The way we view influencer marketing needs to change. A substantial shift has occurred within the last year, largely prompted by the prevalence of fake followers and covert influencer advertising techniques that have fundamentally undermined the authenticity that originally set this form of advertising apart from other, more traditional approaches.
The unfortunate reality is that consumers are now far more distrustful of the influencer messaging they are engaging with, which poses a problem for brands in deciding where best to invest their digital marketing budgets. Influencer content fatigue is a genuine issue, with many consumers simply switching off and filtering out messaging they don’t believe to be authentic.
Influencer marketing has grown into an exceptionally lucrative approach to advertising and to ensure that this avenue is not lost forever, influencers and brands need to focus on building consumer trust. How? By pushing for honesty and understanding the fundamentals of the art that is social selling.
Once upon a time customer experience would end as soon as a consumer stepped outside of the shop. Now, however, consumers can interact with brands and businesses online all day, every day and this shift has transformed consumers from potential sales conversions into something that feels more akin to friendship.
This new relationship requires brands to truly engage with their audience because, as in any friendship, if someone feels unappreciated, they will leave. Brands successfully forging connections that feel genuine on both sides can expect to reap the rewards of increased social sales.
Securing influencer marketing success in 2019
Learning how to master the art of social selling within your niche is almost certainly going to be one of the primary keys to success in 2019. Adopting one of the following 6 core defined personas will help you to hone your approach and ensure your messaging is placed to connect with your audience in meaningful ways:
- The Supporter
- The Maverick
- The Motivator
- The Nurturer
- The Engager
- The Promoter
Brands pursuing the Nurturer approach, for example, would adopt an appreciative tone and establish a deeply personal relationship with their audience. Respect and loyalty are essential here, which sets this approach apart from something like the Promoter where creating hype and excitement is a priority. Each persona can be equally as effective; you simply need to identify which will work best for you and your audience.
Moving forwards, it is important only to collaborate with influencers with a demonstrable connection to your brand and/or your products and services. Influencer marketing should always feel inherently human and any messaging that is overtly promotional simply won’t have the credibility to drive the results you want from your investment.
Nurturing the relationship you have with your audience is only going to become more crucial to social success in the coming months and years. Replying to comments and engaging thoughtfully with the people who have actively chosen to follow your social presence are just a few ways in which you can demonstrate that you value them and genuinely want to invest time into ensuring that they feel appreciated.
The shift away from corporate arrangements to friendship-based interactions will continue, so maintaining a human, authentic and fully transparent digital presence will help you to secure success in an ever-evolving and highly competitive landscape.