The influencer marketing industry has copped its fair share of criticism and controversy – countless celebrity scandals, brand ad backlash, and then there was the infamous Fyre Festival exposing the inauthenticity of big-name celebrities on a massive scale.
All of this begs the question… do your customers trust influencers?
Back in 2017, Pepsi enlisted Kendall Jenner, one of the highest profile celebrity influencers in the world, for an ad that leveraged minority stereotypes to sell their product and promote ‘peace, love and unity’. The ad was immediately met with massive global backlash, so much so that it was pulled from screen 24 hours after its release.
More recently, fellow celebrity influencer and Victoria’s Secret angel Gigi Hadid has also been slammed for her unexpected Coachella collaboration with the world’s biggest fast food chain. Unsurprisingly, the unlikely partnership sparked massive social media backlash, with fans criticizing Hadid for the inauthentic nature of her post.
The lesson? Consumers are paying attention, and they value authenticity. By paying a celebrity, socialite or macro-influencer to promote products they don’t actually use or believe in, brands are leaving themselves open to backlash, creating skepticism and less trust among their consumers.
Does Influencer Marketing Work?
In short, yes – when they’re the right influencers.
In fact, 82% of consumers say they’re very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow, and 67% say they had no negative reaction to sponsored influencer content whatsoever. Furthermore, 37% of consumers felt that, if influencer content was authentic and high-quality, it actually negated the fact that it was sponsored. And the reason is clear… consumers want to hear from other consumers.
And for this reason, brands are bulking up their influencer marketing budgets. This week alone, beauty giant Estee Lauder announced that 75% of their digital marketing budget will be spent on influencers.
Engaging The Right Influencers
Many consumers follow Instagram accounts to build up their knowledge in specific areas, lead by talented content creators with considerable influence.
These ‘micro-influencers’ are simply everyday people who love creating content. They have built engaged, loyal followings – between 3,000 to 100K followers – around a particular interest niche, and they’re highly trusted by their audience.
Micro-influencers spend hundreds of hours honing their craft, building engaged followings who trust their expertise in their niche or category. Having built their popularity within the platform itself, their content is more authentic and trustworthy than celebrity influencers.
The increase in content quality is also lowering negative perception around sponsored posts, making influencer marketing more effective than ever.
In comparison to working with high-profile influencers, which can involve a number of stakeholders across the course of weeks, engaging with micro-influencers is often much easier.
Tech platforms like TRIBE enables brands to connect with a diverse pool of authentic influencers and generate authentic recommendations that engages their audience.
The truth is that, done right, influencer marketing can generate amazing results for your brand.
By tapping into the creativity of your own customers and getting them to do your marketing for you, brands can generate real recommendations from the mouths of real people, and amplify your brand’s message through an authentic, trusted source.