Social media influencers have become a popular medium for brands to advertise their products online. Bloggers, Instagram professionals and Youtubers helps brands to connect with the audience in a better way than celebrities as users on social media are able to relate well with these influencers.
Brands have changed their tactics in past one year or so as they prefer quality to quantity on social media. It is not only about numbers now as brands make sure their influencer doesn’t work with multiple competing brands. Factors such as quality of content, past brand endorsements have become important now.
Digital marketers believe users on social media are more likely to make a purchase decision based on influencers because of authenticity. Some influencers are also facing flak from brands because of fake likes and comments they drive.
Gargi Guha, a senior hotel industry executive, expressed her views on social media influencers and she said: “These social media influencers are taking us for a ride. Their deliverables are fuzzy and some of their followers are bogus chatbots. There is no punch in their content and some of their posts are not even grammatically correct!”
Brands don’t trust influencers blindly now; they have become smart as they are questioning the authenticity, loyalty, and usefulness of the whole influencer-marketing concept. They are focusing not only on the number of followers but also engagement, reply and reply-to-reply rates to make sure an influencer profile is not a sham. Noncompeting clauses to contracts are increasing to ensure loyalty and some even show interest in meeting influencers in real before making any deal.
Search numbers for influencer marketing in Indian have increased rapidly and internationally there are over 1 million social media influencers right now and is expected to rise more due to the lucrative benefits.
Influencers are worried about the situation as some genuine people are also facing problems due to this insecurity in brands. Influencers believe that working with multiple brands is a good approach to remain neutral and retain the trust of followers but advertisers are against this policy.
“Influencers can be unprofessional all the time. They are changing the perception for all of us in a bad way. We are being clubbed in the same bracket. Tightening of quality was expected as there has been an increase of influencers overnight,” said Magali Vaz who has worked with over 30 brands as an influencer.
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