Trust is trending
Trust seems to be at the center of our lives these days. From politics to purchasing to media consumption, we are questioning what is real and what is not. The influencer marketing industry has made tremendous strides over the last several years to reach its current scale. Today brand marketers of all industries and practices are considering influencer marketing as a viable tactic for their brands. And what has been propelling the growth of this strategy? Trust.
There are several factors that are critical to building marketers’ comfortability with the tactic:
Trust your brand durability
Most brands are more elastic than marketers realize. If you know the brand is elastic-- meaning it is established enough to hold its ground through different interpretations-- then you recognize that there is more upside than downside to influencer marketing. An influencer marketing campaign is more likely to gain you awareness and consumer affection than to hurt the brand. Smart marketers know that decades of brand building aren’t going to be unwound by an influencer post that isn’t as perfect as a studio-produced advertisement.
Trust the creative process
A key to gaining positive influencer outcomes is to find a pro team that can demonstrate their experience delivering on programs. Think of finding the right influencer marketing partner like finding a realtor to scout your dream home. You would like the realtor to have an excellent overall knowledge, tools you don’t have access to, insider information on the housing market, and excellent customer service. Similarly, an influencer marketing partner should have a tight process that guides your brand to successful outcomes.
Trust the purpose of influencer marketing
It’s critical to set realistic expectations for an influencer marketing program. Like all marketing tactics, influencers are not a silver bullet. Many emerging marketing tactics receive more scrutiny and skepticism than older, more traditional tactics (how can you measure direct ROI on TV ads?). Instead of holding a microscope over the ROI, try to understand where influencers sit on the path to purchase. Influencer marketing is most effective as an upstream tactic; in the awareness and consideration phase. Influencer marketing involves humans, who as it turns out, want to be treated like humans. Creating ‘programmatic’ influencer marketing is removing the humanity from the experience and your consumers will notice these spammier, less genuine approaches.
Trust is the end goal for all marketing tactics: to get consumers to trust your brand. People are more and more skeptical of ads, so adding the human factor of influencer marketing can be a major boon to your brand’s trust factor. Your customers will know that you enabled the brand to be vulnerable and expressed without manipulation. Authenticity builds trust by conveying openness and humanizing your brand. Consumers evangelize brands that they trust. If you want to feel the real impacts of influencer marketing in 2017, focus on building trust.