Influencer marketing has gone from a great edge in social media marketing, to a must for most brands if they want to get their product or service out there in an authentic way, to the right audiences. Choosing influencers that work within the genre and lifestyle of your product can mean a reach to an audience you never had before. But there are a lot of myths tied to creating your own influencer program that you have to know and avoid before diving in.
Finding Influencers Is As Easy as Searching a Few Blogs & Instagram
Definitely not! Can you take 5 minutes and find a fitness influencer on Instagram? Absolutely. But to find the right fitness influencer for YOUR brand, one within your budget range, one with the proper engaged audience and the right aesthetic style, THAT takes time. You need to take a lot into consideration when searching. Is their audience the right one for you? Does it fall into the right gender, right age group, the right overall demographic? What about their fees? You probably have a set budget of how much you want to spend. Do they fall into that budget? Are they on all the platforms you need them to be on? Are they responsive and easy to deal with, or maybe they are a nightmare?
Even if you find 5 influencers that match this list, and you want to work with all of them, you likely won’t get a contract with every single one. Some might be working for a conflicting brand or competitor; others just might not be interested. If you need 5 influencers, you’ll need to find yourself 10. If you need 10, you’ll need to find yourself 20. This turns it around from a 5-minute search to hours, sometimes days searching for the right influencers.
You Don’t Have to Worry About the FTC If It’s Coming From An Influencer
Maybe 10 years ago this was true, but nowadays, it couldn’t be more wrong. The FTC is getting more and more involve in influencer marketing as it rises in popularity, and that means more rules are being placed on what influencers can and cannot legally say, and what brands can ask of them.
It’s important that you know some of the basic rules:
- Influencers have to clearly disclose any relationship with a brand where a post may be incentivized. Incentivization doesn’t just mean they were paid, it also means free product, coupons given, etc.
- To clearly disclose they have to do #sponsored or #ad. #spon is no longer legally accepted, or any other shortened or misleading hashtags.
- It can also be made clear in plain English “I’m so proud to be working with…” “I’m excited to be a brand ambassador for…”
Don’t run the risk of avoiding these key legal actions, even if you think you can get away with it. Many historical lawsuits have proven you likely won’t.
The Only Valuable Influencer Is One With a Ton of Followers
This is just not true; micro-influencers are becoming a big deal in the influencer-marketing world, and for good reason. That top tier influencer might cost you several thousand, and in the end they may have already been working with so many brands in the past, no one takes them seriously anymore.
Micro-influencers, however, have niche, dedicated audiences. They also aren’t seen as “sell-outs,” and their audience will more than likely take their brand promotion as more authentic, that they would only work with brands they use or care about (and in a lot of cases, this is true, so it works out well for brand credibility). And in the end, they will end up much cheaper than those big name influencers.
Influencers Only Want to Be Paid Money
Not true. Remember those micro-influencers we just spoke about? Many of them are small enough that working with brands is an exciting way for them to build their own personal brand, and often times they are so eager to work with a company they enjoy the products of, that paying them in merchandise works just fine for them.
Paying from your own inventory is going to be much cheaper for you and gives influencers actual product to review and play around with. This is especially helpful when they are taking photos of your products, or creating YouTube videos. It gives them the content to work with instead of them having to purchase it themselves. And often a well thought out gift basket of goodies can go a lot longer of a way than just a check.
Influencer Marketing Is Going to Help You Meet All ROI Goals
Influencer marketing is incredibly useful; it reaches a new audience, it allows you to grow on social media outside of your own platforms, and it fosters new relationships with influential people. But be realistic about your goals and understand that a single influencer program might not help you sell every product off your shelves. It takes time and effort to create a great program and often some trial and error, just as it does with any other marketing endeavor. Don’t think of it as a cure-all, but just another space for your brand to play.
So don’t let these myths fool you! There’s a lot to keep in mind with influencer marketing but with the truth on these 5 myths under your belt, your company will be ready to dive in.