Influencer marketing has taken the digital world by storm as a more common way of marketing in the past 5 years. Since influencers have a personalized and authentic feel about them compared to other forms of marketing, they are able to attract very loyal audiences. According to an article from AdWeek, the benefits “aside from the essential boost in brand awareness and new audience reach, [is that] more than one-half [of brands in a survey] reported that influencers help grow their social following and increased sales, while still nearly one-half reported increases in website traffic.”
Google Trends marking the popularity of searches in the past 5 years.
Rules put in place by the Federal Trade Commission for brands working with influencers state if an influencer is being paid, they must explicitly mention it in their post. Whether it be, “This post is sponsored by Company X” or the like, all the way down to something as short as #sp or #ad on Instagram or Twitter. This has become an issue because many followers may not realize that they are even viewing an endorsement with such a small notice.
That said, definite drawbacks can come from influencer marketing. Since brands do not and cannot control everything an influencer posts on his or her social media accounts, a post could accidentally go awry. In one instance, a report from Quartz in May 2016 states that reality-TV star Scott Disick’s social media shows that he copy and pasted the brand’s instructions for him. Furthermore, his post did not explicitly state that it was a sponsored post. This Instagram post (that has since been deleted), is just once stance that proves that although influencer marketing can be extremely successful for companies, it also has the potential to go wrong and embarrass both the brand and influencer alike online by drawing unwanted attention to the faux pas.
All in all, the title of influencer marketing does just that – it has the potential to influence an audience by pairing a company’s product or service with a well-known person. That said, it is not the end-all be-all and brands should be extra cautious in deciding which person can and should promote their brand, since with their endorsement comes the potential for either success or a bad blunder that could hurt the brand.
Sources: http://www.adweek.com/digital/influencer-marketing-is-becoming-an-essential-business-strategy-survey/, http://www.business2community.com/marketing/5-tips-effective-influencer-marketing-01802830#uB0uCTSJt1S8s5im.97, https://qz.com/688904/reality-star-scott-disicks-inability-to-copy-and-paste-bungled-an-instagram-sponsorship/