The ‘I’ in Influencer Marketing
The incongruity between the ‘Influencer’ and the Brand / Product is something that I have been pointing out to many people, including some influencers. Most of the brands pay a lot of money to these people and that particular post gets a lot of likes…but does anyone track the ROI? Do some of these influencers even know what ROI means???
Dear Brands: I am not going to ‘buy’ your Product or have ‘brand recall’ just because someone has a lot of likes and followers (because they show some ‘Boob and Ass). I am NOT looking at their posts to discover all the ‘Amazing Features’ of your Product!
Sex has been used to Sell and Influence since the beginning of time, but it was effective in media because there was a scarcity of it, so a racy picture on a magazine with a product had SOME degree of subliminal effect.
That effect is almost defunct and redundant now, simply because there is a excess supply of it on Instagram. The brain automatically shuts down excess input, even the ‘pleasure senses’, hence making your Brand and Products ‘in the hands, on the Thighs / tummy’s of these influencers defunct and reduntant as well.
Wake up and smell the BS!!!
This is not some vendetta against any particular influencer and/or influencers as a group. I am just highlighting a lack of rationale in the process. The disparity between influencer and the real influence that they are making is something that a lot of people in the Marketing space are concerned about.
Elaborating on my point of the ‘influencer — Brand Disparity’,
The BIGGEST misconception in the Influencer industry is the confusion that ‘FOLLOWING / LIKES of the Influencer = Following / Brand Loyalty / SALES for the Brand’.
Most of these influencers do not have Marketing / Sales / Business development experience. So this means that the Brand / Marketing person of the Client company needs to have a sense of what the Value Proposition of their Brand / Company / Product is and IF those values are consistent with the Influencer and their ‘Personal Value Proposition’. THIS I believe, is the biggest Gap in the ‘influencer — brand’ dynamic right now.
There are many smart Brand managers out there, highly qualified and motivated to do the best for their Brands. But its very easy to get carried away with the trend and implement new strategies just for the sake of ‘introducing new thinking’, and not really because you have done a proper business case to figure out if this alternative is really what your brand or company needs right now.
Its not the ‘Personality’ that is the issue here per se. The absence of RELEVANCE of the Influencer to the Brand / Product is alarming.
At the end of the day ‘hype and noise’…is EXACTLY just that… HYPE and NOISE!
Consumers are also guilty here and its a vicious cycle, because influencers are not producing content of any significance, we just keep browsing through the feeds and robotically double tapping. And because we keep double tapping and following they keep dishing out the same kind of content. And then the Brands see all this, because boy, they love ‘engagement’. So they end up taking money from the CSR budget (because its more less modern-day CSR), and pumping free product and money to the influencers with the most number of Followers and Likes. Apart from the NUMBER of followers, do they even give you audience demographics? At least the basic ones like Age, Gender and location. So in essence, neither party is really doing anything of value here, but some are clearly getting the better end of the stick.
…hence continuation of the cycle of ‘paying for likes rather than creating value for loyalty’
One of the ways to address this is to Educate the Brands AND the Influencers. Maybe we can have Marketing workshops for influencers. But now its all the other way around. These guys are Gurus at everything. They are giving advice to everybody. And the topics range from how to get a Six pack to how to get Enlightened…and anything in-between…and sometimes in the same post.
Companies and Brands need to consult people with Marketing experience to help them contract the RIGHT kind of Influence!