Benefits and Drawbacks of Influencer Marketing

October 21, 2020
Marketing Automation
Productivity
Benefits and drawbacks with influencer marketing

Over the years, influencer marketing has taken off exponentially due to the increased use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Users with followings big and small promote a company’s product or services in exchange for free products or monetary compensation. Companies take part in this tactic in hopes that it will create a new slew of loyal customers. 

While there is a lot of potential with influencer marketing, it is important to consider both the good and the bad. In this article, we will cover some of the major benefits and drawbacks that come along with an influencer marketing strategy.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Cost-friendly

Although costs can vary slightly depending on the influencer you choose, in general, influencer marketing is not very expensive, especially when compared to other marketing channels. 

Influencer Marketing benchmark numbers

According to Tribe, 84% of micro-influencers charge only $250 per post. This means influencer marketing can be affordable for businesses of any size, especially when you consider the rate of return that this tactic offers.

Immediate Results

If you correctly identify influencers, you can drive sales within a matter of minutes. This is one of the great things about influencer marketing. 

While it may take a while to select appropriate influencers for your company, once their post is live you immediately begin to see the benefits. Many other advertising avenues cannot offer this rapid turnaround time, which gives influencer marketing a huge leg-up.

Helps You Gain Credibility

It takes a while for consumers to really begin to trust your brand. Of course, no matter what you do trust cannot be formed overnight, but influencer marketing certainly helps expedite the process. Typically, consumers view the influencers they follow as trusted individuals. These influencers are looked up to by consumers so they’re likely to trust any recommendations they may have.

Suitable For Businesses of Any Size

No matter how big or small your business is, influencer marketing has the ability to provide amazing results for your business. From nano-influencers, who offer more affordable rates, to mega-influencers who charge upwards of $10,000 per post, there is truly something for every business.

Recommended Reading: How to Increase Your Brand Exposure With Tik Tok Marketing 2020

Influencer Marketing Hub even offers a calculator that allows businesses to search particular influencers and see what their rates are for a post, story, video and more. This is a great way to see which influencers are attainable given your business’ current budget.

Influencers Know What Their Followers Want to See

Most influencers who have gained rather sizable followings have had the time to learn what their followers are interested in. They understand the personas of their followers and know what posts perform well and drive engagement. 

Think of this as free market research for your company. Rather than deciding on whether to post a video, photo or story, the influencer you’re working with can likely help make this decision since they have prior knowledge of what performs best.  

Reach a Broad Audience

In 2020, an estimated 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, this means influencer marketing has the potential to get you in front of billions of different people who may be interested in your product. Not many other marketing channels promise this wide of a reach, which is one of the many things that makes influencer marketing stand out.

Provides Great SEO Benefits

Influencer marketing campaigns directly benefit your company’s SEO efforts. Links are one of the most important ways to build your site’s domain authority, which greatly influences how your company ranks in search results. Generally, when influencers participate in campaigns there is a link back to your homepage or product page somewhere within the post.

Once your link is visible to a new audience, there is a good chance it will be shared with additional audiences.This means influencer marketing can create endless link-building opportunities.

Drawbacks of Influencer Marketing

Difficult To Measure Success

One of the most important components of any marketing strategy is measuring and analyzing success on a continued basis. Influencer marketing campaigns make this process rather difficult given the fact that there is no real way to track the success of your campaigns. 

While there are a few ways you can get a general idea of your campaign’s performance, such as total impressions, it doesn’t offer you the same detailed analytics that other marketing strategies do. 

Sponsored Content Can Become Overwhelming

In the past several years, influencer marketing has skyrocketed in popularity, which means users' feeds are becoming increasingly filled with sponsored or promotional content. While a few sponsored posts here and there are relatively harmless, you can turn users away if your influencer marketing is overdone or obnoxious.

74% of consumers say they would sever ties with influencers who post too often, which means the overwhelming majority of consumers are not willing to put up with advertisement overload. If users begin to see your product plastered all over every popular influencers page this can become repetitive and make customers question the validity of your product. Keep in mind, less is always more when it comes to influencer marketing. 

Risk of Fake Followers and Engagement 

Generally, influencers are paid an amount entirely dependent on the amount of followers or engagement their account has. The issue with using these statistics as a means of measurement is that there are several applications out there that allow users to purchase fake followers and comments.

Unfortunately, some influencers take advantage of applications like these and use them to trick companies into thinking they have a more notable online presence than they actually do. 

Influencers who use these apps are essentially participating in false advertising which causes many brands to unknowingly spend money that will provide them with no real return. These tactics make it difficult for companies to know which influencers they can truly trust.

Influencers Can Make Mistakes

Of course, nobody’s perfect, which means sometimes influencers can slip-up whether it’s posting the wrong photo or butchering the post caption, but a simple mistake can be costly to your business. 

There isn’t much room for mistakes when it comes to influencer marketing. Consumers are quick to catch inauthenticity and will be the first to let you know if they don’t like something. 

An example of an influencer marketing campaign gone wrong is shown below:

wrong example of influencer marketing

Bootea, a fitness and wellness brand, partnered with Scott Discik to create a post that showcased their product. Instead of only pasting the caption to the photo, Discik accidentally pasted the whole message from the company as his caption which read “Here you go, at 4 PM est, write the below. 

Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!” This made it blatantly obvious to Discik’s followers that this was in fact a sponsored post. Discik received tons of backlash for this mistake which in turn created a negative image for Bootea’s brand.

Heavily Competitive Tactic

With the rise in popularity of influencer marketing, it is important to remember that this tactic is highly competitive. Many businesses are reaching out to tens of hundreds of influencers a day in hopes that one of them will say yes. 

That means these influencers are being bombarded with tons of promotion requests each and every day so they have to be selective when it comes to choosing who they want to work with.

This can make it incredibly difficult to actually connect with a relevant influencer who is interested in your product. The lengthy and competitive outreach process can add unexpected costs to the implementation of your campaign.

Strict Guidelines

In its early stages, influencer marketing didn’t have many rules. Brands had a lot of freedom when it came to these campaigns but as the popularity of influencer marketing has increased, more and more rules have been put into place.

The FTC stepped in a few years back and made some new laws centered around the production of influencer campaigns. Today, in order to comply with federal guidelines, influencers must explicitly state that their content is an ad or sponsored post. 

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This can cause some issues for companies who partake in influencer campaigns because it might drive potential customers away. In the past, it was far easier to hide that these campaigns were promotional so users weren’t always aware. 

Of course, this can be seen as a dishonest practice, which is why new rules have been put in place but it does make things a bit trickier for businesses.

Wrapping Things Up

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if influencer marketing is the right approach for your business. While it can be an incredibly successful tactic, due to some of its drawbacks, it’s not always a perfect fit for every situation. It is crucial to take into account your businesses goals and long-term plans before moving forward with any marketing strategy.