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Are you ready to start an influencer marketing campaign, but concerned about the costs? Struggling to find the right influencer to partner with? Stuck trying to measure the return on your investment? Don’t panic. New trends invite all sorts of myths and misconceptions, and influencer marketing is no exception. We’ve debunked these common influencer marketing myths so you can feel confident about adding influencers to your marketing strategy.

Only big brands work with influencers.

Big brands certainly make use of influencers (think Wheaties and Michael Phelps or Coach and Selena Gomez). However, companies with any budget can partner with influencers. In reality, influencer marketing can be more creative and less expensive than traditional media if done right.

Many people equate influencer marketing with trendy products. The usual suspects include video games, smartphones, computers, wearable technology, fashion, and makeup. But if you think companies that make garden shovels or sell life insurance don’t need to apply, it’s time to rethink this one of the most common influencer marketing myths.

The Right Influencer

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. It only matters who you’re selling to, and who’s doing the selling. According to a recent study, 1 in 3 consumers said that influencers specifically drove them to a purchase decision. Influencers know how to get creative with their presentation and it can do wonders for products that lack the “cool” factor.  Finding an influencer who has the skill and style to showcase your brand in a realistic way means your influencer marketing campaign still has the potential to be hugely successful.

It takes up too much time and effort.

As the field of influencer marketing evolves, the process gets easier. Brands now have many options to choose from when it comes to how they want to manage their influencer marketing efforts.

With the arrival of influencer databases, networks, marketplaces, and agencies, much of the work of finding and vetting an influencer is done for you. Many of these platforms even help track the success of your influencer marketing campaign. Which approach you choose will all depend on the amount of time, expertise, effort and budget you have available. 

There’s no way to measure ROI.

Analyzing the results of your marketing efforts and calculating the return on your investment is essential for any campaign. If you don’t have established metrics for measuring success, you don’t have access to the data you need to develop your marketing to improve results over time. And if you don’t know how much revenue your marketing is bringing in, it’s impossible to know if you’re losing money.

You might be wondering if it’s even possible to measure the effectiveness of using an influencer? The short answer is “yes.” However, you need to have a clear idea of what your campaign is trying to achieve, and you need to define your key performance indicators so you know what to measure. Here are just a few examples of how to track your return on investment:

  • Analyze website traffic by checking page views and session duration.
  • Measure user engagement through the number of likes, shares and comments.
  • Monitor the number of opt-ins you’ve obtained, calculate new subscriptions or sales and tally the number of new links to your site.

Celebrities are the only influencers worth working with.

When it comes to influencer marketing, sometimes less is more. Success in marketing isn’t always about the size of the audience. It’s more important to make sure it’s the right audience.

The wonderful thing about influencers is that anyone can become one. It just takes a little creativity and a lot of passion for a particular niche. Celebrity influence is waning because many Internet users prefer to take advice from people who they consider to be peers. Companies are picking up on this, and many are turning to micro-influencers for brand promotion.

Huge Audiences and Engagement

It seems logical that a large audience leads to large engagement. But that isn’t always the case.

Statistics from Markerly show that as the size of an Instagram influencer’s audience increases, the rate of engagement decreases. In other words, influencers with smaller audiences get more likes and comments than influencers with large audiences. Influencers with audiences ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 followers offer a good combination of reach and engagement.

Influencers are just glorified content creators.

Many companies do a great job producing content. The problem is credibility. Internet users see many influencers as more credible because they are fellow consumers. If you are thinking about working with an influencer, they can help you build on the content you already have. With their help, your message can become more trustworthy and believable.

As more and more businesses begin to collaborate with influencers, you may find companies trading content creators for in-house influencers. Many influencers have large social media followings and expert writing skills. This means influencers can build person-to-person connections with your target audience and connect with them through the written word. 

Building long-term relationships with influencers makes sense from a marketing perspective. Bringing them in house instills trust and brand loyalty that they might not have felt otherwise, and this translates to more authentic endorsements. Look for this trend to grow. 

Traditional media is more cost-effective than influencer marketing.

As mentioned earlier, influencer marketing is incredibly cost-effective, and influencer content lives on long after a marketing campaign ends. Influencers are generally viewed as ordinary people. That’s why many of them build large audiences of trusting, loyal and engaged followers. One reason that influencer marketing delivers high ROI (return on investment) for companies is that it’s evergreen. This means that influencer marketing retains value long after a campaign is complete. In fact, when it comes to ROI, one study found that influencer marketing delivers 11 times more ROI than online display ads.

Takeaway: Bust Those Influencer Marketing Myths

When you do it right, influencer marketing works. Businesses make as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent on an influencer. Don’t be afraid of taking the plunge — just make sure you do your homework first. Ensure you have a strong idea of what you want your campaign to achieve. Then research potential partners carefully, and start making connections with the right people. It’s time to bust those influencer marketing myths.