Influencer marketing on social media has proven itself as a force to be reckoned with. In the past year, it has grown to become one of, if not the most, powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. The trend began rearing its head in 2016 and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, brands across all industries are turning to influencers to do their bidding for them.

A huge reason influencer marketing is so effective is because people simply no longer trust the brands themselves anymore. Brands and their marketers on social media have essentially become the car salesmen of the online world. For this reason, turning to highly-followed, trusted social media users with a heavy influence on their audience is the perfect solution. Though this tactic is incredibly successful, some marketers are not fully grasping the idea of “Influencer marketing” and thus making it inefficient. The following are 3 ways in which influencer marketing on social media is misunderstood.

  1. Influencer marketing is not short-term

Many marketers experimenting with influencer marketing for the first time are treating it as a short-term strategy. They browse influencers, choose one who’s numbers appeal to them, and pay them to be a hired gun for their campaign. After it’s done, they move on to either another influencer or another strategy altogether. This is the complete wrong way to best maximize the power of influencer marketing on social media.

First and foremost, any campaigns involving influencers should be planned carefully and thoughtfully. Instead of just choosing an influencer willy-nilly, marketers need to do their due diligence to find the right partner. For the collaboration to appear natural, an authentic relationship needs to be built between both parties. Having the influencer invested in your goals and ensuring that the campaign is mutually beneficial will ensure a long-lasting relationship with someone who cares about its success.

Just as importantly, you need to be sure that the influencer is able to properly connect with your target market. By choosing someone who doesn’t have the connection or influence required to convey your brand message with conviction, you may as well be throwing away your money. Collaborating with an influencer is essentially hiring them to be your mouthpiece. For this reason, make sure the messenger is as on-brand as the message itself.

  1. Influencers are not professional PR people

Many brands mistake influencers for professional media people. This can be a big mistake. Influencers are mostly just experts in their field or popular personalities who have garnered a strong enough following to have that influence.

Further to this, influencers are not usually driven by traditional marketing objectives. This is in large part what makes them so successful. With that being said, brands need to understand that influencers are not professional media people and do not have the same goals. Their reasons for being on social media are very different than that of a brand’s marketing department. Influencers don’t measure their success the same way brands do and so it’s important for brands to agree on a common goal prior to moving forward with a partnership.

As they are often focused on sharing information in an honest and uncensored way, brands should go with what works for the influencer to ensure a successful campaign.

Whether you’re paying the influencer monetarily or not, partnering with them doesn’t mean you have a free ride to sit back and relax. The best way to get the most out of the collaboration is to work closely with them to achieve both your goals and theirs. Once the content is released to the world, make sure to boost it by sharing it to all your channels, liking, and commenting.

  1. Influencer marketing isn’t just about celebrities

If you’ve done any research at all into influencer marketing you may have heard about the different types of influencer. To learn more about that, click here.

Influencer marketing in its original state was about celebrities. In fact, the first ever influencer was Santa Claus. Don’t believe me? Check out this article about the history and evolution of influencer marketing. Before social media, having a big name was the only way to gain access to the widespread audience that influencer marketing provides (and it doesn’t get much bigger than ‘ol Saint Nick). Unfortunately for the celebs though, consumers have become savvy to the fact that most celebrity endorsements are generally pretty inauthentic. When someone is getting paid over 6 figures, can you really trust them? Probably not.

Unlike celebrities, micro and macro influencers with smaller followings are seen to be much more genuine and trustworthy. With a highly specialized and targeted reach, influencers are having more success at influencing people than the big names who have a more general (and unspecialized) reach. Because influencers are often experts in their field, they are more respected and come at a lower cost than the Kim Kardashians and Just Biebers of the world. With all of this taken into consideration, the return on investment is much better with non-celeb influencers.

 

While many brands have benefitted greatly from adding influencers to their marketing strategy, others have struggled to implement it efficiently. The key to success is doing your research, ignoring popular misconceptions, and working closely with influencers to strengthen your campaign’s chances of success.