The Influencer Marketing industry may come to be the definitive milestone in the catalogue of advertising for the decade. However, it is still experiencing some serious concerns, which hinder companies from taking part in it. For example it has been estimated that influencer fraud will cost companies over a billion dollars in 2019.
In this article we will highlight and explain some of the main concerns for advertisers doing Influencer Marketing, and ways in which these issues can be combatted.
What are the 3 major Influencer Marketing Problems for companies?
The main problems can be divided into three categories: fraudulent behaviour, rising Influencer Marketing costs and the time-consuming management of the campaigns.
Fake followers might be one of the biggest concerns companies have when dealing with influencers. In order to encourage collaborations with brands, some aspiring influencers result in shady behaviour such as buying followers who are not actually real people.
The influencers might also not be aware that they have fake accounts. For example on Instagram certain bot accounts will follow you in the hopes of a follow back. If an influencer does not check all their follower accounts and clean the bot ones, they might end up being followed by fake followers even if they did not want it.
No matter if the influencers have fake followers willingly or not, it is still an issue. As brands are paying for the exposure to a certain number of individuals, with fake followers they are paying for nothing.
However, it is not easy to distinguish influencers with fake followers. A brand needs to undertake in extensive research of the influencer’s followers’ demographics, engagement rate and the follower growth rate, in order to determine a fraudulent behaviour. And even these are not full-proof methods. Combined with the extra time this adds to the creation of the actual campaigns, the prospect of undertaking such investigations becomes unappealing to businesses with limited resources.
Fake Brand Collaborations
Influencers can also result in faking brand collaborations in order to build a track record of successful campaigns. This means that these individuals have produced content that indicates a brand collaboration, without there actually being any. So for example a brand is be tagged in a post which it has not paid for.
Although the brand itself may not have an issue with this, the practise is still misleading. In an industry which is already plagued by fake followers, another way for the influencers to fake their popularity does not do any good in building the trustworthiness of Influencer Marketing as a respectable business.
In many countries there are already regulations for how to mark sponsored online content correctly, but it still does not mean that all influencers (or those aspiring to be one), are following the rules. Again, brands need to investigate a potential influencer’s account and posts further to determine her or his credibility.
Rising Influencer Costs
Influencers are aware of that they are on demand for brand collaborations, and popular individuals are bombarded with different requests. Hence, they know their worth and are charging brands accordingly, leading to increasing prices. But there is no common ground on how influencers should be charging for posts, meaning there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the costs of Influencer Marketing.
One thing is clear: the more followers the individual has, the more expensive s/he is. However, in terms of ROI, the larger influencers do not represent the best solution for most brands. Thus, more and more brands are focusing their Influencer Marketing activities on micro or nano influencers, with less than 10 000 followers. These influencers, although smaller, have a more targeted follower base. This often leads to a better brand fit, more engaged audience and a more affordable price.
Of course, due to the increasing demand for these smaller-level influencers, their prices are also set to rise in the future. And without a clear, common system system to which the price for a post is baed on (for example CPM), the fees of different influencers might differentiate a lot.
The Time It Takes
Creation of an influencer campaign takes a significant amount of time, and especially so when dealing with smaller-scale influencers. As mentioned previously, possible fraudulent behaviour makes the research for suitable influencers longer than it already can be.
And after you have found the fitting individuals contract negotiations and endless emails come into play. On top come the checking of posted content and gathering campaign metrics from various sources.
As the operational side of Influencer Marketing takes such a long time, there might not be enough time to really think of the campaign strategy.
How to Tackle Influencer Marketing Problems Automatically
Influencer Marketing has largely been a manually conducted activity. Manual research of influencers, manual contacting and negotiation, manual analytics. However, automated tools and platforms are more and more being used to counter some of the issues in the Influencing marketing industry. These solutions aim to reduce the negative effects of the problems previously discussed.
Combat Fake Followers
Some tools can be used to scan the influencers’ profiles. This aims to identify and flag possible for example fake followers with looking into the follower growth rate or engagement rate. These programmes make it thus easier to discount certain influencers to be automatically from the campaigns, or to double-check them manually later.
The benefits of automatisation in fraud prevention frees the campaign managers’ time to concentrate on the core aspects of the campaigns. More time can be spent on the actual campaign idea, and the campaigns can also be put live faster.
Other tools are tailored for the campaign management by making the the campaign creation process more efficient.
This can mean for example making it easier for a brand to locate suitable influencers, both from an engagement and brand fit point of view. Followers and audiences can be easily matched with the brand’s target market, enabling the participation of a large number of influencers.
Another tools can also help making the actual posting faster. Templates for posts and creative briefs eliminate misunderstandings, missing elements and make it easier to have a cohesive campaign even among multiple individuals.
Some tools also offer the chance to collect all the campaign analytics, such as reach, likes an bio link clicks easily in one place. There is thus no reason to rely on manually filing excel sheets, or example.
How to Tackle Influencer Marketing Problems with INFLURY
Although Influencer research can be done with tools, there is still a lot of steps which need to be done by humans:
- Reach out to Influencers
- Contract & Legal
- Quality Assurance (often called “Content Review”)
- Reporting & Analysis
Thus, successful Influencer Marketing campaigns demand a lot of time and thus also a lot of personnel. Which in turn means there is often only a few influencers per any given campaign, as there just is not enough people to take care of a bigger amount of people. Scaling the campaigns is thus difficult.
In order to truly scale your Influencer Marketing efforts, you will need a large team handling all the aforementioned. Or you need pay for an agency to take care of it all for you. Or, you can hire a mix between a software, platform and agency, to truly help you make Influencer Marketing successful.
After running a lot of campaigns with our clients, we have worked hard to automate our process even more. Today, you can set up a predictable Influencer Marketing campaign, executing your concept, without having you to worry about the above-mentioned steps.
If you are curious how you can get with cost-effective Influencer Marketing campaigns, then we should definitely meet! Our Influencer Marketing Experts can create a free content strategy for you in order to showcase how we could help your brand. Just schedule a meeting and we will contact you!