Marketing trends are quickly evolving. A strategy that used to work superbly for marketers ten years ago is highly likely to be outdated. Influencer marketing is among the most commonly used marketing techniques at the moment. Nearly any brand is looking for someone influencial to pay them handsomely for access to their network. According to a recent survey, about two-thirds of companies worldwide increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2019. Perhaps you’ve considered joining the bandwagon too. But before you get into the waters, it’s important to know that this form of marketing is not always a breeze and effective as you’d hope. In fact, it might not be for you and this is why:
1. It is costly to sustain
Influencer marketing is a highly competitive industry, with a recent report by Business Insider projecting its worth to hit $15 billion by the year 2022. The growth is attributed to the increased influencer demand. As such, hiring a top-notch influencer will require you to dig deeper into your pockets.
Unlike in customer advocacy, where some customers promote your brand or products without necessarily expecting to be paid, an influencer monetises his or her audience. The influencer’s payment is primarily dependent on the total number of followers within their social reach. On the other hand, as for customer advocates, even if you decide to reward them, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Some simple perks like coupon codes, exclusive access and modest branded giveaways will be just fine and still get energized team of followers.
2. It is risky to run influencer marketing
Influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are at opposing ends. In the customer advocacy people share the content in the form of their everyday experiences (highly engaging for friends and family). However in the case of influencer marketing, influencers create and share their own content regarding a brand or its products/services. So, in an unfortunate case where an influencer cannot create exciting content that resonates with the target audience, you won’t get much from their promotional efforts. In fact, their information might work against your brand. Consequently, your investment in them might end up being futile. Well, this is quite a tricky and risky marketing route to take.
3. ROI not guaranteed
The number of likes, comments, shares and followers can’t be used to measure a person’s influence in the online world effectively. As such, you can’t really tell if an influencer will influence every person who follows them on their social channels. So, there’s no rationale for determining that this amount of user engagement on an influencer’s channel will bring you a certain amount of sales. In other words, you can’t quantify the commercial value of an influencer. The only way you can establish that is if he/she actually brings in some sales first before asking for payment. Again, nearly no influencer will agree to work under such arrangements. They want to be paid first. From there, it’s upon you to see if the return on investment you get makes sense or not.
Even if they have thousands of loyal followers, many influencers can’t really tell exactly how your ROI will be from your engagement with them. In as much as they can seem to be good entertainers or wise, the majority of internet personalities don’t have much influence on the money spending decisions of their followers.
4. Consumers find influencers ‘fake’
The majority of internet users know that there are people who are paid crazy amounts of money to promote products. So, they see them (influencers) not as people who are genuinely praising a brand or product because of the benefit they’ve gotten from it but as money-chasers.
Many consumers perceive influencer’s messages as disingenuous and misleading. As such, the consumers have minimal trust in influence marketers, just like the brand they represent. That’s why some influencers tend to conceal any information that might make their audiences know that they’ve been paid to promote certain brands or products. Again, the trickery might not end so well with some consumers if they know the truth.
5. It’s not easy to engage with the right influencer
Approach any brand that uses or has at one point used influencer marketing and you’ll realize that getting the right influencer for your campaigns is not an easy task. A recent study shows that 61% of marketers take a lot of time and effort to get to the right influencers. If you aren’t patient with the recruitment process, you’ll end up taking anyone who seems to have a big following and this will mark the genesis of the flopping of your marketing strategy.
On the contrary, in customer advocacy, it’s easy to develop a team of loyal customers to spread the word for you. And since such customers are already engaged with your products, you won’t struggle to show them how to put the right message out there.
Considering the above five reasons, influencer marketing is not as effective as customer advocacy. Besides, it’s a more costly marketing approach with no guaranteed ROI. That’s why Pukket advocates for customer advocacy. Talk to Pukket today for any help you need with customer advocacy programme development.