18 / Apr / 17

When Influencer Marketing Goes South

Pepsi Ad

There’s no doubt that brands and marketers are joining the influencer marketing movement. Respondents said that influencer marketing's top benefits entail curating authentic content about their brand (87%), driving engagement around their brand (77%), and driving traffic to their websites or landing pages (56%) (Linqia's The State of Influencer Marketing Survey).

So what is Influencer Marketing? It’s a type of marketing that centers on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to a larger audience. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire influencers to get out the word for you.

More brands in the US are recognizing the importance of influencer marketing, especially with the increased use of ad blocking software. As the amount of time spent on social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram continues to increase together with the availability of ad blocking tools, more brands are seeing the value in working with influencers or celebrities who can incorporate brand messages into content viewers truly want to see.

But as glamorous as it may seem to have a celebrity co-sign your brand, there are risks associated with this marketing approach. Enlisting influencers to be part of your campaign means welcoming your brand to the criticism of their public facade. It also means that you are attaching your name to theirs, and vice versa. So everything they do that creates negative publicity may impact you by association.

Take Pepsi’s recent bombshell of an ad as a perfect example. The ad features popular model Kendall Jenner, inserting her into what appeared to be a commercial with the message for peace. But, the results accomplished no such goal—and was quickly pulled by the company within 24 hours of release because of extreme public criticism.

Watching the ad, you can clearly see Pepsi’s positive objectives. Somewhere in there is a message of unity; it just wasn’t thought through very clearly. According to sources, “Kendall had zero involvement in the creative process.” Right there, is exactly the problem (from our point of view).

For an influencer with a considerable fan-base, the creative process is the entire point. They’ve built their fan base because of the content they share. Their own personal brand story is what makes them appealing to followers.

So for an influencer to sign on to a massive campaign without any thought or input into their hero persona in the brand’s story is a blunder on both ends—the influencer, for agreeing, and the brand for not bearing in mind the importance of their main character.

Telling your brand story with influencers is a great strategy, when executed properly. Influencers can help share your messages in ways that resonate with your customers and target audience, because they are actually using your product.

The most important aspect of brand storytelling with influencers is finding the right people to spread your messages in the right ways.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need an influencer to share your story, that’s where we come in. As an Orlando Marketing Agency who can craft the right message, we can help you with your brand story to create the right response.

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