Influencer MarketingMitigating the Risks of Influencer Marketing

February 7, 2022

Mitigating the Risks of Influencer Marketing

The words “Influencer Marketing” have become one of the most popular buzz words in the marketing industry in the past few years, and for good reason: In 2018, 81% of marketers reported that using influencers to boost their marketing plans was more of an effective strategy in comparison to television or print marketing that were also among the most expensive marketing tools used. Whether your brand is already on board with influencer marketing or considering it for the first time, there are some important things that one needs to know regarding mitigating the risks of influencer marketing and ensuring a benefitable influencer partnership.

Let’s use a scenario, say you’ve onboarded a popular influencer to represent your brand and after doing so you find out that the said influencer has made the news for the wrong reasons thus drawing unnecessary negative attention towards your brand and placing the brands image under scrutiny. The question is, how do you balance the immense value add that influencers can bring to your business while still being able to mitigate the risks of influencer marketing?

In the world of social media there is no room for error, and while brands understand the challenges of reputational risk, not every organization has a strategy to assess and mitigate the squandering effects a social media backlash could have on the financial aspects of a brand. As an organization you need to ensure you have plans and procedures in place should you ever find your business trending for all the wrong reasons and most importantly you need to ensure that your marketing team knows how to mitigate the risks involved with influencer marketing.

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The Advantages of Working With an Influencer

While there are many benefits that come with influencer marketing, in our opinion, the most important is the fact that your targeted audience is already there. A brand would choose an influencer based off the audience that the brand would want to reach and the influencer already has. This equates to a match made in heaven as both parties are establishing a profitable partnership where both are offering incredible value to each other. The brand gets the influencer’s audience and the influencer receives remuneration (as agreed) from the brand.

1. Influencers Improves Brand Awareness

Influencer marketing can greatly expand the brand reach and positioning online. Social media users will begin to know more about the brand, their story, who they are, and the solutions they offer. The right influencer can open doors to a ready- made community that is receptive to the brands product or service offerings.

2. Influencers Effectively Reach Your Target Audience

This is a big one, as mentioned previously. Through relevant influencers, the brands content is placed in front of social media users that are already interested in the brands niche. With the right partnership, the brand can engage with followers that it might not have been able to reach without the influencers assistance and audience.

3. Influencers Build Trust and Reputation

Influencers have built strong relationships with their fans, establishing trust and credibility. Users respect their recommendations. People trust an influencer more readily than the brand alone thus the opinion of an influencer who cares about the brand and their sector carries a lot of weight.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH INFLUENCER MARKETING?

What Are the Risks Associated With Influencer Marketing?

When one aligns their brand to an influencer, they become linked to their lifestyle, opinions, and background. Influencers are humans and therefore make mistakes, but marketers should be wary that even if an influencer has an enticing fanbase, certain influencers themselves could prove to be dangerous investments.

While it takes time, effort, and resources to build a brands reputation, it can be damaged by the actions of an influencer in just moments. Being aware of the pitfalls of influencer marketing means one can manage and mitigate the risks associated with influencer marketing before it is too late and detrimental to the brand.

1.Influencers Can Damage the Brands Reputation

In order to mitigate this risk associated with influencer marketing one can set guidelines for the influencers to follow however one needs to be aware that they cannot control the influencers every move. A brand will need to understand how the influencers portfolio of posts and partnerships align with them. When a brand has a paid partnership with a social media influencer, it is important to remember that this person is a representative of the brand. So, if they do things that are not aligned with the brand and the brand does not want to be associated with them, then there might be an influencer-induced crisis.

2.Losing Authenticity

An influencer’s followers trust that they share the same values and interests. These fans will be ‘turned off’ if they believe the brand/influencer partnership is not credible and is irrelevant to them. When influencers post content that they don’t believe in, it reflects negatively on both the influencer and the brand. One needs to be extremely certain and specific when it comes to choosing an influencer to represent your brand.

3. Ownership of the Consumer Relationship

By allowing the brand to be experienced through the filter of an influencer’s life – rather than via the brand platforms – the brand is allowing the influencer to partially own the consumer’s relationship. Their impression of the brand is shaped by the influencer and how it fits into their lifestyle rather than through the brands carefully constructed messaging and aesthetic. The brand must ensure that the influencer they choose has the right status or position to endorse your brand.

Conclusion

In conclusion, C-Suite Legal and Marketing would recommend an effective social media influencer strategy that should always include a crisis management plan to mitigate any potential damage to the brand. It is important to note that before a brand engages a social media influencer, they need to ensure that they have carried out full research on what they want to achieve from their marketing campaign/strategy.

One must be clear on the company’s brand values in order to engage influencers that share those values and who will promote the product or service with conviction and authenticity.

To assess the risk factors posed by an influencer, we at C-Suite Legal and Marketing recommend that a brand investigates the influencer by going into their social media platforms and looking at their past actions and associations to mitigate the risks of influencer marketing.

When it comes to social media and influencer marketing the risks are there, but when they are managed carefully, it is a wonderful and highly rewarding avenue to explore.

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