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As the popularity of influential marketing grows, so does its notoriety. Brands such as Unilever, YouTube and Disney have publicly denounced the “fraud” of influential people and have broken ties with creators.
The negative trend does not seem to diminish. More unfavorable information comes to light about the world of influential people in social media every week, and the sector becomes famous for its lack of transparency and credibility.
How can brands predict the behavior of their influencers? The truth is that they can not! No amount of evaluation can predict a bad decision to be made in the future. When a brand works with an influencer, there is always the possibility that things go wrong.
Instead of choosing the influencer with more followers, brands need to spend time investigating the influencers with whom they will work. Most influencers share their values and characteristics when they publish content online. This can range from a charity they feel passionate about to the way they are published in the videos. Brands must spend time following the path of their influencers to ensure that they are the most appropriate people.
In addition to reviewing influencer channels, look for possible revisions they have made or articles written about them. See what other brands the influencer has worked with, to assess how reliable it will be, as well as whether they will be a good cultural fit.
Ultimately, brands should try to choose an influencer as if they were hiring a new employee. Ask yourself:
Would this influencer be a good cultural fit?
Do they maintain moral values and values similar to those of my brand?
Do they have the characteristics of someone with whom I would associate my brand?
The Influencer misunderstands the instruction of the brand
Not all content is good content. If the influencers are given creative freedom to promote the product or service of a brand as they see fit, this could end up significantly damaging the reputation of the brand. There have been numerous cases of influential people doing more harm than good.
To avoid choosing an influencer with fake followers, take a look at their social media page in more detail. Compare the number of followers with the amount of participation in each publication. If an influencer has 100,000 followers, but only receives 10 comments and I like it in their publications, they are likely to have a false followers
Use an Instagram audit tool and a Twitter audit tool to eliminate fakes.
There have been cases in which influential people did not declare a promotion or association sponsored with a brand on social networks. This misleads his followers to think that the video was genuine, without an underlying agenda or fiscal motivation. This not only reflects badly the influencer and the brand by association, but it is illegal.
As brand marketers, our job is to ensure that the influential people we work with disclose business partnerships. You should check the content published by your influencers on behalf of your brand and make sure it is acceptable with the regulators, otherwise the content could be deleted.
Despite the controversies and occasional discomfort that accompany influential marketing, there is still hope for the industry: 86% of marketers who used influential marketing in 2018 found it to be highly effective. But for brands to continue to see value, better guidelines must be implemented, comply with regulatory standards and relationships must be better managed.
Brands must spend more time and effort choosing the right influencer for their campaigns, rather than the one with the most followers. Brand owners must work with influential people who can generate real awareness, influence purchasing decisions and are happy to represent them day after day. Is there such a person for each brand? Or do we have to start looking closer to home?