Is Influence Dead?

Peruse the papers and every day you seem to find a story about a so called “influencer” being caught out for breaking the advertising guidelines.

Putting your brand in the hands of social media influencers can seemingly be fraught with danger and it’s easy to believe from the press that this age of influence is dying out. But with some of the worlds largest advertising and PR agencies now creating their own influencer departments this is not the whole story. A recent article in the FT shows that the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled in size since 2016 and shows no signs of slowing down. 

So, Is this potential risky activity actually worth it?

It's the same with any marketing activity, done well it can definitely help you. Done badly, it's not. It starts with choosing the right marketing channels and the right people to work with as influencers. There has to be a genuine and obvious link between the influencer and the brand or the whole exercise will be deemed as fake. 

It can help to think of your influencer as a brand ambassador. They are there to create more awareness of your brand and product and their endorsement should add value to your product or service and be able to easily introduce it to a new audience. 

My tips

  • What is the objective of your campaign? If you want to sell more product what would a good outcome look like for you?

  • What channel is best for your audience? - it does not need to be Instagram or YouTube if that is where your audience does not sit.

  • Choose influencers (or brand ambassadors) with a clear fit to your brand and a genuine love of your product. Do your homework, check them out and check other work they have done. 

  • Be clear - are you paying the influencer to promote you or are they doing it in return for the product. 

  • Stick to the rules - in the UK you can keep up to date with the ASA’s rules here .

  • Work at it - any relationship needs work so use your best influencers on multiple campaigns and keep coming up with new ideas.