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Karthik Pai

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Influencer Marketing: Pros & Cons

Today’s social media presence usually involves much more than keeping your followers up to date on your daily activities. Since e-commerce and online businesses have implemented the approach of influencer marketing, having a large presence on social media may be extremely beneficial. While many of us are unaware of the impact influencer marketing has on businesses, 80 percent of marketers believe it has had a beneficial impact on their company. 89 percent of marketers say that the return on investment from influencer marketing is equivalent to or better than other marketing channels. This form of marketing has been utilized by many businesses to achieve results in a short period.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a strategy adopted by brands to promote their product or service in a paid partnership with people who have a large following on social media. So the next time that you find your favourite celebrity or any influencer promoting a brand or a product, look out for ‘In paid partnership with’ tag somewhere on the post or hashtag #ad. It has proven to be an effective method to increase sales and traffic for several brands.

But hey, it can’t be all good eh? Of course. Like every rose has its thorn, influencer marketing also has its own downside which everyone must be aware of. We must explore both the good and bad sides before we can decide if it’s the best strategy to promote your brand. In this post, let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of influencer marketing.

Pros, you ask?

#1 Simple access to the relevant audience

Influencers have followers who religiously follow anything they do. These followers are your potential customers. Some might even consider your brand for the sole reason that the influencer asked them to. With the right combination, you could easily become a profitable business with minimal investment.
Find influencers whose followers’ ideals match your brand.
Even with strong traditional marketing, it’s difficult to find the desired outcome as compared to a social media post by an influencer.
For instance, if your new restaurant or home kitchen needs promotion, consider collaborating with a food blogger since their followers are mainly comprised of those who admire food.

#2 Instantly gain credibility and confidence

A lot of influencers would have worked hard over a long period to gain the trust and confidence of their followers. When these influencers show faith in your brand and promote it, their followers instantly believe in it.
With many influencers doing live demos and hands-on experiences for your brand, a potential customer sees the influencers using the product/service which gives them a sense of authenticity.
Influencers often come up with interesting ideas to integrate your products with the personal flair and integrity of the audience.

#3 Budget-friendly

Traditional marketing methods can be very expensive since they mostly involve a lot of manpower behind the ideation and execution. That’s where influencer marketing saves the day! The influencers single-handedly take care of the ideation and execution to make your brand shine.
Working with micro-influencers can get value-for-money marketing since they are inexpensive compared to celebrities and have better engagement with their followers.
Many budding micro-influencers will even agree to promote your brand for as little as free samples or free services from your brand. Now that’s a steal of a deal!

Now, the cons.

#1 Threat to the brand’s reputation

The audience can be very unpredictable. It’s important to carefully scout for the influencer who best suits your brand. If not, there can be a downfall in the brand’s reputation since the audience is very vocal on social media. In a matter of hours, your brand could be trending for all the wrong reasons on the internet.
It’s also crucial to keep an eye on the influencer’s content for anything disrespectful, insulting, or sensitive. Going against the sentiments of the people on social media can prove to be very dangerous for a brand’s reputation.
So, before associating with any influencer, it’s important to ensure that the influencer has a good record of working with brands.

#2 Collaborating with the wrong influencers

Collaborating with the wrong influencers could spell disaster for your brand. A lot of time and effort must be invested in carefully picking an influencer who best suits your business and is ideal to cater to your customer profile.
The next thing to look out for is fake influencers. There are a lot of influencers on social media that have paid followers, which are mostly fake. Such collaboration not only poses a threat to the reputation of the brand but also is a waste of funds since no good business can come from followers that are either bots or fake.
It is also important to avoid collaborations with influencers who are controversial and indulge in discussing sensitive issues. This could harm not just the possibility of gaining new customers, but it could also result in the loss of a few existing customers.

#3 Unpredictable

While influencer marketing can be really effective and cost-effective if it strikes a chord with the audience, it can’t be guaranteed that it will always work. The audience on the internet is very unpredictable and impulsive. It only takes a small blunder to turn the brand upside down.
Investing in influencer marketing could either be the best thing for your brand or the worst thing. But the worst part is that nobody can ensure a definitive formula for a successful influencer marketing strategy.

Conclusion

In the end, what matters is whether the good outweighs the bad. While this post can only give insights on one, it’s in your hands to decide what’s best for your brand.
It is very crucial to explore the right strategies to find the best influencer out there who can positively promote your brand.

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