble has yet to burst, so Influencer marketing is here to stay for another while at least. Influencers can still be fashioned a great asset to a creative and captivating digital campaign. It’s up to us to ensure that these campaigns are kept fresh, align with our brands and are appealing to our audience – no cut and paste jobs here.