3 Challenges Facing Influence Marketers — And How to Overcome Them

It is no secret that, when done right, influence marketing is more effective than traditional advertising at cutting through the clutter, changing sentiment and delivering ROI. Yet, the burgeoning and increasingly popular industry is “not without its obstacles,” as pointed out by Philip Ellis on Ogilvy’s blog back in September.

Influencers reconsidering Snapchat, increasingly strict regulatory bodies and measurement are three of the most challenging aspects facing marketers right now. Below, a brief explanation of each one of them as well as potential ways to face these obstacles:

1. Influencers are reconsidering Snapchat:

According to Ellis, “Influencer posts on Snapchat dropped by 20 percent in Q2 2017, while on Instagram they went up by 11 percent.” The reason? Influencers invest a massive amount of time, money and effort to increase their following and engagement on social media. And, unfortunately, Snapchat doesn’t offer a worthwhile return (users are harder to find if you don’t know their exact handle, engagement is measured through a combination of usage, numbers of followers, etc.); hence, influencers are focusing their efforts on platforms such as Instagram stories. The solution? Don’t put your all your eggs in one basket. After defining your campaign objectives and finding the perfect talent influencer, focus on the platforms that offer the best return.

2. Regulatory bodies are cracking down on branded content:

Both the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), in the United Kingdom, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in the United States, are “stepping up their efforts to enforce clear and conspicuous labeling of all sponsored influencer posts.” There’s no choice but to comply and label all branded post with #ad or #sponsored. But, instead of dreading the regulatory bodies’ crackdown, embrace it: it’ll lead to the professionalization of a space that’ll eventually provide more efficiency and safety for both brands and talent. Besides, as WHOSAY CEO Steve Ellis said, “good content is king, period. It doesn’t matter if you decide to call it a ‘story,’ ‘video’ or ‘ad,’ or whether your content is ‘organic’ or ‘sponsored.”

3. There are still no standardized metrics for influence marketing:

This is probably the most challenging aspect right now. Marketers and brands are still trying to agree on a universal metric to measure their influence marketing efforts. While video views, “likes,” “shares,” etc., have been the metrics de rigueur, ever-shifting algorithms have rendered them little more than “vanity metrics.”  The solution? Measure everything as media. Instead of focusing on “shares,” which may or may not be translate into actual sales, measure content as media: CPMs, CPVs, CPCs and CPAs.