What differentiates influencer marketing from traditional marketing? Credibility has long been one of the answers. But it is also the one that is jeopardized when influencers’ channels go towards similar to pure ad feeds.
Blogs were, in the early 2000s the new magazines, though better. Not least because they were updated every day. But also because they had personal content from private senders. But today, influencers have become the new rulers to the hearts of consumers.
Although ambassadors and familiar faces in advertising are nothing new, interest in influencer marketing as a concept has increased significantly in recent years. This is noticeable not least in the industry media’s reporting and invitations to seminars and courses on the subject, but also in the number of businesses working to combine brands with influencers. To be referred to an influencer’s agent to discuss the arrangement and fees is today a rule rather than an exception.
Which is one of many explanations for why the price trend of these partnerships is steadily pointing upwards.
For the sake of fees and what an influencer earns from their posts and collaborations, it’s a pretty hot issue when it comes to influencer marketing. What has long been a little secret has become much more transparent in the past year. A few years ago, among other things, This week’s Business conducted a survey conducted by the American analysis company Captiv8, which found out what influencers generally earn on social media campaigns.
The result shows that Youtube is the most lucrative channel where profiles with 100,000 to 500,000 followers earn an average of 10K EUR per campaign. And if you have more than 7 million followers, the average fee is 2.5 million EUR.
So it’s clear. Influencers make a lot of money. And there’s nothing wrong with that. On the contrary. If you have succeeded in creating a personal brand and interest around yourself that thousands follow every day, you would be foolish if you refuse to companies that want to pay to access your marketplace. And why would it be more strange to pay an influencer who reaches the same – if not higher – reach that the media has, that it also costs thereafter. Furthermore, the fact that it comes from a personal sender who has a relationship with their followers and who the followers trust, provides a significantly higher value than a traditional advertising space.
But that said, it is still something that bothers people, both as a follower and in my role as a PR consultant. What these income levels attest to is that there are a great many collaborations and purchased posts in influencers’ flows today. And what happens to credibility?
Many of the profiles you may follow, you may have followed for years. Therefore, you know what brands they like, what lifestyle they have and the values they stand for.
That is why it becomes so strange when the discrepancy between how they live and what they market becomes too great. After all, the public relations consultant in me has told clients that influencers are fond of their personal brands – that they do not stand for anything. That the nature of the collaboration and the company’s profile must match the influencer’s values and lifestyle, otherwise the credibility is jeopardized. Still, I find that many influencers today push it a little far. Both in the type of collaborations they set up, but also in number.
Collaborating with influencers can be hugely valuable. Unlike traditional ad slots, they manage to create strong relationships with their readers. Those who follow every update, who #back when it storms and who trust what they say. That is what is fundamental to influencer marketing and sets it apart from classic advertising – its credibility.
But it is also the one that is compromised when influencers are moving towards becoming purely advertising channels. When #samples are featured in every other post and the brands they promote don’t always match their lifestyle and values.
And here we, who work with PR and marketing, can be better. Whether the influencer thanks yes or no to an assignment can only determine them.
But it is we who propose which influencers our customers and the brands they represent should cooperate with. And maybe we sometimes make it a little too easy for us.
Contact the profiles that have the most followers just because high reach feels safe to present to the customer.
Instead of really reading us on which influencers fit the purpose best – no matter the size of the follower crowd.
And also stand on us when we make those choices. At the risk of shooting myself in the foot; but I think influenza collaborations should be a bit of a struggle to get to.
They must be earned based on the brand’s values and the value they bring to people – whether in products, services or other initiatives. And they should be consistent with what the influencer stands for and lives by. Otherwise, there is a risk that the power of influencer marketing will be diluted, and influencers’ flows will be like any ad space.