Influencer Marketing has been a growing trend for years. What started with celebrities endorsing products has grown to millions of micro and macro-influencers. We discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of this type of marketing and how being social simple will help your brand.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. We only recommend products we personally use. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
We all grew up seeing it. Commercials showed a mega superstar holding a pair of shoes, or perhaps they were rocking some new shades. In essence, that was the infancy stage of influencer marketing. Stars would use their substantial fan base to help brands pitch their products.
Today, this type of influence marketing has shifted. In general, people no longer blindly follow these stars. Instead, they are seeking someone they can genuinely relate to. The advent of social media has made this possible. We now have what are considered micro and macro-influencers that have built followings ranging from small to substantially large. Subsequently, not unlike the superstars of old, they can monetize on these followings.
In this article, we will focus mainly on influence marketing. As you can see below, there can be additional aspects to this type of marketing, but they all come down to using influence to sell at its roots.
Affiliate Marketing – A person or persons who pitch a product that they may or may not have personal experience with in exchange for a share of the sale.
Influence Marketing – A person with at least a moderate following that uses their personal influence to pitch brands, products, or services that they may or may not have personal experience with in exchange for a flat fee.
Affiliate/Influence Marketing – Both of the above are mixed together.
Influence Marketing – Pros
There is value in influence marketing. Tapping into larger audiences to share your products and services is always a good thing. That being said, do your research to ensure that the person/persons you choose to work with are a good fit for your brand. One great tip is to look to your existing followers to start your search. People who already use your products and services make excellent brand ambassadors. Tapping into your current demographic will go a long way to building trust.
Tip: Focus on the quality of content over follower count when choosing an influencing partner.
Whether you chose to work with an influence marketer within or outside of your existing followers, ask yourself the following questions,
What are my KPI’s (key performance indicators)?
What am I exactly looking for in an influencer?
What am I hoping to gain?
Am I looking for exclusivity or transparency?
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search as well as expectations. Whoever you choose to work with should bring value and authenticity to your brand.
Influencer – Cons
As with any business endeavor, there are always potential pain points. If you are not careful, influence marketing can portray a lack of trustworthiness. People are not stupid and can smell a sales pitch a mile away. If your influencer isn’t showing the product or service’s value, they can quickly come across as the proverbial greasy car salesman turning away clients.
Another potential pitfall is when it comes to staying on brand. Unfortunately, there are influencers out there whose primary focus is on getting paid one way or another. This can lead to deceptive sales tactics.
I have experienced this first hand. A friend shared a TikTok on a product they were interested in using for their business and wondered if I had heard of it. The warning bells in my head went off about five seconds in. The influencer was pitching a product at a significantly discounted price compared to similar products—going on to say that it was a one-time fee—no further charges for services ever.
I grew up with a saying, as I am sure many of you have, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I went directly to the website of the product to do more investigating. Low and behold, the influencer couldn’t have been further from the truth. The pricing on the website was nothing like what had been promised. What a nightmare for that company!
Final Take Away
As you can see, we participate in affiliate marketing. We only partner with products that we use personally and offer a clear value to our followers. In its many facets, influence marketing can bring value to your company if you do your research with a focus on sustainability and authenticity.