Advertise with

Brands looking to embark on or develop an influencer marketing strategy need to think carefully about their choice of person and how believable the message is.
Brands looking to embark on or develop an influencer marketing strategy need to think carefully about their choice of person and how believable the message is.

The problem with influencer marketing


By Jeremy Maggs - Jun 13th, 15:16

Brands looking to embark on or develop an influencer marketing strategy need to think carefully about their choice of person and how believable the message is. That warning has been sounded by Anne Dolinschek, founder of specialist agency Nflu#ntial. 

Influencer marketing, which is fast gaining traction in SA, is the practice of building relationships with people who can, in turn, build relationships for you via their blogs and social networks. They are not necessarily celebrities but savvy young people who have a high following and the ability to spot a product or service and to talk about it in such a way that it sparks interest and, ultimately, purchase.

Nflu#ntial has just completed a digital survey to gain insights into SA consumers’ social media behaviour and sentiment towards influencers. Says Dolinschek: "Our findings showed that Facebook remains the most popular social media platform locally, with Instagram and Twitter coming in second and third respectively. Though we know that Twitter has grown in SA in 2018, we see that Instagram grew at a faster rate. This correlates with the feedback received in the survey, with 78% of respondents citing Instagram as their favourite social media platform."

More important, she says, is who is creating brand messaging. Users are increasingly looking for authenticity and relatable influencer content. "Gone are the days when influencers could promote any and all brands on their timelines and not put much thought into the content and copy."

"This corresponds with the idea that consumers, in general, are losing confidence in traditional advertising," she says. "They want to see content to which they can relate — authentic, and not brand-heavy advertising. Influencers are the perfect hybrid. Not only do they post content that their followers can relate to or like engaging with, but they are also good at weaving in product messaging that subtly provides advertising for brands."

The survey found that 77% of respondents were introduced to new brands through authentic and relatable content, which means awareness was created through influencer marketing. But they are concerned about the authenticity of influencers and their transparency when participating in campaigns, as well as about influencers having fake followers.

"So often we think that only brands have concerns, but in the digital age consumers aren’t easily hoodwinked," says Dolinschek. This is why strategy is important when brands want to roll out influencer campaigns. "The incorrect types of influencers with the wrong content can lead to campaigns falling flat."

Another warning about fake followers comes from analytical consultancy Humanz, which finds the average influencer account has 20%-27% suspicious or fake followers. Its "State of Influencer Marketing in SA 2019" report says there are 152,791 legitimate influencers on Instagram and 69,488 on Twitter. There are 63 influencers in SA with followings of over 1-million on Instagram and 53 with over 1-million on Twitter. The majority of influencers in SA have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers, making them "nano"-influencers, with over 200,000 of these across the two platforms.

According to a new study published by the US magazine Adweek, the influencer community is one of the rare sectors where women dominate the field. Across all industries — travel, fashion, technology, food, and entertainment — women make up 77% of the total number of influencers.

Business Live 

Related News

Working towards better data management
17/09/2019 - 11:31
Big data is seeing organisations becoming more mindful of aligning their data management practices with newer paradigms such as data lakes, elastic and cluster computing, and real-time data. As such, the cloud provides an environment capable of managing the volume and scale required to do so.

Clover, Milco merger puts 657 jobs on the line
17/09/2019 - 10:05
A total of 657 existing jobs will be on the line at Clover Industries in the next two years if the R4.8 billion merger between the JSE-listed dairy company and Israel-based Milco is approved by the Competition Tribunal.

Ackermans launches ‘Moms4Moms’ educational platform to give mothers a helping hand
16/09/2019 - 14:03
According to a 2017 Statistic South Africa report, 61% of South African children are raised by only their mothers. This reveals that the majority of South African women have to navigate single-parenthood, as well as being the sole provider for their families.

The changing UX and CX landscape
13/09/2019 - 16:16
An exceptional customer experience (CX) builds a foundation of loyalty and trust. Similarly, a positive user experience (UX) encourages brand connections with people wanting to come back for more. And yet, local organisations must learn to embrace these more effectively to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The role of the stokvel in the organisation
13/09/2019 - 10:14
South Africans are well-known for their participation in stokvel saving schemes where members contribute a fixed monthly amount that is paid out to a specific member on a specified date. Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says employers can integrate these payments into existing processes to make it safer and more convenient for those members.