Influencer marketing seems to be one of the most sought-after forms of marketing today. From tiny mom-and-pop shops to conglomerates, countless brands have used this form of marketing and reaped incredible returns from it.
Most brands love this strategy because of its ability to drive results in a very short time as compared to traditional methods of marketing. Be it to increase your brand awareness and visibility, conversions, or engagement – influencer marketing can do it all. However, as with everything else, there are both pros and cons of influencer marketing.
Yes, you heard that right. There is a dark side to this seemingly profitable and lucrative marketing strategy. And so, it’s essential that you’re aware of the pros and cons of influencer marketing before you decide to jump on the bandwagon
This post will take you through some of the key pros and cons of influencer marketing so that you’re well prepared to take the plunge and run successful campaigns. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
The Pros of Influencer Marketing
Why don’t we start by taking a look at the positive side of influencer marketing first? As discussed earlier, countless brands have seen success with this form of marketing. Let’s take a look at how influencer marketing can help you.
1. Influencer Marketing Impacts Buying Decisions
Here’s the very first advantage of influencer marketing – it really works. There are so many studies which prove that influencer marketing is actually capable of impacting the purchase decisions of consumers.
For example, a study by Twitter and Annalect found that tweets from brands when coupled with those from influencers, increased purchase intent by 5.2X. The same study also revealed that 49% of people rely on the recommendations shared by influencers when they make purchase decisions.
2. It Instills Trust in the Minds of Consumers
Influencers are people who have acquired loyal bands of followers who deeply trust and value their recommendations. So, when an influencer endorses a particular brand or product, their followers immediately take notice of it. And when the brand or product is fairly new in the market, such endorsements go a long way to boost its credibility.
This is because a good influencer would never endorse a product just for the money and their followers are aware of this. So when they recommend something, chances are they’re doing it because they’ve used and loved the product. This helps to build trust in the minds of consumers.
Image via Instagram
3. It Helps You Reach a Massive Audience
Most influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers. These people follow them because of their passion, insights, ideas, and the aesthetically pleasing content they share. They look forward to seeing new posts from these influencers and once they do, they’re quick to like, comment, and share them.
As you can imagine, collaborating with relevant influencers in your niche can help put your brand and products in front of a massive audience. When these people share the content posted by your influencers, your messages can reach an even larger group of people. Something you might not have been able to accomplish otherwise.
4. It Allows You to Target the Right Audience
When you collaborate with the right influencers in your niche, you can be sure that your messages reach the right audience.
This is the reason why most apparel brands prefer to collaborate with fashion influencers and beauty or skincare brands prefer to work with beauty influencers. Because it helps them reach an audience that’s likely to be interested in their offerings.
As you can see in the example below, NYC-based women’s clothing brand, MARISSA WEBB, has collaborated with fashion influencer, Wendy Nguyen. This is because her audience is composed of people that the brand wants to target.
Image via Instagram
5. You Don’t Necessarily Need a Huge Budget
That’s right. When you work with micro-influencers, many of them might agree to work with you in exchange for free products, services, or experiences. And even if they ask for monetary compensation, it’s usually a tiny fraction of what most celebrity influencers charge.
In fact, studies have found that 84% of micro-influencers charge less than $250 for a single sponsored post on Instagram. So, you don’t really need a huge investment if you want to implement influencer marketing.
The Cons of Influencer Marketing
I’m guessing this is the part you might have been dreading the most. So, what really are the cons of influencer marketing? Let’s take a look.
1. The Wrong Influencers can be Detrimental
Many brands have realized this the hard way. By collaborating with the wrong influencers, you run the risk of wasting your time, effort, and resources with little to no returns on your investment.
What’s more? If the collaboration doesn’t go down well with your audience, both you and the influencer can face severe backlash. This can damage both of your reputations in the market as well. For example, the post below received severe backlash from audiences because of its lack of authenticity.
Image via Instagram
So, make sure to choose influencers from your niche, who have loyal followings, and are known for their authentic content.
2. Mistakes Can Hurt Your Reputation Badly
One of the worst mistakes you can make in influencer marketing is to not disclose the details of your partnership with your influencers clearly. This can be construed as misleading consumers and so, the FTC has several guidelines that brands and influencers need to adhere to.
Fashion brand, Lord & Taylor, learned this the hard way when their failure to disclose influencer partnerships dragged them into a lawsuit that cost the company a lot.
3. The Groundwork Takes Time and Effort
It’s not easy to find relevant influencers for your brand. It takes a lot of time and effort to zero in on the right ones, vet their influence, reach out to them, and finally negotiate an agreement.
You need a team in place to handle the entire process and it can take a few months before you actually get to run your campaign.
4. Not Tracking Your Progress Can be Wasteful
Once you’ve launched your campaign, you must start tracking your progress. Not doing so leaves you at a disadvantage because you’ll have no way of knowing whether it’s working for you or not. So, tracking the progress of your campaigns needs to be of utmost importance.
This is usually a little difficult to accomplish manually. However, influencer marketing platforms can automate the process and help you calculate your ROI with ease.
5. Poor Influencer-Brand Relationships Can be Costly
Finally, a mistake that many brands make is to view influencer-brand partnerships as one-time transactions. You need to look beyond this and focus on building strong relationships with your influencers. Doing so can help you get more from your campaigns as your influencers will be more invested in them and put in their best efforts.
These are the pros and cons of influencer marketing in a nutshell. I hope this will help you make an informed decision before you decide to include influencer marketing in your overall marketing strategy. As with everything in business, it’s always best to be well-prepared so that you’re in for fewer surprises.
Do you know of any other pros and cons of influencer marketing? Let us know in the comments.