In recent years there has been a sudden growth of influencer marketing, namely marketing through the targeting of key individuals (or groups of individuals) as opposed to a broader demographic. Have you ever watched a video in which some perky faced millennial shows off the latest thing they’re fascinated about? Such as a product from a chain store, the latest movie, or a particular brand of clothing? That’s influencer marketing. By targeting key influencers, influencer marketing agencies hope to reach a wide audience with less investment through utilizing word of mouth (WoM) over the internet.
The idea is fine in theory, but the realization of such methods has run across a few problems and kinks that were unforeseen. It just shows that no system is perfect, and any additional marketing agencies hoping to use similar tactics should keep themselves aware of them so that they can be avoided.
The Marketing of Today
Agencies across the nation, and indeed across the developed world, have started to recognize the benefits of advertising through word of mouth and social media. It’s reached a point where every company worth its salt now has a social marketing strategy, even if it’s just someone updating the Facebook profile or occasionally dropping a Tweet. Large companies with a budget that can afford it even have entire departments dedicated to online marketing and social media.
Influencer marketing has come about as a natural evolution to the blogging culture of the 00’s. In essence, people writing certain blogs or operating certain channels of Youtube would occasionally post updates on products relative to their interests. One of the most noteworthy examples to come about recently are the “Let’s Play” videos and livestreams, in which people play video games and record their experiences. This is often a working demo of the game, and can inspire people to purchase the games themselves. Sometimes Let’s Play presenters will actually give full reviews of the games they showcase as well, discussing the video game and offering a certain grade.
Savvy marketing agents have realized that this offers the perfect opportunity for cheap marketing. For the cost of the product offered as a showcase sample and the allowance to demonstrate it online, agencies can advertise their products to millions of people at minimal cost. It plays perfectly into the internet subcultures of today, and has been heralded by some as the modern marketing strategy.
However, like any other marketing strategy it’s not without its flaws.
There is No Such Thing as Perfect Advertising
One of the troubling things about advertising is that nothing is ever guaranteed with it. While agencies can stumble across good marketing strategies that generate predictable results, there is no system that guarantees perfect results every time. As a result, an important thing to avoid is putting all your eggs into one basket. Do not be tempted into placing too much stock into influencer marketing.
As with any well-rounded approach to a project, consider utilizing several different projects in tandem with each other to ensure a balanced overall strategy. In this case, should one fail, you still have others to fall back on. As such, do not rely too much on influencer marketing,
Quality, Not Quantity
Another mistake is to focus on follower numbers as opposed to actual quality of marketing. Just because an influencer is watched by several hundreds of thousands or even millions of people doesn’t mean they’re going to be a good advertisement for your product.
In particular, one thing to avoid is to expect too much of individual influencers. We mean this in two ways. First and foremost, remember that influencers only offer an opinion and a brief experience of a product. This can be influential to followers, but is by no means decisive in their final decision to buy a product. Many people follow influencers as much for entertainment as anything else, and may have no interest in purchasing the products they see. Further the influencer, while entertaining to watch, may not be good as a salesman. It takes one set of skills to make reading about perfume in a blog enjoyable, for example. It takes another to make reading about perfumes in a blog a marketing pitch. Remember that the key is advertising, not entertainment.
Second, remember that your influencers will also come to their own conclusions about the products they showcase. If they don’t like the product you have them showcase, they will make their dislike quite clear when presenting it to their followers. Sometimes this can be due to actual failings in the product itself, but sometimes it can simply be a matter of personal taste. Remember that influences work both ways – just as someone can be attracted to a product by an influencer, they can be put off a product by them as well.
Once a review has been made, that is it. It’s on the internet and will remain on the internet, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Attempts have been made in the past by suppliers to have negative reviews on Youtube and other sites removed through legal action, but they ultimately fail and only serve to bring more negative press to the company.
So always think carefully before selecting influencers, and always make sure the product you present to them is the best that it can be. Selecting an influencer with little marketing presence, or giving them a product they don’t like, could be disastrous. Think ahead and contact an influencer marketing company, such as NeoReach, for advice on selecting the proper influence to promote your product.