Of course it’s not just the big names that influence buying behaviour and brand awareness but all the thousands and thousands of smaller influencers. These people are powerful because they are highly targeted. They may not have the huge volumes of followers like the big names but they may be a better fit for your brand.
The first to see the potential of influencers was the beauty industry, spending $25K-$50K on influencer media. Now other brands have followed suit, including lifestyle, luxury and many more and they are taking advantage of the highly targeted micro influencers.
That said, there are of course rules to follow and brands and advertisers must ensure they are taking active and obvious steps to educate the influencers they work with on those rules.
It may mean using the in-built Instagram feature that declares paid partnerships, or working with partners that help to educate creators with offers of legal advice, contractual help and education on how to get the rules right.
Of course, it’s legal for “influencers” to be paid for endorsing a brand or product online –but, if someone is paid or incentivised to post a tweet, blog or other content, the content must be labelled appropriately. This way it complies with industry regulations and consumer protection law and brands, agencies and influencers risk legal action if they don’t comply. Not to mention the damage to their reputation.
So, if you are moving into the world of influencer marketing the key principals are
Always be open and honest with the audience – never mislead in any way.
Let consumers know if someone is paid to endorse a brand
If you as a brand have editorial control over content, make sure it’s made clear.
Influencer marketing can be highly cost effective and brands are spending big in this form of marketing. This is a good move considering 92% of surveyed marketers in a recent Linqia 2018 study found influencer marketing to be effective when measured by engagement, clicks and impressions.