What Influencer Marketing Can't Do - dummies

What Influencer Marketing Can’t Do

By Kristy Sammis, Cat Lincoln, Stefania Pomponi, Jenny Ng, Edita Gassmann Rodriguez, Judy Zhou

Part of Influencer Marketing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

An influencer marketing program can be a fantastic addition to a multipronged marketing strategy when it comes to elevating your brand or product, but it can’t stand alone. Nor can you expect it to miraculously deliver outrageous results overnight. Influencer marketing amplifies traditional marketing efforts, but it can’t replace them entirely, so plan accordingly and keep your expectations in check.

Here are five things that Influencer Marketing realistically cannot do:

  • Make your content go viral. Creating awesome content that people want to engage with is a great and admirable goal, but “going viral” is not a viable success metric for your influencer marketing campaign. Virality itself is unpredictable. It can be a happily surprising outcome when the right story and audience elements are in play, but “going viral” is not a concrete, measurable business goal like engagement or sales.

  • Drive direct purchase. Whether your product is a service, an app, or an off-the-shelf product, don’t expect influencer marketing to convert the majority of clicks-throughs to direct purchase. Online audiences are looking for inspiration and product recommendations, but reading a blog post isn’t necessarily going to inspire a direct purchase right this minute. If your goal is to drive millions of downloads for your hot new app, influencer marketing is not for you.

  • Drive event attendance. If your goal is to fill an event with warm bodies, look elsewhere, because influencer marketing cannot make a certain number of people go to a specific time and place unless you’re giving away a high-value item.

  • Change negative opinions of your brand. If your product is broken in any way, or your company is going through a PR firestorm, do not engage with social influencers. Influencer marketing is terrific for amplifying the social conversation, but if the current buzz is overwhelmingly negative, it won’t change overnight no matter how many influencers you hire.

  • Be done cheaply, easily, and quickly. Influencer marketing can be done with a reasonable budget, but it would be wrong to assume that it’s always an inexpensive and quick alternative to other marketing tactics (PR, traditional/digital advertising, and so on). Social media platforms may be free to use, but influencers generally don’t work for free. You could go cheap and easy (buyer beware — you’ll get what you pay for) or easy and fast (though it’ll cost you!), but the combination of all three is not realistically possible.