UNDER THE INFLUENCE (PART 1/5)

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INFLUENCER FRAUD, MICRO INFLUENCERS, AUTHENTICITY –

If these are all things pre-occupying you as a marketer, then you’re behind the curve.

“YOU MUST ONLY USE AUTHENTIC INFLUENCERS”

Incorrect. Most lifestyle Influencers have almost no authenticity & promote a completely manufactured life, by the above logic, it would mean brands should never use them – that makes no sense.

“IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD AN A-LISTER DON’T WORRY, MICRO INFLUENCERS CAN ALSO BE VERY EFFECTIVE”

Wrong. A-listers and Micro Influencers deliver completely different things for brands, they are not interchangeable.

“WE WILL NO LONGER USE FRAUDULENT I NFLUENCERS”

That was about three years off pace. There have been processes to figure this out for many, many years.

These blanket statements demonstrate the reality that large sections of the INFLUENCER MARKETING industry don’t fully understand how the channel really works.

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I don’t mean to sound disrespectful calling out the bad advice above, but this is an industry with a lot of inexperienced people given strong job titles - but dishing out weak advice.

I think the reason is, a lot of people have only been in the biz for 3-4 years. That’s nowhere near enough time to understand this business; you simply haven’t experienced enough campaigns, in enough categories, or used enough data or tools to give a truly informed opinion. You might be able to run a perfectly good campaign in one category but that’s about it. And that’s the problem with the industry.

The inexperienced give bad advice and blanket statements that might be correct perhaps for one campaign, in one niche, but they profess false truisms across the whole industry, causing untold confusion.

And this brings us to the crux, a lot of professionals in the industry have not figured out what Influencer Marketing really is, they are hived-off in one corner without an understanding of what else is going on.

THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY, THERE IS ONLY A RIGHT OR WRONG APPROACH.

There are some great brands taking the above point and making a killing, but they don’t tend to talk about it too much and the consumer press (and most of the trade) choose to talk about the badly executed campaigns and fraud. 

Done correctly however, Influencer Marketing will inform your business about what decisions to make across all your advertising channels. It is the singular best source of intel about your brand, customer and marketing effectiveness. It works better than any other tool or any focus groups.

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In short, Influencer Marketing is an always-on process: always refined, always tested. Choosing Influencers is a small part of the long process and often not even the most important part, read on to discover why…

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Under the Influence is written by Dudley Nevill-Spencer, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Live & Breathe.

Stay tuned for part 2/5, or get in touch for the full report.

harry.hembrow@liveandbreathe.co.uk