Influencers or influenzas? The pros & cons of engaging influencers to promote a brand

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4 minutes read

Brands are always looking for new ways to cut through a crowded market and engage with potential customers.

These days, it’s less about selling to people than it is about creating a lasting connection that helps convert customers into brand advocates.

Brands crave customer loyalty because it means repeat business.

A recent industry survey found 71 per cent of marketers believed good influencer campaigns drove quality traffic and leads for clients.

But influencer engagement has to be done right.

Remember Kylie Jenner’s epic fail with her Pepsi campaign? Or when the FDA chastised Kim Kardashian for her sponsored posts for drug company Duchesnay?

There is no guaranteed success handbook for influencer marketing and at times, influencer engagement requires a leap of faith.

Aruga Account Director Nicole says it is vital to thoroughly vet influencers before agreeing to work with them.

“Engaging influencers is one way to help build trust and the communication bridge between brands and customers.

“When it comes to brand exposure and brand-building, there is nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth recommendations.

“However, a considered and strategic approach is required to ensure ROI (return on investment) on influencer engagement campaigns.

“Particularly on social media, behaviours are shifting.

“Many users are passive engagers – meaning they consume content but don’t engage – so it’s important then to consider measurement frameworks when engaging influencers.”

Nicole warns to look beyond ‘vanity metrics’, those statistics that look spectacular on the surface but don’t necessarily translate to meaningful business results.

For example, the number of social media followers or the number of views on a promotional video. Nicole says:

“Vanity metrics are just that – what about all the juicy non-vanity metrics like sends and saves?

“Engagement rates also fluctuate massively across categories and following counts and if a brand’s objective is brand awareness or reach, this almost certainly isn’t the most important factor to consider.”

Influencers should be considered and vetted on the following basis:

  • What role will the influencer play?
  • What are the objectives of the engagement? Reach, engagement, content creation?
  • Is the influencer a brand fit? Identify audience values, authenticity, brand alignment, reach vs. resonance.

Before engaging an influencer, brands should:

  • Shift focus away from follower counts

Some influencers with 10K followers have a greater reach than those with 50K! Instead, request metrics from influencers to understand their average post reach, impressions and non-vanity metrics (sends and saves).

  • Consider influencer category and role

If the campaign requires content for a brand’s social channels, consider content creators. If you want to reach broad audiences or leverage an influencer’s content style and appeal, consider publishers.

  • Assess audience quality

Who are you speaking to, really? Work with influencers to understand their audience niche, interests and demographics. Validate the quality and validity of their audience to ensure it is genuine.

Aruga Account Manager Shannon agrees that it is crucial to ensure influencers are the right fit for your brand.

“We work with brands and clients to determine their criteria for influencers and ensure they are vetted against this before commencing work with them.

“We always make sure we ask for backend demographic statistics, so you know you’re speaking to the right audience.

“And it is important to work with influencers who want to work with you and the brand you are representing. You are always more likely to get authentic content that way.”

Aruga recently worked with Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) to engage four influencers with a collective following of 595,700 across their social media channels.

Once identified and vetted by Aruga, the influencers were approved by TEQ for a two-day famil trip in Brisbane.

Over the two-day campaign, they delivered 12 Instagram posts (33,464 likes), 105 Instagram stories (901,777 story views) and 295 comments.

Want to know how influencer engagement can elevate your brand? Peep our past work or slide into our DMs.

Want to polish your social media protocol before publishing?

Aruga’s communications experts can provide you with the rules for engagement from social media strategy to community management and content planning.

Do @ us for thumb-stopping content and strategic schedules for social media success.