Is influencer marketing all that it’s cracked up to be?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
While influencer marketing packs many potential benefits, all brands and retailers need to be aware of some serious issues.
As influencer marketing continues to gain steam in both the B2C and B2B communities, regulations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are becoming stricter, and new tools/bots are creeping in to make it harder to trust advertised follower counts and “likes.”
Most recently, the FTC sent reminder letters to 90 or so influencers and marketers to ensure they are adding the correct disclosures within sponsored social media posts. For example, on Instagram, #ad #advertisement is preferred, but #collab #partnership aren’t clear enough as a disclosure, Kamiu Lee, VP of Business Development & Finance at Bloglovin’, told Retail TouchPoints.
On blog posts, sponsored content should be disclosed at the beginning of the post — not the end. If not properly disclosed by the influencer, it’s the brands and retailers that face the storm.
Beyond FTC guidelines, WWD recently revealed that some influencers or bloggers use services that let them buy social media followers in the form of bots. Generally, influencers with larger followings charge higher fees.
That’s not to discount the benefits of online influencers. While the concept of influencer marketing is not entirely new, it is growing more viable every day with the addition of social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr and being supported by online users’ higher trust of content from brand advocates over traditional advertising.
According to a study by McKinsey, marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.
Bloglovin’s Ms. Lee also noted that some brands prefer to look past the number of followers and are working with micro-influencers — or those with small reach — to focus more on aesthetic/brand affinity. According to Ms. Lee, “Placing much more importance on the aesthetic/brand affinity (i.e., Is this influencer a natural ‘spokesperson’ for your brand and creates content that jives well with your own brand ethos?) and engagement, versus just going after the top tier household names with mega reach.”
- The Not-So-Sexy Side Of Influencer Marketing – Retail TouchPoints
- Use Influencer Marketing To Connect Your Brand With Shoppers – Retail TouchPoints
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros or cons for retailers and brands in working with online influencers? What advice would you have for marketers who work with them?