With more businesses marketing themselves online influencer marketing has been growing in popularity and is being used by brands worldwide. However, this form of marketing also has some challenges, which is finding the right influencers and managing the relationships.
A recent case in Thailand has highlighted these challenges when a certain cosmetics and food supplement company was raided by authorities for using a fake FDA license and selling non-FDA approved cosmetics. The company had spent millions of Baht hiring influencers and celebs to endorse their products. While the company was charged with producing substandard products which lacked the advertised ingredients and a proper license at an unregistered factory, the product endorsers were questioned by authorities regarding their role in the product review ads.
There are some lessons to be learned from this incident.
For influencers, it is important to understand the brand to see if it resonates with them. They should read the contract carefully to see what the terms, conditions and expectations from the brands are. Some offers are attractive and often it is easy for influencers to say yes to big brands without studying them carefully. Influencers should ask for legal and other supporting documents to ensure that the product or service they have been asked to endorse or review is legal and has been approved by FDA or a similar organization.
On the other hand, brands must need to thoroughly evaluate the influencer they plan to work with to make sure they best represent their brand. They should study the influencer’s personal lifestyle, background and work ethics. Have they worked with a competitor in the past? What is their reputation like? Brands should not get carried away only by numbers of followers but should check the engagement that influencers have with followers. Brands should look for influencers who are authentic and can be trusted. It is important to also educate the influencers about the product and give all facts.
According to a recent study by marketing technology firm Crowdtap, influencers said the biggest motivating factor in working with a brand was creating content that’s relevant to their audience. These content creators recognize that their value to their audience comes from their authentic and honest nature. For them, their audience comes first. Respect and fair treatment from both brands helps to build strong influencer relationships.
Influencer marketing is a partnership between brands and influencers and each must support one another. Mutual respect is key to this partnership and to a successful campaign. Brands must trust that the influencer they work with will execute the campaign per the goals that are outlined and according to deadlines. Influencers, on the other hand, are inclined to work with brands that provide them adequate compensation which shows that they value and respect their efforts.
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