Influencer marketing through social media has forged a mainstream in digital marketing. Compared with traditional advertising strategies, influencer marketing through working with YouTubers and Instagrammers has been proved as a more efficient and performance-traceable way, no matter through direct contacting or influencer marketing platforms and agencies. Vigorously-developing influencer marketing platform marketplace and numerous successful cases attract brands to flock into. Solid trust between influencers and followers is seen as the best weapon for marketers to leverage to do marketing.
According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, by 2017, surveyed brands or marketers have earned a return of $7.65 for every dollar they spent on influencer marketing. However, it’s worth noticing that only the top 15% of them earned over $20 for every influencer dollar spent, and there are 25% either lost money or just broke even. The reasons for losing money behind included but not limited to picking poor influencers with fake followings, failure to comply with related regulatory rules for influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing: A West Wild full of Risk
We can’t deny a fact that influencer marketing is still a wild west without mature market regulatory laws used to standardize marketing behaviors exercised by influencers, marketers or brands, and influencer marketing platforms. It’s still a gray area existing various risks. Brands and marketers should scrupulously work with YouTubers or Instagrammers to plan an influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing platforms or agencies have to try as much as they can to provide complete marketing service and technology tools to help brands avoid risks in influencer marketing.
In influencer marketing, what kind of pitfalls we should watch out for? What are typical potential risks which are easily confronted by brands?
NoxInfluencer is going to bring you to check typical influencer fraud and transparency issues in influencers’ marketing behavior.
Influencer Fraud: Fake Followings
In the early stage of influencer marketing, the subscriber count of YouTubers had been a measurement for brands to evaluate their marketing value. Marketers mistakenly held that a larger following means better marketing performance. Therefore, a large chunk of influencers started to refuse to play by the book in order to make a quick buck. They tried to take a shortcut to their success and pay to buy followers, as a way to demonstrate their popularity, thus getting deals from brands more easily.
According to a study by independent campaign measurement firm CampaignDeus, it was found that 12% of UK influencers have bought fake Instagram followers in the first six months of 2018.
With respect to the fabricated following, sometimes these are real accounts and other times are bots, also called zombie followers. No matter how they are created, the fake followings will not generate engagement or interactions under YouTuber videos or Instagram posts. YouTube videos without engagement have no value in marketing.
So, marketing professionals and influencer marketing analytic platforms have realized that simply taking follower counts as the standard of whether to make a deal is not enough. NoxInfluencer, as a world-leading influencer analytic platform, helps brands and marketers to evaluate influencers more seriously, with more metrics to do so. Influencers should aware that they can’t tout their follower count anymore to get marketing deals.
Moving beyond the days of simply picking popular YouTubers or Instagrammers as brand ambassadors, influencer marketing platforms and agencies are now considering a variety of metrics, ranging from the level of effort put into content creation, historical content quality as well as more performance-based metrics like engagement rates and the number of sales driven, to hash out payment rates.
However, regardless of follower count or engagement rate, they are just used to decide whether to work with certain influencers. The ultimate goal of brands is to leverage influencers to do marketing. Is not the sponsorship history of influencers more useful for brands’ consideration?
Brands promotion analysis over YouTube channel, a hard-to-track data for brands, is exactly one of the key functions of NoxInfluencer, helping brands to know YouTubers’ historical promotion experience. When you know a YouTuber’s record of brand promotion, fake following, which requires plenty of time to verify, is not a necessary factor to consider anymore.
And good news, NoxInfluencer is going to launch a function of brand search to help marketers to find how many YouTubers have done marketing promotions for a certain brand or brand category.
Regarding Transparency of Influencer Marketing to know why influencer marketing must keep transparent and how necessary transparency is, keep watching NoxInfluencer. It will be discussed in our next article. “Everything You Should know about influencer marketing Fraud and Transparency(II)”.
See you next time.