Influencer Marketing: Driving Authentic Digital Engagement

October 6, 2017

Influencer marketing is having a moment. Look at your social media feeds and you’ll see everyone from fashion and beauty brands to restaurants and CPGs getting in on the action. To find out how influencer marketing actually works—and why it can be so effective—we went straight to the experts at Daymon’s consumer experience marketing division.

“Influencer marketing is just like the title says—it’s about tapping into brand enthusiasts who have a healthy social media following and who are really advocating on behalf of the brand,” explains Ryan Dee, Creative Director for Daymon. “Also, it’s not just about building brand awareness, but also about driving action—whether that’s encouraging consumers to seek out more information, or to make a purchase, or to become advocates themselves.”

“Unlike celebrity endorsements, which are really a different thing, true influencer marketing is more authentic and offers more back-and-forth between an influencer and his or her followers,” adds Brittney Duke, Marketing Coordinator for Daymon. She goes on to explain that these influencers aren’t simply salespeople, but real consumers who are passionate about sharing the products they love. This might include anyone from a foodie photographer with a great following on Instagram, to a mom chronicling life with little ones on her blog, to a teenager posting her favorite beauty finds on YouTube.

While influencer marketing is gaining a lot of traction, both Dee and Duke warn there are some pitfalls to watch out for. “Influencer marketing isn’t necessarily right for everyone,” says Dee. “For example if you don’t have an audience that’s on a platform or a product that lends itself to promotion by an influencer, it might not make sense.”

Even when it does make sense, “you need to be careful about finding the right influencers that have genuine engagement with their followers,” says Duke. “A big problem right now with influencer marketing is that there are people who are creating accounts and purchasing followers. This can make it look like they have a huge audience, but if you really dig into the comments, you can see that there’s little to no relevant back-and-forth with their followers.”

“There’s also a fair amount of confusion around how to compensate influencers,” continues Dee. “Most influencers are paid per post and some are compensated with free product. Additionally, the FTC requires brands and influencers to disclose any material relationship between them in the content created clearly and conspicuously. And while some in the public have a general mistrust of paid endorsements, an authentic influencer would be upfront about the brand partnership, and more importantly, wouldn’t jeopardize their credibility, or their following, to shill product they don’t believe in.”

It is in this realness and authenticity that the power of influence marketing lies, say Dee and Duke. A growing number of consumers, particularly in younger generations, are placing less trust in traditional forms of advertising and instead seeking out more human-to-human interactions. Influencer marketing can give retailers and brands one more tool in their toolbox of consumer engagement—and is one of the few ways to truly personalize digital engagement.

To learn more about influencer marketing or other Daymon consumer experience marketing services, contact Caitlin Shufelberger, Senior Business Development Manager at cshufelberger@interactionsmarketing.com.

 

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