There are so many things that are going wrong in Indian blogging community, and one such is the Influencer marketing. Many social media influencers have a tremendous potential to reach the product to a wider audience, but there’s a catch in it. Things are not like before – like the way PRs, social media managers, marketing managers choosing the influencers has changed a lot.
It’s not about wider reach, but about the pay per post.
Before talking about what went wrong, let’s take a look at what exactly is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is yet another type of marketing where a key person/s is influential in a particular niche/audience and is willing to promote a service/product either free or by paid. The advantage of this type of marketing is, you can directly promote your product/service to your target audience [the potential audience] rather than focusing on the entire market. It is more like celebrity endorsements but limited to a particular niche.
Influencer Marketing – Indian Scenario:
Coming to Indian scenario, it’s entirely different. Either it is Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram, it doesn’t matter which niche/audience you have, as long as you have 1000s of followers/fans, and you charge less comparing to others. As simple as that!
So, what’s wrong in it?
Everything is bad in it! Let’s take a look at one by one. To make things easy, I’m considering the social media butterflies in Twitter & Instagram. Here it goes –
- Huge Followers: Just because someone has 10,000s of followers, doesn’t mean he/she’s influential. They could have gained fans either by running giveaways or by some other means
- Following to Followers Ratio: As most of the social media influencers use other ways to gain followers, most of them have a higher following to followers ratio, which PRs doesn’t care about. If you want to know more about this, you should read this article about Twitter Parasites published on TheNextWeb
- Poor Engagement: Though they have a huge audience base, the engagement on their posts is very poor. But, as 99% of the influencer marketing campaigns are paid, their paid posts receive massive engagement as there’ll be 1000s of people [like them] engaging with it to make the post [promotion] popular
- Audience Interests: It’s tough to gain a particular niche/audience unless you make all the posts relevant. This is what many B2B companies follow. They specifically make posts to target the appropriate audience and turn them, followers. You can read my guide to know more. Anyhow, here’s a screenshot of my audience [followers] interests on Twitter.
- As you know, I’m a technology blogger, almost all my twitter followers are very much interested in technology and related to it. Like wise, each social media influencer has a unique audience base, but as already said, irrespective of which audience set you’ve, the Indian marketing consulting firms care about the followers’ number and the pay per post
The Consequences –
A brand expects a hashtag to be trending, but they do expect it to be promoted to their target audience. In general, this is what a brand expects when it outsources the promotion work to a marketing firm. But, identifying influencers for the campaign is where everything’s going wrong. It may be a PRs mistake, or a misleading blogger/influencer; the ultimate impact would be to the brand’s image. The recent #LeEcoCheatingIndians trend is the best example.
This will not only impact the brand’s image but also affects the consumers’ trust on the influencers.
— Aravind (@Rwind_PL) July 4, 2017
So, what can be done to fix it?
- Brands should invest more time in finding influencers themselves, than giving it to some marketing agency whose aim would be making the trend popular at low cost than they quoted
- There are many tools available now to find the influencers, and using such tools could solve the issue of finding right influencer
- Forums and Facebook Groups are the best way to find the niche audience, and the admin/moderator for the forum/group could also be considered as an influencer
- Investing the money into influencer marketing should be limited, and it shouldn’t be outsourced to some marketing agency unless they have a proven record
- Even if it’s outsourced to a marketing agency, examining the influencers list could fix many problems. Brands should check the Following to Followers ratio, Engagement, post reach, etc.
- Finally, the pay per post. This shouldn’t be the primary objective of an influencer, as his post is impacting a consumer to make a purchase
The above points may not turn the influencer marketing successful, but it would at least show a right way to target the potential audience, than throwing it on fake followers. Before you leave, you should read my theory on Twitter influencer marketing –
“Nothing can be changed unless a brand changes its way of marketing.”
So, the next time when you find some person’s profile calling themselves as an influencer, do check if they fit your criteria or not.