Why Authenticity Matters in Influencer Marketing (And How to Be Authentic) in association with the real estate SEO experts.
Influencer marketing has existed since the age of dawn. Back in the days, people looked up to leaders and other influential people. After that, celebrities were all the fuzz, and now, social media is dominating the influencer market. The only difference now is that social media has rewritten the rules what influencer marketing really is, and now, authenticity is something that has gotten more attention than ever.
In an Influencer Marketing survey 87% of respondents said that “influencer marketing’s top benefits entail creating authentic content about their brand.”. And this the single most important reason to why influencer marketing is so effective and can generate results that other marketing sources can only dream about. It’s because the marketing campaigns that the influencers do comes off as authentic and trustworthy. But not all though!
You can’t jump into an influencer marketing campaign and expect it to be authentic and generate amazing results. Because that’s not how it works. I wish it would be that easy though.
We now know that authenticity is extremely important in influencer marketing, but there are so many more questions that need answering.
What is it? How can you create an authentic influencer campaign? And why is it important?
Those are questions, among several others, that I’ll give answers to in this article.
What is Authenticity in Influencer Marketing?
No brand can call themselves 100% authentic, right?
All brands have objectives, and everybody knows that all the brand want to do is sell more. Therefore, when the brand says something about itself and its product, people expect them to present themselves in the best light possible. This means that people are always listening to the words of brands with a little suspiciousness, making it impossible for brands to be trusted by their audience to 100% percent.
Authenticity and trustworthiness go hand-in-hand because someone who is authentic also comes off as trustworthy. And when you are authentic, it means that you stay true to your values, your personality, and brand.
When you team up with influencers, it should be no difference, but more on this later.
Both brands are at stake
It’s important to know that when you team up with an influencer, both brands are at stake.
If you team up with an influencer who creates a campaign that doesn’t come off as authentic, both you and the influencer will lose trust from your respective audiences.
A successful partnership between influencer and brand is a partnership with someone who breathes your brand’s values. This is also why celebrity influencers have lost their efficiency, and has allowed smaller and more niched, so-called micro-influencer to grow in popularity. Reason being is that celebrities who promote brands, in most cases would never actually use the products they are promoting.
Good influencers, on the other hand, only partner with brands who they truly love and enjoy, and this is the reason to why these type of partnership generate the best results. Because people trust them!
Therefore, don’t get discouraged if an influencer says no if you ask them for a partnership because it probably wouldn’t have been a good one either way.
Let’s look at how you can make your influencer campaign authentic.
How to create an authentic influencer campaign
1. Work with influencers who resonate with your brand
This is the single most important part of a successful influencer partnership.
The influencer you partner with is what will have the biggest impact if your campaign becomes an authentic success or an inauthentic fail.
When choosing influencer, there are a few things you need to think about. First, you need to make sure that the influencer you plan to partner with resonates with your brand.
Ask yourself: would the influencer be a customer of your brand even if they wouldn’t partner with you?
If yes, then perfect! This is the type of campaigns that comes off most authentic because people will actually believe their words. What’s even better is if they are already using your products because in this case, they can talk about their own personal experiences, and how it has improved their life, talking from the heart. When people talk from the heart and from their own experiences, you’ll be able to tell thus making the campaign more authentic.
The last thing you should do is select an influencer solely because of their follower count. There are many examples where micro-influencers have generated better results than regular influencers just because they have a higher engagement and a more engaged and targeted audience. Moreover, they’re more trusted and authentic. At least they’re considered to be.
Do they have a similar visual theme? If this is the case, your campaign will offer a more seamless experience that makes your brand and your influencer seem more connected.
While I wish I didn’t need to say this, I still see brands that aren’t following the principle of working with an influencer who is in the same industry and niche as themselves.
And it’s highly unfortunate, because they’re missing out on tremendous opportunities, and they are certainly not creating authentic campaigns. If you partner with an influencer who is in a completely different niche as you, the influencer’s followers will simply not be interested in your brand!
If you partner with an influencer who is in the same niche as you, they have been able to accumulate followers and fans that are genuinely interested in their niche, and therefore, they’ll also be interested in your brand if they recommend it to their followers.
2. See it from your customer’s point of view
In order to create an authentic influencer campaign, you need to tell a story behind your product and get the influencer to talk about how it has helped them, and how it is helpful for people in their niche (their followers). Just because the content is clearly sponsored, doesn’t mean that the campaign will lose its authenticity. But in order to create a campaign that doesn’t come off as inauthentic because it is sponsored demands practice and the right actions. People have no interest in being sold another product. Especially not on social media, because people go there to find inspiration, be entertained, and see what their friends are up to.
Not because they can’t wait to get ads shoved down their throat.
Instead, by creating influencer campaigns that resonate with your audience, and appeal to them emotionally, you will be able to impact them and encourage them to learn more about your brand and products -without forcing them.
3. Give the influencer freedom
A big mistake that brands often commit is wanting too much control over the campaign.
But ask yourself: who knows the influencer’s audience best?
The influencer or the brand? It’s an obvious answer.
The influencer knows what type of content that resonates well with their followers and thus generated the highest engagement.
This is something that you as a brand wants because if the post of the influencer generates great results it also means that the post will also generate better marketing results for your brand.
Some brands are trying to decide everything from the caption, to the post, and everything in between in the belief that it will make for a better campaign, but what that only does is grasps the authenticity of the campaign and throw it in the garbage. If the influencer shares a post with a language that isn’t their true personality, their followers will quickly know that something is up – leading to an inauthentic campaign.
How are you working to make your influencer campaigns more authentic?
I’d love to hear about it!