Greta Paa-kerner
Greta Paa-kerner 24 March 2015
Categories Social Media

Influencer Marketing: Do You Like That Perfume Or Were You Paid To Say You Do?

How influencer marketing has become a main stream marketing tool, popularly seen on the channels of YouTube and Twitter stars.

Influencer marketing has stealthily crept up upon us and I am beginning to notice it in a lot of corners of the internet, particularly on Twitter.

I am now getting confused about what people really like and what they say they like. This trendy marketing tactic consists of a brand piggy backing a relationship an online personality has built with their audience. The key is to let the influencer create the content on behalf of the brand.

Some commercial posts are fairly obvious, like the photographer Sam Ciurdar who takes some great outdoor photos and posts them to Instagram. But sitting along side his beautiful shots was a photo of tins of solid perfume nestled among pine branches and included a short message, “I’ve never heard of solid cologne until I got my hands on some @alfredlane ones!”.

Now I can’t guarantee that no money exchanged hands, but it does smack of being a hidden advertisement for Alfred Lane. Cologne just doesn’t fit with the outdoor image he has carefully curated through his photography, and, besides, who could smell it outdoors anyway?

Some are subtler and are better fits with the style and language of the influencer. An example is Zoe Sugg. If you follow Zoella, you may have seen her promoting Yankee Candles. She’s a YouTuber with 7 ½ million followers. She likes nice smelly stuff and even sells a range of beauty products and so promoting scented candles fits fine. She is monetising her traffic consistently with the brand she has created.

The audience, brand and influencer all have to fit together in order to make influencer marketing an effective tactic. In addition, the sales pitch has to be subtle enough to let us take down our guards and truly embrace our influencer’s powers over our shopping habits.

Influencer marketing has gone mainstream and there is some serious money to be made by agencies and influencers alike. In fact, there are marketing agencies specifically dedicated to influencer marketing. One agency @speakr has broken down their 2,000+ network of influencers into the following categories: mums, teens, comedy, fashion, fitness, music and gamers.

They say, “Become the most talked about brand on social media.” Yet, there are a couple of issues to consider when handing the keys to your brand kingdom over to a millennial. Firstly, make sure you know what you need to divulge because disclosure laws vary from country to country. UK disclosure laws are stricter than those in the US. Secondly, it often times is difficult measuring impact as traditional KPIs don’t work with Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat.

Lastly, well, you just handed the keys to your brand over to a millennial! Influencers with a strong following are today’s stars. There are many new and exciting ways to monetise their influence, there is product placement & promotion, display advertising, self-branded products and/or affiliate marketing. And, really, the only talent they need is to market themselves effectively.

The influencer has to first build the following in order to become valuable as a publisher. But in today’s online world, our audiences are fair-weathered and today’s influencer could very well be forgotten tomorrow.

I am trying to think of a digital analogy to the saying, “Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper”, because this is very well the case with influencer marketing, but nothing springs to mind. 

About Author:

Greta Paa-Kerner (@gretapk) is a guest lecturer on digital and affiliate marketing and a management consultant through Ganduxer Consulting. Visit her blog and LinkedIn profile

FREE EVENT: Join Digital Doughnut in London on March 31st, 2015 for an evening of networking with speakers reviewing Digital Transformation

Read More on Digital Doughnut


Check out our latest videos!

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.

Marina Howell
Marina Howell 17 October 2016
Read more
Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Here's how you can get a complete view of your customer journey so that your email campaigns continue to win new customers.

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 18 October 2016
Read more
Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

The reality for retailers today is that to be successful, omnichannel strategies are no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive. Consumers want to engage with brands on social media, in a physical store, on an ecommerce site, through a mobile app, via email or through a phone call.

Larisa Bedgood
Larisa Bedgood 18 October 2016
Read more
How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

Most small businesses spend more than 6 hours per week on social media marketing and more than one-third post at least once per day. Along with finding the time, the other biggest challenge professionals face is finding the right content to post. If you’re experiencing these challenges, keep reading because we’re going to help you solve them.

Melissa Darcey
Melissa Darcey 20 October 2016
Read more