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The pros and cons of using an influencer in your marketing campaign

Guest contributor

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The pros and cons of using an influencer in your marketing campaign

Finding exciting ways of reaching an audience is high on the list for all brands who are looking to improve their website traffic. Social media influencer marketing is a well-recognised and powerful strategy used by many different businesses to help them appeal more personally to their target groups.

It has become such a popular choice that it makes sense for you to be interested in using one for your next marketing campaign! However, before you take the plunge, check out some of the pros and cons that we have discovered about social media influencer marketing.

1. Increased emphasis on consumer privacy

Influencer marketing is a type of advertising that uses influencers to endorse or promote products that their followers may want to buy.

Influencers are merely people who work hard to turn themselves into a trusted voice within a niche area of a market and then use their influence to sell products and services.

Influencers have grown in popularity, and there are many to choose from for most areas, meaning that you can advertise your products to the target market you want to engage with.

The pros

1. Influencers have more clout for teens

If you are looking to engage a teenage audience, then social media influencers are a great choice. With more than 70% of teenagers stating that they would believe an influencer over a celebrity, you can be certain that your product will reach the right people when you opt for this marketing strategy.

The main reason for this is that potential influencers are seen to offer a real perspective, whereas celebrities are seen as more heavily endorsed. So teenagers are more likely to trust an influencer that they follow and respect.

2. Women trust social media for shopping purposes

If your product or service is aimed at the female market, then using an influencer is definitely the way forward to build trust! Over 86% of women are said to use their social media accounts to get advice on purchases that they are interested in making.

Finding the influencers that interest women is the key to your success, and when you manage this, you can look forward to an influx of sales from this demographic.

With more people active on social media than ever before, you can also be confident that this number will continue to grow with more customers being influenced for purchasing decisions.

3. Using social media influencers is not uncommon

Social media influencers are getting more recognition every day, and in turn, the popularity of influencer campaigns is growing at a rapid rate. In fact, influencer marketing is growing so fast that more and more brands are signing up for it every day.

When you combine this popularity with the low cost of using an influencer, you will be able to reach more potential clients than ever before.

4. Social media influencing does not get blocked

When you consider that over 40% of people use ad blockers, using a different targeting method is vital to your success. Consumers seem to not only trust what influencers have to say, but they also enjoy engaging with the content that has been created. Not only does this give you the potential to sell, but it also shows how the power of advertising is shifting to influencers!

Real life case study

Dunkin’ Donuts used micro-influencers (social media users with followers fewer than 50,000) and nano-influencers (social media users with followers between 1,000 and 10,000) for an Instagram campaign targeting millennials.

The aim of the campaign was to showcase their new handcrafted espresso drinks, not the sweet doughy snack we normally associate them with.

By using smaller-influencers, the campaign was able to reach over 1,000,000 users and had an engagement rate of 5.2%. This is over 4 times higher than usual engagement rates on Instagram. That is the power of influencer marketing!

The cons

1. Finding the right influencer can be tough

Working out who is right for your brand can be difficult and time-consuming. In fact, in a recent survey, over 60% of marketers expressed that identifying the right influencer was not only difficult but a significant barrier to creating a successful influencer campaign.

Moreover, it can be difficult to make contact with the influencer when you find one you want to work with. No wonder it makes sense that many marketers choose to avoid this type of campaign. 

2. It is a high-risk strategy

Choosing to use an influencer marketing campaign is a high-risk strategy that may or may not pay off. Ultimately, you are trusting the influencer to create the right content to attract customers to your product in order to increase your revenue.

If the influencer fails to create content that resonates with your target market, then you will not generate the sales you had predicted and still have to pay the influencer for their time.

3. Performance can be hard to measure

When it comes to monitoring the performance of the influencer campaign, it can be hard to work out whether the sales you make are organic or if they have come from the campaign unless you provide the influencer with a personalised discount code for your customers to use.

There are other ways to track performance such as using hashtags to monitor the campaign or using a specialist link to products, but these all take time and energy when you are sure to be busy enough with running your business.

4. Influencers can make mistakes

Influencers are human beings and can make honest mistakes when they are working. The only problem with this is that any mistakes that are made can have a direct impact on the success of your campaign.

From forgetting to share that the post is sponsored, creating content that does not appeal to ignoring the rules or even ignoring regulations around endorsements, your campaign can be over before it has had time to shine.

Plus, if you have chosen an influencer based on their number of followers and interactions, then you may find that they have only been achieved through the use of bots rather than real people. So, please be sure to do a thorough background check.

Real life case study

The point of using an influencer is for your product to come across as genuine. So when Bootea Shake used Scott Disick to promote their brand, he caused a major faux pas by copying and pasting their directions into his post. His followers quickly pointed out his gaffe and the reputation of both parties was damaged.

The verdict

Working out if social media influencer marketing is right for you depends on the nature of your business and the audience that you are trying to target. It is clear that it will be an asset in some areas, particularly if you are trying to reach a younger audience, but it may let you down in others if you do not do your homework first.

As with any new marketing strategy, balance is key. Testing it out while maintaining other marketing streams will help you get an idea of whether it will work for you or not before you launch a big campaign using influencers.

About the author

Joe Dawson is the Director of  Creative.onl in Leicester. He has a passion for creating meaningful experiences. Through design, he creates authentic and innovative digital products. Read Joe’s blog here.

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