Influencer Marketing: Effective Strategy or Overrated Hype?

Katie Wight | July 18, 2023

The benefits of influencer marketing

I’ve already shared the stats. We could talk about the historical data around influencer marketing ‘til we’re blue in the face.

But there are less tangible benefits to influencer marketing, and outcomes that are brand- and industry-specific. Before you can decide to “hop on the influencer bandwagon,” it’s important to know why you might want to consider it.

Influencers increase engagement

An alternative to paid ads

The potential cons of influencer marketing

Yes, influencer marketing has gained significant traction, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect or every brand’s golden ticket to social success. If you want to make it work for your brand, you need to consider all angles — and beware of a few potential pitfalls.

Misaligned partnerships

I like to think of influencers like a targeted ad: You need to have the right offer, the right words, and the right targeting. Or else your ad is going to fall short (and cost a shit ton of money).

We’ve all seen what happens when an influencer “partnership” isn’t the right offer, words, or targeting. Influencers take on projects that don’t really align with their audience all the time (like a divorce lawyer who usually shares marriage tips talking about a power washer).

Misaligned sponsored content feels forced or disingenuous, and your audience is paying attention. That’s why you need to be careful about who you choose to partner with.

Overriding your existing strategy

More resources are needed now

Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. And while this growth is great for brands that want to diversify their advertising, it’s also led to a saturated market.

Finding an influencer to help boost your numbers isn’t as simple as reaching out via DM anymore. You often need to pitch your brand, have an influencer budget, and be ready to negotiate.

Measuring ROI can get tricky

How to do influencer marketing well

We’ve covered the pros and cons, but if you’ve decided to give it the green light… what’s next? How do you “do” influencer marketing well?

#1: Define your goals

#2: Find aligned influencers

#3: Leverage user-generated content

#4: Foster long-term relationships

#5: Have a system for managing influencers

Last but not least, create a system that makes it easy to “onboard” influencers and help them be successful. You’ll want to have a standard contract and payment terms, as well as a system for their content.

Likely, you’ll need to have a creative review, but you may also need a legal team review. You’ll also want to have a process for payment, whether it’s approving invoices, checking payments based on final stats, etc.

Have all this in place before you start working with an influencer because having a clunky system that makes them work too hard (or doesn’t get them paid quickly) isn’t going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

You need a solid social strategy before you graduate to influencer marketing

Did you just realize you don’t really know what an influencer would create for you? Or how their content would work with your own?

You need to start with a solid social strategy and get that down before you bring anyone else into the mix. Because you won’t be able to build stronger influencer relationships without knowing where and how you want their help.

In the F*** the Algorithm Workshop, you’ll learn how to simplify the chaos of social media and create a plan that works for you — one that can easily begin integrating influencer partnerships alongside strong content pillars for an effective strategy.