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5 Dangerous Myths About Influencer Marketing – Busted!

June 20, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Lee Odden

The popularity of influencer marketing has made the field ripe for opportunists to capitalize. That’s what happens when new trends emerge into mainstream marketing: advice and experts start popping up everywhere.

Some of that advice is good, some is suspect and plenty is just pure mythology. Like a dragon – just as mythical but also potentially dangerous to your marketing.

Fantastic tales of fame and success ala the latest marketing tactic du jour rarely lead marketers to business success. Realizing the potential negative effects of alluring speculation and misinformation to marketers, I decided to take the pulse of our community on what the most common and dangerous myths about influencer marketing are.

Below are 5 of the biggest myths that emerged from my informal poll. I also included insights from established marketing industry leaders and experts – most from the UK. Why the UK? Well, that’s because this is all part of a presentation I gave today at the Digital Marketing World Forum in London along with Nicolas Chabot of Traackr.

Lee Odden Nicolas Chabot

That’s right, I co-created my presentation (and this post) on influencer marketing with influencers.

Along with the expert insights, you will also find my perspective, earned after many years of studying, experimenting with and implementing influencer marketing projects and programs for brands big and small. Together, we are the influencer marketing myth dragon slayers.

Myth #1: Popularity = Influence

Neville Hobson
“It is a Myth that Influencer Marketing is Marketing Based Only on Popularity, Mistaken for Influence.”
Neville Hobson – Senior Business Consultant, IBM Social Consulting

My take: A core expectation of working with influencers is for the brand to reach new audiences and therefore, one of the temptations of qualifying which influencers to work with has often focused on the convenient metric of popularity.

While audience and reach are very important, it’s what people do once you’ve reached them that pays the bills. What good is being promoted to a Twitter audience of a million followers if no one clicks the link, shares the tweet or is otherwise affected?

A great example is ZEFR’s analysis that compares talk show host Jimmy Fallon to YouTube star Connor Franta. Fallon has 207% greater reach with 38.4m vs. 12.5m average reach across social platforms, but Franta gets 66% more engagement despite having a smaller network. The other piece to this is, good luck getting Jimmy Fallon to be your influencer :)

Myth #2: You Should Buy Influencers Like You Buy Advertising

Stephen Waddington
“The notion that you can buy influencers like media is dangerous. It’s a relationship business, not real estate.”

Stephen Waddington – Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum

My take: It is true there is an organic and a paid approach to working with influencers just like anything else from search to social to content. The myth here is that you always need to pay influencers and that …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog