If you haven’t stepped into the pool of influencer marketing, now would be an ideal opportunity to get your feet wet. Influencer marketing is a platform that has gained immense popularity over time. It allows companies to increase their brand awareness drastically, drives transformations and rapidly uplifts sales compared to the prevailing marketing strategies.To begin with, when it comes to taking advices: The thought of which brand or person governs your mind? Most people have answered this question by stating they prefer taking an advice from a “friend” or generally rely on word-of-mouth from their colleagues. Furthermore, considering the broad expansion and transparency of web, the meaning of “friend” is enlarging by incorporating influencers. Influencers have a great extent of authority over an assemblage. According to an article on The Ultimate List of Influencer Marketing Statistics 49% of the audience agree with the fact that they rely on recommendations from influencers prior to making a purchase decision. Isn’t that a great opportunity for a brand to achieve a competitive edge? However, influencer marketing isn’t an “easy go” for any brand. As a brand, you need to make sure you follow an appropriate strategy and initiate correct actions for connecting with the targeted audience.

There is abundance of information available on guiding you about the practices and procedures you could adopt for executing your strategies in regard to influencer marketing but you need to give a thought over- “Is all of it really accurate?” OR “To what extent is the information accurate?” Before you give a thought of connecting with influencers it becomes tremendously significant to confront yourself with the prevailing myths that still happen to remain alive in the industry. Following are the 5 greatest influencer-marketing myths that continue to exist with respect to the influencer-marketing domain:

NO, influencer marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be backed by an increased price.

And NO, it isn’t always mandatory to compensate influencers.

1Influencer Marketing is backed by huge monetary value

Source: AZ Quotes

It isn’t only the millennials and boomers that show traits of instant gratification but every individual now days, irrespective of their age crave for spontaneous results. However, in the domain of marketing one cannot accomplish the desired outcomes immediately. Marketers, across the globe incur an increased amount of investment in paid media but- “Does paid media always give you the desired results?” One cannot deny to the fact that there is a paid approach of working with influencers but it is a myth that you inevitably have to pay influencers.

Influencer marketing is stereotyped as a platform that requires huge financial investment. Marketers not only from SME’s but also from MNC’s are reluctant to invest in this sphere because they presume that the value derived would be less than the value invested whereas, it works the opposite way. If you are eyeing on celebrities and influencers with big names, it is obvious you would have to shell out considerable amounts. But if you work with organic influencers, you wouldn’t have to incur huge costs for publicizing your message. In the end, all that matters is the audience and the reach. While group of onlookers and reach are essential, it is actions (after you’ve reached out) of the targeted individuals that pay the bills.

2It is mandatory to give influencers financial compensation

Cost is certainly a variable you need to consider to gear up your marketing strategies, but it isn’t as high as you think. There are influencers who don’t require financial compensation for promoting your product or brand. Compensation has always been a standout amongst all the debatable topics with respect to influencer marketing. It is the need of the hour for marketers to understand that money is not the most imperative part for most influencers. It is significant to understand what influencers means by when they are referring to compensation.

The word “compensation” might have a distinctive meaning for diverse set of influencers. While, some demand monetary benefits others might acknowledge intangible benefits. In an article written by Russ Martin on “The Perks of being an Influencer” he mentions how the presence on social media helped Casie Stewart transform into an influencer who later was offered a position in the agency world as a director of the social media in a Torronto based agency named “Community”. Hence, monetary compensation isn’t always the best reward given to an influencer.

3FTC (Federal Trade Commission) compliance is not critical

FTC (Federal Trade Commission) regulations make it obligatory for influencers to reveal their paid sponsorships. These regulations need to be taken into consideration to avoid huge fines. FTC prioritizes on making the patrons aware of the relationship between the influencer and the brand. For example- in a case wherein the company provides additional compensation to the influencer along with intangible benefits, it is very likely that the influencer shall post/give positive reviews.

In a report published by FTC on “How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” it is clearly emphasized that the disclosures should be conspicuous along with being clearly stated. Before proceeding with delivering creative directions to the influencers, you must make sure these guidelines are crystal clear. Brands are prohibited from making false advertising claims about their products, which makes it even more significant for them to hunt for influencers who believe in their product or creation. Additionally, regardless of whether you're a reputed brand or small one, if you are offering a value to somebody for promoting your product, that individual must reveal the sponsorship.

4An influencer should have as many followers as possible

Source: Sethprice

While carrying forward your search to look-in for the right influencer, it isn’t necessarily critical to focus on the number of followers he/she has but on the fact that the interest of the followers an influencer has matches with your targeted assemblage. For example- for a fashion blogger it makes no sense to promote a brand like Patanjali or Vicco. The primary focus for a brand should be to hunt down such followers that have a voice in your industry and on whom your group of targeted audience happens to bestow trust.

Influence is not just having as many followers as possible. “Then how is it one should define Influence?” Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers

In the book “The Power to Change Anything”, Kerry Patterson mentions that every individual wants to be influential. Irrespective of whether you are a manager, leader, entrepreneur, parent or just another individual as long as you’re focusing on making a difference, you are an influencer. Influencers are generally people having in-depth knowledge with respect to a specific field/area of interest and this is what serves as the basis of developing relationships with followers.

5It is impossible to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of Influencer Marketing

Characterizing achievement and measuring success is by far the greatest difficulties confronted by marketers specifically in regard to influencers. What needs to be highlighted here is that measuring the ROI (Return on Investment) isn’t as troublesome as marketers presume it to be. You could simply begin by inculcating the right measures, metrics and by characterizing your objectives. This would make it easier for you to figure out which metrics needs to be measured for increasing the brand awareness.

If you feel I’ve skipped a myth that is still alive in the influencer-marketing domain. I would love to hear your views in the comments section.

Efforts would be greatly appreciated!

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