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The Honest Truth about Influencer Marketing and 2019 Trends

In March we focused on a really interesting and continuously rising topic - influencer marketing. I told you what it means, introduced the benefits of it, gave you some pointers how you can become an influencer and also, created a free list of UK and US influencers you can use to find the best match for your brand. But somehow, I feel I haven't told you all about it. That's why today we are going to speak the truth about influencer marketing and the 2019 trends in that sub-industry.

Truth about influencer marketing

Is it Worth it?

I'm sure this is a question most small businesses and new brands without huge marketing budgets are asking. The answer is not single-worded, unfortunately. The power of influencers is real. They are indeed a great asset to your marketing strategy and can bring you results, but you need to know how to create a match made in heaven. What does that even mean? Influencer campaigns won't work if you chose the wrong personality, the wrong niche or the wrong channel. If this is confusing you, we already gave an answer to the question how to find the right influencer for your brand. Go back to it and perhaps... get the list too!

What are the dangers?

You know that every fantastic thing someone presents to you, there's always one or two downfalls. So, I'm not gonna hide these from you when it comes to influencer marketing. There are several things you should be careful about and do your research before taking action and investing.

Has your influencer really worked with that brand?

Many young people dream of becoming influencers because it promises a lavish lifestyle and a lot of attention. But becoming a true Internet celebrity isn't as easy as most people think. That explains why so many aspiring influencers are ready to lie about a thing or two to get contracts with brands. It becomes dangerous when they lie about who they've worked previously. Imagine you saw an influencer in your niche who would be perfect for your beauty brand and they have previously worked with L'Oréal Paris. You would be impressed and ready to jump on it. But what if that isn't true. Always check if the influencer you want to work with is being honest and transparent, especially about their previous paid campaigns and the results from them. Where possible, double-check with the companies they say they've worked with.

Does your influencer really have that many followers?

It is not uncommon for people on social media to buy fake followers, especially when they are trying to make a living out of their presence on social media. Even though Instagram has officially announced that paying for followers is against their terms of use and got rid of many fake accounts at the end of 2018, people still do it. Your brand won't get any results from influencer campaigns if a big part of the influencer's followers are actually fake accounts. So, when you select the Internet celebs you want to work with don't just look at the followers number. Ask for the engagement rates. You want to reach people who really care about what that guy or girl have to say to them. Robots won't buy your products.

Is your influencer independent or part of an agency?

Honestly speaking, as someone who started their business journey through a platform connecting brands and freelancers, I would say, always try to avoid the middle man. It is easier to deal with your contractor directly and set your terms one to one. When there are 3 parties involved in a project and the middle one is the link, very often the other two are in much less favourable position. Even though influencer marketing is relatively new, there are plenty of influencer agencies who can connect you with the person for your brand. To a certain extend, you may be guaranteed security in terms of the above two questions, however, both you and the influencer may end up disappointed by the agency. From my point of view, dealing with influencers directly is always the best way forward.

Having said all this, I would like to remind you that influencer marketing is still one of the most rapidly growing marketing techniques in 2019. It is a current and possibly future trend in digital marketing and millions of brands of all sizes around the world have already included it in their strategies and campaigns. It is true that the calculation of Return on Investment in influencer marketing is still a challenge, however, statistics show business overall satisfaction with influencer campaigns. Are you ready to try?

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