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Winning friends and influencing millions seems like a daunting task. However, influencer marketing is growing. So, the looming question remains, how can marketers work with influencers while avoiding the mistakes, failures, and controversies that have plagued other brands?
Influencer marketing is a chance to engage with consumers who skip, ignore or avoid ads that are in front of them. The power of the influencer is often underestimated since influencers can offer genuine endorsements and quality exposure that ads sometimes cannot. With this specific type of marketing growing each year, knowing the new rules of influencer can open new doors for brands looking to connect with the latest generation of consumers.
Keeping Up With The Vigor
According to a survey by Klear, influencer posts grew by 198% in 2017. Another survey, the Association of National Advertisers’ April 2018 report predicts that marketers will spend $101 billion on influencer campaigns in 2020, up from $81 billion in 2016. Despite marketers spending more on influencer marketing, experts say that many marketers are not being smart. Although marketers understand how important authenticity and relationships are in influencer marketing, experts say that most marketers seem to forget the main purpose of influencer marketing: engaging, honest and authentic communication with potential customers.
“Good marketing comes with knowing how to create a good relationship. The best marketers understand that the human experience is all about connection. If you’re not thinking about how you’re connecting with people, your brand is probably not going to have a very big fingerprint in the world.” Nathan Michael, Chicago-based influencer and founder of Low Res Agency.
So, the necessity of transparency to a customer is a new rule that marketers must follow in order to conquer influencer marketing.
Giving Your Customers Real Information
In order to build trust with your customers, influencers need to be using your products. This trust is essential; the best influencer marketing trades on it. If a company or an influencer betrays that trust, the campaign may harm the reputation of both. Brands need to work with genuine influencers who actually use their products in order to create content that resonates with followers.
“Transparency is ranked the highest in a list of factors that motivate consumers to be loyal to a brand. And once a consumer has switched to a brand in favor of increased transparency, he or she is more likely to remain loyal long term. Transparency is so important to consumers that it actually increases a product’s worth in their minds.” Forbes reports.
Furthermore, another tactic that brands use to appeal to an influencer’s audience is to give the influencer creative control. When companies create insincere or dishonest campaigns, people feel doubtful. With an influencer that has creative control at the helm, they can create campaigns that transcend consumer expectations. Advertising does not have to be a bad thing, but when it becomes “gimmicky”, people can read that. Instead of being “gimmicky”, experts suggest that brands use influencer marketing to tell authentic stories and collaborate with people who want to create content for a brand. With a true strategic partner, you avoid sloppiness and embrace realness, something which is obviously highly sought after in the eyes of the customer.
Even though you cannot please everyone on social media, but you can radiate a pleasing image by building relationships with reliable influencers. However, with brands finding ways to work with people whom they want to create great work with, the goal should always be creating better work or better opportunities, and that can be done with keeping up with the newest and latest strategies surrounding influencer marketing.
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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!
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