What is influencer marketing?

I’m sure that you all have heard of influencer marketing, an advertising technique that has revolutionised the promotion of products worldwide. It’s pushed traditional advertising out the window, and replaced it with social media marketing where we can tweet, repost, like and download products within seconds. For those of you don’t know what exactly KOL is, you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the last 5 years. Influencer marketing is a type of advertising that involves working with a prominent person in a particular market niche to promote products and brands. Any company that truly wants to advertise their products, has already turned to media influencers for help, with 86% of marketers using KOL in 2017. This type of marketing has definitely transformed the way products are advertised and case studies show that it has proven to be more successful than any other digital marketing scheme, with it having a ROI 11 times higher than any other form of digital advertising.

Of course this is great news for companies using Influencer marketing in the future, however what happens when brands end up spending too much money on macro influencers and end up losing revenue because of it?

Last year the health-detox company Bootea paid Scott Disick, the ex-love interest of Kourtney Kardashian, to promote their product by posting an Instagram photo with himself and the product. His Instagram post went viral, but not in the way the company intended. Disick posted the photo with the copied and pasted email from the Bootea marketing team as his Instagram caption- he posted not only the caption the company told him to past but also the instructions telling him to post it. This of course, was a complete mess and the company and Scott himself received backlash and ridicule for his actions. The influencer charges $20,000 per Instagram post, and similar costs for a twitter post. Not only did Bootea waste a huge sum of money and get nothing back in revenue for the brand deal, but the photo showed Scott not having even opened the product. This is just one example of marketing companies using KOLs for a meaningless advantage. Bootea wasted their money on a macro, expensive influencer who failed to promote their product (essentially turning it into laughing stock). Furthermore they wasted money on an influencer who didn’t care about what he was promoting. Theoretically Disick raised brand awareness, but this was done in an extremely unprofessional fashion. He didn’t showcase the product properly, therefore none of his following would have thought that he had used the product, so why should they bother buying it?


Should you invest?

Using media influencers is an effective way to advertise, however the biggest problem with this type of marketing is finding an influencer who will not only sell your product effectively, but finding an influencer who is worth the money you are spending. Companies need to realize that spending more money on influencers is nowhere near correlative to the success of their brand. Investing money in Scott Disick was clearly a mistake for Bootea. Yes, he is a social media star with a following over 20 million on Instagram, but the questions you need to be asking BEFORE you invest thousands into KOL are- how many of those followers are fake? How many of the following is inactive (ie. not liking or sharing his posts)? And how active is Scott Disick himself with his following?

To begin a successful influencer marketing campaign, you need to ensure that when evaluating potential influencers, the number of followers is a false indication of how much of an impact an influencer can make. Instead, you need to find influencers, specifically MICRO influencers who have passionate followers who will care about the products in your industry simply because they will trust their influencer more. Shocking right? The marketing world has been seriously brainwashed with the idea that the more reach the influencer has, the more customers their product will get, but this is NOT the case. It is more cost efficient and more revenue efficient to choose a social media influencer who has a smaller, but more dedicated following, who will trust them and buy the product they are advertising. It is the smart marketers who spend less money on influencers who essentially give them more revenue.

Results depend on how influencers are able to creatively and authentically integrate the brand’s message into their video or post, in a way that works for the brand, themselves and the audience. Paying big bucks for huge media stars doesn’t always work- they do not have an authentic relationship with their following, therefore their followers will be least likely to buy the product that their advertising when doing a brand deal.

Let’s take the app, “Best Fiends” for example. It’s a gaming app that hit $100 million in December 2017, only three years after its first launch- crazy right? Well actually it’s not that unattainable, the app invested in micro-influencers, most specifically Youtubers to promote their product. The company realized that teens and young adults considered Youtubers to be their most influential people, and that fans felt that they could relate on a personal level and connect with their micro-influencers in a way no one could be able to do with an “A-List” celeb like Scott Disick. The “Youtubers” they choose to promote their brands, are always connected to the app in some way or allowed to create their own fun story behind it- in order to have a natural engagement with the influencer, the product and their audience. Best Fiends took the smaller, less expensive tactic to advertise and because of this, their gaming app has skyrocketed higher than any other game in the app industry.

In conclusion, Branding Records are here to tell you that it doesn’t matter what your budget is (big or small), what matters is that you should be targeting micro-influencers verses macro-influencers in order to be more cost-efficient and revenue efficient. 60% higher campaign engagement rates are driven by micro-influencers, meaning their campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings, making them more cost effective and revenue effective. Furthermore when choosing media influencers it is essential to have a creative story (or relationship) between the influencer and the product, in order to have more authentic selling and increased buying.