The Cons of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the latest and greatest thing out there right now. It perfectly mixes the old and the new by integrating traditional marketing strategies with social media. While businesses and social media enthusiasts are excited about this new sales tactic, there are definitely some negatives associated with it. This following is a list of reasons why this marketing strategy can be a little risky.
An article written for shanebarker.com states, “Influencer marketing is still a relatively new strategy, so marketers are bound to make mistakes. There is no handbook to a successful influencer marketing strategy, so most of the time, brands learn from their hits and misses. Some common mistakes that influencers make, which can affect the brand, include: not disclosing that a post is sponsored, posting content that does not resonate with their target audience, ignoring the FTC endorsement guidelines, and inflating followings and engagements using bots.” Human error will always exist. However, some of these easily avoidable mistakes can be extremely costly for businesses.
Barker also notes, “It takes a lot of time and effort for brands to find the right influencer for their campaigns. If you don’t collaborate with the right influencers, it can cause great damage to the reputation of your brand. According to a survey, 61% of marketers find it difficult to identify the right influencers for their campaigns. It becomes difficult to evaluate if an influencer has genuine followers.” Brands have a problem with this particularly when they team up with reality television stars. These people have massive followings; however, their reputations can be questionable. The last thing a company wants is to align their name and image with someone with a bad reputation. To have your brand associated with scandal or negativity is why many companies have a difficult time finding influencers who will represent them well.
It can be difficult to measure results with marketing via social media. Likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement are just some of the things businesses have to look for. Given that this is still a new form of marketing, it can be hard to quantify these figures in order to calculate any kind of return on investment. Jay Baer wrote an excellent article for convinceandconvert.com where he explains more about social media metrics. Not knowing what to measure, having limited data and failing to understand the business impact are some of the challenges he mentions. He also recognizes that social media is about people. It’s not black and white because we cannot measure the way content and influencers make people feel. These are things that make an impact on the bottom line but cannot be controlled or quantified.
Because influencer marketing is still new, calculating true results and impact can be difficult. The risk factors, and grey areas make it an unappealing option for some brands. However, with some fine tuning and hard numbers, it has the potential to be a fantastic marketing tool.