What We Are Learning re “Performance” Influencers

By: Mary Ann Bautista

BDM has been running social media influencer programs for over 6 years and has received incredible feedback on the subject! We’ve recently spoken with approximately 15 marketers across various product and service verticals that are intrigued by using social media influencers or have dabbled in the media themselves.

While the channel is not new, we are hearing many of the same concerns that we did years ago.

Here we share the takeaways from our recent conversations:

1. A general acknowledgment that social media influencers fill the “salesperson” gap that exists for online stores versus brick-and-mortar retail.

2. Additionally, they add 3rd party content, authenticity, education, demonstration, review and testimonial benefits for the brand.

3. Concern re the attribution of impact for content that does not directly link to their site. In other words, it’s difficult to read the results for actual impact beyond reported likes, shares and comments. Did this effort really hit our bottom line to drive sales?

4. A general feeling that social media influencers provide a branding play versus any direct marketing benefit. Often the content of a social media influencer is removed from their feed within 72 hours. It’s a very short play!

5. Concern re the contents of posts that are not fully vetted before they go live on the social media influencers’ channels. What if the influencer goes rogue and posts something that the advertiser does not want or like?

6. Furthermore, what if the influencer has or does something in the future that would be an embarrassment to the brand? Can the advertiser control that?

7. Overall social media influencers are a time-suck. It takes a dedicated person to manage the execution of these programs. Really, it’s a massive cat-herding exercise and not sure it’s worth the advertisers’ time and resources, given the internal labor costs.

What are other takeaways from your experience with social media influencers? Have you found methods or solutions to some of the above concerns? Or are you tempted to try the media, but worried about some or all of the above?

In a future post, we will follow up with our thoughts on these concerns.

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