Influencer Marketing is still a new and evolving marketing strategy. However, old questions are resurfacing, and further questions are presenting themselves after the Fyre Festival Documentaries on Netflix and Hulu were released earlier this month. Marketers are questioning their future investments in influence marketing, but it is important to note that this event took place in 2017. In the years since then influencer marketing has grown and matured significantly. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “there has been a 325% increase in searches for the phrase “Influencer Marketing” on Google alone over the last 12 months.” A recent projection stated that marketers would spend an upwards of 5 – 10 billion dollars by 2020, and there are indications that the total spend in 2018 already beat the higher end. So, the question is not ‘does Influence Marketing work?’; the question is how can we make sure it works well and ends well, every campaign, every time.
We must understand the power of Influencer Marketing:
Influencers and Brands must vet each other. Before any business communications or campaign discussions know who you’re dealing with and what you’ll be doing with them. For influencers, this is a job that they’re getting paid to do, and they need to act accordingly. They must uphold the brand’s image and also understand what message the brand is looking communicate to their audience. Influencers must also vet their partners, doing research on who they are, their products and their message. In this case, the models and celebrities that took Billy at his word are getting harsh, sometimes unfair, blow-back. Brands are the usually the ones who are sensitive to damaging their reputation, but the same principles apply to influencers.
A campaign is a contract:
The Fyre Festival went against FTC rules. FTC guidelines must be followed. Period. These regulations and guidelines will ensure that the public is not mislead and that potential customers and suppliers are not defrauded. Let’s be real, most people see #Sponsored and don’t bat an eye so there’s no reason not to disclose your relationship to a brand. The social networks provide easy tools to mark your post with the partnership information. Use them or your posts are at risk of being taken down and you personally can be fined.
Don’t do this!
Delivering a good product and creating value legitimately:
In the case of value, it goes both ways. Clout chasers are just as real in the business world as they are in pop culture. You cannot make your brand valuable just by using influencers; you need to use influencers to promote the already established value of your products. Remember that value goes both ways, influencers need to provide value from their content and audience and brands need to provide value with high-quality products and services. We cannot lay all of the blame on influencers for the results of Fyre Fest (clearly the company misled everyone) but we can hold them more accountable in whom they do business with to make the chances of this kind of ‘dumpster fyre’ happening again slim to none.
Speak up for what is right:
We live in a time where in some cases right and wrong are not the most natural things to point out. We see prominent business-people walk away unscathed from crimes that affect many people. So what should we do when we come across a sketchy business situation? It is hard to know as a young business person. However, in the Fyre Fest case, all of the people working on this project knew it was impossible to pull through with the advertised ‘experience,’ but instead of speaking out or quitting they decided to ride it out. Of course, there was a lot of misinformation and lack of transparency, but let this be a lesson to all that any connection to a fraudulent business whether an employee, influencer or freelance videographer, your reputation will also be damaged.
Micro-Influencers can be just as big as Macro-Influencers:
Anyone can go viral, and this has been taught to us again and again. The growth and influence a Micro-Influencer can have if given the right content can be colossal. For example, the photo above shared by a kid with 500 twitter followers single-handedly destroyed all credibility the Fyre Festival had left. With good content, anyone can become the next Macro-Influencer.
The most important things I gathered from this debacle is learn from your mistakes, be open to change, understand your power, and DON’T PROMISE WHAT YOU CAN’T DELIVER!
Check out WOW Influence, the ultimate influencer marketplace, for more ways to promote, protect and connect with the influencer marketing world.