Influncer marketing has gained substantial steam in the last few years. It has become a (lucrative) extension of asking your friend’s advice about a product you’re interested in purchasing. In fact 92% of people turn to friends or people the know in the real world for this advice. Of course, now you’re not asking anyone’s advice, but rather seeing sponsored ads from random people with large followings on social media (Instagram in particular).
Influencer marketing was built on the idea that you cannot trust the media, but you could trust the people you follow online and you could trust their opinion of a product or service you’d like to try. This influencer could have any opinion of what they are “influencing” you to purchase, but they stick to the script they are given because they are being paid to market it to you. Some of these people are outright famous (i.e. any one of the Kardashians) and some just have large online followings and are famous in a more niche circle. This isn’t to say that you can’t trust influencers—plenty of influencers use their platform to endorse products they actually use and enjoy; but, be weary of using it as a tactic.
Influencers aren’t always authentic as they seem. Fashion influencer Marissa Fuchs concocted an elaborate (if not impressive) social media tale of a scavenger hunt that would end with a wedding proposal. It turned out this was all pre-planned and pitched to brands to help fund the whole endeavor.This type of situation shows an influencer taking advantage of her situation for her own gain. This isn’t exactly influential, and can cause distrust among consumers.
As previously mentioned in a blog post, consumers want honesty and authenticity. Influencer marketing doesn’t always fall in these categories. When choosing this as a marketing method, consider the product, the target audience, and whether or not another marketing tactic would be more effective.