Social Selling: 5 Surprising Facts About Influencer Marketing

Whether you’re a fashion designer from New York, a tech entrepreneur in Hong Kong, or a cosmetic tattooist based in Melbourne, influencer marketing can help you reach precisely the audience you need to connect with to flourish. As with any tactic you apply within your business, it comes with its own benefits and challenges, some of which you will likely find surprising. Read on to discover five things you probably didn’t know about influencer marketing.

1. You don’t have to go big or go home

While it may seem logical to pick an influencer who has 4 million followers over one who has 12,000, this isn’t always the most effective strategy. Massive influencers are always more expensive (eye-wateringly so) and often less connected to their audiences. They also generally have several sponsors on rotation, meaning people are so used to seeing spon-con from them that the ads roll in one ear and out the other. 

2. Micro-influencers can be more impactful (and affordable) 

Micro-influencers generally have a stronger connection to their audience. They tend to come across as more authentic, and they often engage directly with their followers via messages, comments, live streams, and other online channels. Research has also revealed on multiple occasions and in multiple markets that micro-influencers regularly deliver more engagement for their sponsors – all for a fraction of the cost of a macro-influencer or mega-influencer. 

3. You can take it a step smaller

Nano-influencers are even smaller than micro-influencers, with an audience of fewer than 10,000 followers. While this doesn’t sound like a lot compared to hundreds of thousands or millions, these smaller influencers create an even more intimate and friendly relationship with their followers. They allow you to gain the power of word-of-mouth advertising between friends but at a magnified reach. 

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can work with a range of micro-influencers and nano-influencers, spreading out your reach and hitting multiple market segments. It’s generally far more cost-effective to do it this way as many mega-influencers are charging hundreds of thousands of dollars per post.

4. Influencers lie

Of course, we must provide the mandatory “not all influencers” disclaimer. However, it’s important to know that dishonesty is rife within this industry. From buying fake followers to deleting comments and doctoring their photos and videos, influencers are infamous for lying to their sponsors, fans, and even themselves. 

This can be a major problem if you’re working with an influencer as any reputational damage they receive when a lie is revealed will also reflect poorly on you. So, it’s crucial to spend plenty of time vetting any influencers you’re considering, checking out their social blade and other metrics, searching for opinions about them online, and examining their content on all platforms. 

5. The influencer bubble may burst

Analysts and commentators all over the internet have been speculating that the influencer phenomenon is a bubble that’s set to burst at any moment. Among the general public, there’s mounting discontent as people are tired of being misled by influencers. While this could lead to a mass exodus among former fans, it’s more likely that people will simply turn to “more authentic” influencers. Once again, this means doing your research before aligning with any influencers as you don’t want to sign on with them when their influence is waning. 

The key with influencer marketing is to be savvy about who you work with, and above all, to value honesty and transparency with their audience. After all, these are the people you’re hoping to convert into loyal customers. 

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