1. Audience and demographics.
This is something I’m constantly preaching about. If you’re spending money on a channel and you don’t know anything about the audience, then you might as well throw your money away. For example, if you operate a local bakery and you want your brand to be featured by influencers, first of all you better make sure they are food bloggers. Second, where is their audience located? Are they also local? Are they global? Are they even real? Unfortunately it is really easy to buy followers on instagram and appear to be a person of influence. My point is that just like any TV, Radio, or Print campaign, there is work to be done on researching choosing the right channels with the right audience.
2. Media coverage
Influencers can be a really good way to target niche audiences. People who have very specific likes and interests. However, influencers should be an add on to your existing campaigns, not your entire budget. That’s because you’re often dealing with smaller segments of the population which can support your mass marketing but should never replace it.
YouTube has certainly been cracking down over the years on content creators who post product reviews. If a company provides free products or services for review then it needs to be disclosed because that is considered an advertisement. Audiences are also becoming more savvy and skeptical when it comes to this that blurred line between advertisement and legitimate review or experience. People want authentic and unbiased content that doesn’t always feel like advertising. When it comes to instagram, there is no regulation like on youtube and audiences are becoming more aware of the sponsored content and that might hurt some influencers as consumers try more and more to avoid advertising.
Basically if you work in areas like food, fashion, travel, technology, or most consumer packaged goods, then influencers might be something to explore. But like any campaign, do your homework, and don’t give your money or products to anyone claiming to be an influencer because it might be that the only person they are influencing is you, to give them money.