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A changing landscape: but are Influencers the answer for your business?

14th June 2019

With social media already so prevalent and pervasive, now another channel has risen out of the cauldron for marketeers to consider: Influencers

Put smart phones together with channels such as Instagram where anyone can capture and share their interests and activities online and you get ‘influencers’. Many social media influencers are ‘ordinary’ people who have built an online profile and personality for themselves and gained thousands of highly engaged followers, making them ‘trusted voices’ within their areas of interest, whether it is make up or mountaineering.

The influencer market has risen from a quiet hum to a rousing cacophony estimated to be worth an estimated $8 billion in 2020.

So, why work with Influencers?

A sense of normality, along with expertise in their field, helps influencers foster remarkable levels of loyalty and engagement amongst followers.

Many influencers who run Instagram channels or blogs in their chosen field, are now monetising access to their followers via endorsements, reviews and hashtags.

With 7 in 10 millennial consumers valuing endorsements from their peers over celebrities, the question then arises whether to work with Micro-Influencers (who typically have smaller but highly engaged followings) or Macro-Influencers who tend to have larger followings – perhaps even celebrity status – and could ensure more impressions, but often at a higher cost.

Which option to choose, depends on your budget, product and campaign goals.

It’s also important to note that with nearly a quarter of the UK population using online ad blockers, certain forms of advertising are becoming less effective.

Instead, using social media influencers and sponsored posts to reach a potential global market totalling almost 3.5bn (up 9% year on year) is increasingly becoming a favoured way to promote goods and services.

Potential Banana Skins

Before you take your entire budget and double down on an influencer, it’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls.

  1. Despite crack downs, the social media black market is thriving, with untold numbers of accounts propped up by ‘paid-for’ followings or likes, not genuinely interested followers. Some 95 million (9.5%) of Instagram’s one billion accounts in 2018 were estimated to be robots – making it all too easy for fraudulent ‘influencers’ to gain a huge following based on no substance. There are various online tools, such as IG Audit, that can help shed light on which accounts are genuine, with legitimate, loyal followings.
  2. Agree terms before you start work with an influencer. It can be an awkward conversation but it’s vital that you agree the ‘deal’. Payment isn’t always a simple exchange of a fee in return for a post and a picture or two. Establishing clearly exactly what is being given and expected in return, is vital to ensure neither side feel short-changed.
  3. According to three quarters of marketeers, the top challenge of influencer marketing is measuring the ROI from a campaign (source: linquia). A combination of factors, from time scales to clearly evaluating the results, can make it challenging to accurately determine ROI.

Pagoda’s digital team can combine content generation, asset creation, marketing, paid amplification, influencer engagement to create a digital strategy that delivers on your business objectives and represents value for money.  Find out more here