Getting Influencer Marketing Right in 2018 | NAWBO

Influencer Marketing has become the hot new thing on the digital marketing landscape. It’s been around for a while now, and it’s really starting to come into its own as a major digital marketing channel. Still, it does require you to entrust your brand or your product to a third party, and that may come with unanticipated drawbacks. In the news lately, there have been several stories influencer marketing going awry.

Now, we want to make it clear that we have a lot of faith in influencer marketing. However, as with any tool, it needs to be used with care and deliberation. The following examples explore the results of brands not using influencer marketing carefully.

Rockfish Games Failed to Vet Their Influencer

In a recent interview at Reboot Develop, Michael Schade, developer at Rockfish Games, recounted their nightmarish experience with a prominent influencer, during their advertising campaign for their flagship game, Everspace.

Without getting bogged down in the details, the basic gist of the game is that it’s about spaceships. Rockfish paid a prominent influencer to play the game on his live-stream for his many (many!) fans. For the exposure, and the chance at building some hype, Rockfish paid the equivalent of just over $10 000 USD. The influencer charged about $5000 per hour, and the minimum booking slot was two hours.

It was a fiasco. The influencer made it clear that he had no love for Everspace. Indeed his first words on the subject were “I have to stop playing Destiny 2 now because I’m on a sponsored stream to play a space game and I don’t like space games.” He went on to play, as Schade put it, “like a complete […] moron.”

In this case, the agency Rockfish had been working with relied on subscriber count and vanity metrics to pick an influencer. They saw the opportunity to pay for a stream on a channel with a popular streamer with a reasonably large viewership, and didn’t dig any deeper. Had they taken the time to watch some of his past content, sit in on some livestreams, or even ask him for his honest opinion on the genre, they would have quickly realized that he was a poor fit for their particular product.

As it was, Rockfish was out ten grand, for the privilege of having someone trash-talk their brand in front of thousands of devotees.

Though it had a happy ending (the resulting controversy was free publicity, and Everspace was headline news for weeks afterward), in most cases this sort of cataclysm can be enough to sink a brand.

Kim Kardashian Upset 111 Million Fans with a Lollipop

Kim Kardashian’s Instagram feed has a massive following. Plenty of advertisers have paid for her sponsorship, and for the most part those partnerships have been successful. But a couple of weeks ago, Kardashian came under fire for promoting an appetite-suppressing lollipop.

Her fans weren’t happy. It seemed to trivialize eating disorders, something many of her fans had struggled with. As a result of the gaffe, other advertisers she had partnered with were tainted by proxy, resulting in a number of hastily pulled sponsorships and a lot of carefully worded press-releases from advertisers, distancing themselves from the offending product.

From a digital marketing perspective, the influencer marketing takeaway is that it’s important to vet not only your influencer but that influencer’s other partnerships, as well. As the saying goes, if you advertise with an influencer, you advertise with all their other sponsorships, too.

BooTea Shake Fails to Impress Scott Disick

Scott Disick was given instructions to plug BooTea’s protein shake on his Instagram feed. Unfortunately, though Disick did keep up his end of the deal in what can generally be called good faith, his apparent lack of real interest led to his posting the advertiser’s instructions, verbatim, along with the content.

Obviously this was an embarrassment for both parties, but in pulling back the curtain, so to speak, it shamed and cheapened the concept of influencer marketing in general. It made the whole thing seem uncomfortably transactional.

But it shouldn’t be! Influencer marketing shouldn’t be purely, or even primarily transactional.

Getting Influencer Marketing Right

Influencer marketing is all about authenticity. It’s not about vanity metrics, or about breadth of audience reach. Influencer marketing is about a partnership to tell honest, engaging stories.

An influencer isn’t likely to be worth partnering with unless he or she has a genuine appreciation for your brand. There should be a real conviction behind your influencer’s support, and if that enthusiasm is missing, then it isn’t really a strong partnership.

When it comes to content, or digital marketing in general, we have always held that quality will always trump sheer quantity. The right reach will always, always be more important than a purely larger one.

Influencer marketing is a partnership that both parties should be proud of.

Related Posts

Relationships: They’re Meant to Be...
September 20, 2023

As women, one of the things we’re known to be excellent at is building relationships. But how about...

Passion + Sustained Perseverance = Grit
August 16, 2023

When we set out to become women business owners, we were likely attracted by the idea of pursuing...

2023-2024 NAWBO National Editorial...
July 20, 2023

2023-2024 NAWBO National Editorial Calendar For questions or submissions, please e-mail ...

July 19, 2023

The definition of “visible” is to be easily seen and understood. As women business owners, we all...

Mid-Year Check
June 19, 2023

We’re halfway through the year, and that means we’ve been plugging away for months now to move the...

Global Minded
May 17, 2023

As women business owners, we are continually shaped by—and shape—the world around us. To build...

Cheryl Inokon Is Helping Mission-Driven...
April 26, 2023

  How do you define success? To me, success is synonymous with freedom. It means having the...

Smooth Stepping
April 19, 2023

As women business owners, there are so many reasons why we’d have to step away from our businesses...

Digital Transformation
March 15, 2023

Business success is about understanding and meeting or, better yet, exceeding customer needs. But...

Leadership Matters
February 15, 2023

Finish this sentence: A leader is… Perhaps phrases like “a good listener”, “a mentor”, “someone...

3 Tax Credits You Can Use to Grow Your...
January 18, 2023

If you’re in the process of growing your business, these three types of business tax credits can...

Recession Proof
January 18, 2023

We’ve all been striving to put the pandemic far behind us. However, many of us continue to feel the...

Go For the Goal
December 14, 2022

As woman entrepreneurs, we all want business success—however we define it. To reach that next place...

Power Your Dream
November 16, 2022

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt As a...

Ready, Set, Sell!
October 19, 2022

Every woman business owner has a product or service that they’re responsible for selling. But are...

On the Money
September 21, 2022

If women business owners had the ability to improve one thing to open doors of opportunity for the...

Defining DEI&B
August 17, 2022

Building an inclusive culture isn’t just the right thing to do; it makes good business sense....

Seat at the Table
July 20, 2022

The word “advocacy” might sound overwhelming at first to a woman business owner who has never...

NAWBO Upcoming Events Blog
June 17, 2022

By Rosaria Cain NAWBO President   What’s Next? Beginning in July, our President-Elect Ania...

Culture Is Queen
June 15, 2022

Here at NAWBO, culture is vital. Everything we do, from our mission and values, to our goals and...