Influencers. The word on everyone’s lips, but for the wrong reason?

The question mark around influencer marketing is back on the table following the recent Netflix smash – “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”. Here’s our four-step process to make sure you aren’t burned…

“The importance of Influencer Marketing” – a phrase that has been at the top of the agenda in many a marketing meeting over the past few years and seen a return to the forefront over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it’s for all the wrong reasons due to the latest Netflix smash – “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it focuses around the Fyre Festival which was positioned as the “Woodstock for Millennials” with many influencers bought on board to promote the event and sell tickets. The problem? It never actually happened.

This has brought the question of ethics to working with influencers, and more importantly, the legal issue of paying for them to promote your brand.

However, at Wild Card and Wild West we have taken the Keep Calm and Carry On approach, as at the heart of all of our influencer campaigns is authenticity and transparency. We strive to connect our clients with influencers who are perfectly aligned to the ethos of the brand and approach all ambassador work from an ethical and legal standpoint. Influencer discovery is key for us and requires a mixture of science and intuition to find the right ambassadors:

  • Reach: does exactly what it says on the tin. This is the combined sum of all followers, subscribers and traffic across all channels
  • Resonance: this looks at the level of engagement that the influencers posts and content receive from their audience – looking beyond the vanity stats of reach and audience size
  • Relevance: our next step is to look at brand alignment, measuring the extent to which an influencers posts are relevant and in line with the topics and values that the brand cares about
  • Reference: this is where the science comes in to play – a metric that assess how influential an individual is deemed amongst the influencer community

When it comes to the legal side of working with influencers, it is key to understand what exactly is deemed as advertising. The good news is that the Advertising Standards Agency are pretty clear on the distinction:

  • Affiliate marketing: when content promotes a particular product / service and includes a link or discount code that means the influencer gets paid for every click-through or sale
  • Advertorial: the most obvious tactic, working with an influencer to create content that is posted on their channels. It will qualify as an ad if:
    1. You have ‘paid’ the influencer in some way – which includes freebies and gifting, not just sponsored content
    2. You have had some form of editorial ‘control’ over the content, including just final approval
  • Own Advertising: this is one most brands do not consider and comes into question when you may have an influencer who works for your company. If the influencer posts about a brand that they work for to promote the service, this is technically defined as ‘advertising’ as they are being paid for by the brand

If you want to know more about our approach to working with influencers and to help you identify them for your brand, please get in touch today – deck@wildcard.co.uk.

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