Is The Digital Eco-System Going A Full 360?
In the early days of influencer outreach, companies would liaise with trusted influencers, send them their products, and then let the influencer decide whether it was good or not. But something went wrong along the way: financial interests inevitably got involved, and the whole thing descended into a bit of a farce.
In the early days, consumers as a group weren’t particularly aware of money changing hands behind the scenes. But as time passed and more and more authentic influencers got the word out about shady backroom dealings, people became more switched on to the problem. Now the word is well and truly out.
The problem is that the current system undermines its original purpose of influencer marketing: to provide buyers with trusted third-party information that they could then use to make a purchase decision. Companies and influencers have conspired to taint what was a great way to provide people with unbiased information about stuff that they want to buy over Instagram and other social media sites.
Is The Digital Eco-System Doing A Full 360?
Here at Vouch, we believe in authentic influencer activity. Not only does generating fake influencer content wreck the current system, but it can also significantly undermine your brand if people find out what you’re doing.
So what can honest and honorable companies (with genuinely fantastic products) do to leverage influencers while at the same time be taken seriously by customers?
Success is in using a combination of approaches. While it’s true that customers don’t trust influencers to the same degree as they used to, they still like to consume their content. People want to look at pictures on Instagram, view videos on other social media channels and consume exciting and entertaining content.
At Vouch, we’ve noticed a change in consumer behavior. Rather than taking an influencer’s word for the greatness of a particular product, they’re now using Google search to find reviews from their peers to back up the claims. Consumers want to read real testimonials about products they want to buy to see if they are as good as the influencers claim.
This change in behavior is having a knock-on effect on the digital marketing ecosystem. PPC advertising is once again gaining traction as consumers switch out of the influencer environment and over to search. PPC displays alongside resources which users use to confirm that what the influencer says is authentic. Companies need to position themselves alongside positive reviews and testimonials to facilitate the buying process.
Brands Need To Focus On “Trust Conversions”
The new industry jargon for all this is “trust conversions.” The term rust conversions refers to the idea that people will only choose to purchase a product recommended by an influencer if what the influencer says matches up to customer reports.
At Vouch influencer marketing agency, we thoroughly vet and test our influencers to ensure that they are authentic operators and not paid shills. We combine a variety of approaches to ensure trust conversions and protection of your company brand.