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Brands want to reach out to their customers using the most innovative ways possible. It helps improve brand recall.
Influencer marketing is now a well-known strategy that many brands leverage to reach out to their customers and engage them.
More and more brands are choosing to incorporate influencers into their marketing mixes. In fact, 71% of marketers feel that influencer marketing is more effective at driving quality traffic and leads.
But still, there are experts who feel that influencer marketing is at a downturn. A major setback of influencer marketing is the irrevocable damage that it does to a brand if it is not done right. It becomes difficult to recover from the damage caused by bad influencer marketing.
A survey predicted that the influencer marketing industry will become a $5-$10 billion market by 2020. And there has already been a substantial growth in influencer marketing ad spend from 2018, when it was somewhere between $3.2-$6.3 billion.
Image via Mediakix
The attitude of companies towards using this strategy has changed phenomenally. Big companies with huge budgets are opting to work with celebrity influencers. However, micro-influencers can be equally effective.
Image Via: Whosay
Like every coin, this strategy also has two sides to it, both good and bad.
So before you invest your time and money into influencer marketing, it is important to learn about the pros and cons of influencer marketing.
In this post, I’ll discuss some of the major pros and cons of using influencer marketing for your brand.
Let’s take a look at the pros first.
The Pros of Influencer Marketing
1. It Helps You Reach a Relevant Audience
Collaborating with the right influencers for your brand can help you reach relevant audiences.
You need to carefully choose influencers who are relevant to your niche and industry. You can approach influencers who endorse brands similar to yours. This makes it easier for you to identify influencers who have an audience that you are trying to target.
For example, if you want to promote your hotel or restaurant, then you need to look for a successful travel or food blogger respectively. Popular travel or food bloggers can help you engage their followers using beautiful images backed by genuine recommendations.
2. It Helps You Build Trust and Credibility
Trust takes time to develop and people trust the influencers they follow. So, if an influencer talks positively about a brand, then their followers are more likely to believe them.
Therefore, one of the biggest pros of influencer marketing is that it helps you build people’s trust in your brand and enhance your brand’s credibility.
The post below is an example of how influencers get their audiences to trust a brand through positive endorsements. Posts like these can help you get their followers to try your product as the influencer vouches for it.
Image via Instagram
3. It Broadens Your Brand’s Reach
You can reach thousands, even millions of the followers of influencers, whom you could not have reached on your own. According to a survey conducted in 2016, which polled 22,000 women, 45% of women will buy a product recommended by an influencer.
Regardless of the social media platform you choose, influencers can help you add new potential customers to your basket. Consumers today consider influencers as people they can trust, and they really value the opinions of the influencers they follow.
Influencers often post questions and engage their followers to forge friend-like relationships. This makes it easier for them to influence the buying decisions of their followers.
The post displayed below shows how a customer asked for an opinion from the influencer.
Image via Instagram
4. It is Comparatively Less Expensive
If you are targeting micro-influencers, you don’t need a huge budget. Micro-influencer collaborations are economical when compared to collaborations with celebrity influencers.
Sometimes, influencers new to the industry also agree to work for free products or services.
Though the standard cost of a sponsored post on Instagram is $250, you can also find micro-influencers who charge even less.
Working with a number of relevant micro-influencers can be an effective way to promote a recently-launched brand or other niche-specific business.
5. The Cycle of Sales Gets Reduced
Influencers spend a lot of time and effort to build their audiences. That’s why most legit influencers have highly engaged audiences who trust them.
When an influencer endorses your brand, their audience is more likely to trust their recommendation. Many of their followers may end up buying the product a lot quicker than another customer who learns about your product through other channels.
6. Marketers Can Save Time
When working with an influencer, you don’t have to worry about creating great content.
A good influencer knows the best ways to create content that can help them engage their followers. They know how to develop content that best appeals to their followers.
In fact, influencer-created content tends to be more engaging than the content created by brands. And the content they create can make your brand look more trustworthy.
Below is an example of how influencers create content that appeals to their followers while endorsing products.
Image via Instagram
The Cons of Influencer Marketing
1. Working with the Wrong Influencers Can Do More Harm than Good
It takes a lot of time and effort for brands to find the right influencer for their campaigns. If you don’t collaborate with the right influencers, it can cause great damage to the reputation of your brand.
According to a survey, 61% of marketers find it difficult to identify the right influencers for their campaigns. It becomes difficult to evaluate if an influencer has genuine followers.
For example, Sunny Co. Clothing received severe backlash from consumers for giving free swimsuits to whoever posted pictures in a red bikini.
Image via Instagram
2. Influencer Marketing Mistakes Can Cost Your Brand
Influencer marketing is still a relatively new strategy, so marketers are bound to make mistakes.
There is no handbook to a successful influencer marketing strategy, so most of the time, brands learn from their hits and misses.
Some common mistakes that influencers make, which can affect the brand, include:
- Not disclosing that a post is sponsored
- Posting content that does not resonate with their target audience
- Ignoring the FTC endorsement guidelines
- Inflating followings and engagements using bots
3. It is Difficult to Measure Results
You put in a lot of effort into finding the right influencers and launching a campaign. But your efforts can be in vain if you can’t track and monitor the performance of your campaign.
You need to analyze if an influencer is able to deliver the desired results. If not, you need to stop working with them.
However, measuring results can be a bit tricky when it comes to influencer marketing.
4. High Risk Involved
A survey showed that approximately two-thirds of companies will increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2019. Unfortunately, the increased cost will not guarantee the desired results.
If an influencer lacks the ability to create impressive content, they might fail to resonate with your target consumers. In such cases, the time and money you invest will be in vain.
These are some of the biggest pros and cons of influencer marketing that you should be aware of. If you’re confused about whether you should use influencer marketing or not, they can help you make up your mind.