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Is Your Influencer Strategy Causing Distrust?

Despite strict advertising regulations, people generally still don’t trust a lot of ads. A study commissioned by the American Association of Advertising Agencies shows that only 4 percent of consumers believe in the integrity of advertisers. Consumers view brands as part of an elite establishment that promotes unachievable lifestyles and bodies—and they’re unable to relate. This disconnect has caused a rift between brands and the market. This led to the rise of the every-person becoming influencers, at least in the beginning. Today, influencer marketing may be perceived as insincere, especially by millennials —who are fast becoming the most influential demographic in the economy. Still, the power of influencer marketing can’t be denied. Dr. Leliana Carver-Madalon, assistant professor on the Master's in Strategic Communication and Leadership Online Program at Maryville University, reports that a study found that “49.3% [of respondents] had made a purchase based upon an influencer's recommendation and that 44.2% of respondents generally trust recommendations from influencers.” She adds in the feature interview with Forbes that, "Whether or not we trust a social media influencer depends foremost upon their credibility … If a social media influencer violates their ethos they will lose the trust of their followers and will lose their influence.” With all this talk about credibility, you’d think that there’d be no room for “non-authentic” personas like Maya: The New AI-Driven Frontier of Influencer Marketing. However, a study shows that 33.5% [of respondents] felt like there’s a future for AI (computer-generated) influencers like Lil Miquela (@lilmiquela). That’s a lot of trust in an avatar created as a marketing tool. Clearly, there’s still merit in influencer marketing—and you shouldn’t shy away from it. Just make sure that you keep your brand in check. Find an influencer that fits

Identify who your target audience is, and then find out who they’re receptive to. This will help you narrow down your search for the right influencers. You also need to make sure that these influencers share your values and tone of voice. News columnist Megan Snyder says that it’s important to ask yourself: “Do their ideas and how they talk about them align with my brand?” In a PR Daily write-up on how to choose the perfect influencers for your organization, she reiterates the importance of looking through an influencer’s past activities. Your brand needs to uphold and maintain a good reputation, so it’s important that the influencers you choose are consistent with their messaging too. Consider nano influencers

Today’s consumers are savvy; they know that most influencers get paid for product endorsements. This is where the nano influencer can help you. These users with fewer followers—under 15,000—are perceived as more authentic and relatable by most people. Moreover, these users typically communicate with their followers more, strengthening brand trust for their promoted products. So even if you have the budget to work with celebrities and other high-profile influencers, it may benefit you more to reach out to a nano influencer. Dunkin Donuts’ coffee and espresso ad campaign in 2018 has been proof of this; their nano influencer campaign helped them hit a record $300 million in coffee purchases. Involve influencers in the creative process

Influencer marketing campaigns aren’t confined to product features and reviews. These days, you can and should consider inviting relevant influencers to work with you even before you launch a product. When an influencer takes their followers through the creation process, it becomes more personal and therefore builds brand affinity. Emilie Tabor, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Influencer Marketing Agency, says that co-creating with influencers alter brand perception in a more authentic way. She also explains that this partnership gives you a better idea of which products will work with your target audience, since influencers know their follower demographics the best. This can help you avoid mistakes in product development, too. Additionally, when influencers are more involved, they’re more likely to show a stronger commitment to the brand. With the right strategy and personalities, you can leverage on influencer marketing to propel your brand forward.

Piece specially written for

by Bernice Joel

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