If I told you that I had 100 friends, and I can recommend your product to only 4 of them – only 4 people will hear my recommendation but there’s no guarantee that they’ll act on it – would you trust me and pay me to help you boost your sales?
You wouldn’t, right?
And yet, you and I know brands who use “influencer marketing” even though fake follower counts is a major issue and an “above average” engagement rate on sponsored posts is a measly 4%.
Now, again, if someone told you that they’d help influence your sales by posting about your product on Instagram or mentioning it briefly in their blog post – even though there’s no specific link used to tag the sale as coming from them – would you pay them a hefty fee for their influence?
It doesn’t make sense, right? After all, 76% of marketers say determining ROI on influencer marketing is their biggest challenge. And only 46% use actual sales as a way to calculate ROI.
The tides are shifting. Those times when you considered hiring an influencer to use high-end camera equipment and lighting to take a picture of them “using” your product and talk about it in an insincere way that doesn’t really resonate well with your target audience? Better think twice about it.
Now, before you get mad and punch your computer screen, relax. I’m not saying influencer marketing comes from the devil. I’m just saying that I don’t think it’s the future of marketing because of the above-mentioned challenges.
Not yet convinced? Get this: to reach the same number of people, many brands are paying 10 times more for influencer marketing compared to investing in non-influencer marketing campaigns. In Germany alone, $500M spent on fraudulent influencers went down the drain. Can you imagine how much this hurts to hear?
Polished pictures of perfect people promoting your product seem phony. (Try saying this sentence five times. It’s a nice tongue twister!)
Seriously, though, social media which used to democratize the microphone is making a comeback. Sprout Social 2018 Index discovery says it best: “Consumers want brands to dump the photoshopped models from ads and replace them with authentic real men and women — people like us.”
This makes sense. After all, consumers are twice as likely to consider a product recommended by a friend compared to a product recommended by a celebrity or an influencer.
People are craving authenticity. They want realness. Consumers desire genuine interactions with you. Inclusive marketing is the future, and brands who integrate this in promoting their products can be one step ahead of the game.
Inclusive marketing means real relationships and trust between two parties. It’s being kind and open enough to welcome a diverse set of customers and actually, give them the chance to make their opinions be heard.
There’s equality, inclusion, and diversity – important values that are important in today’s society.
If influencer marketing blatantly screams “Look at me! Listen to me!”
Inclusion marketing gently announces “Yes, we’re looking at all of you. We’d like to listen to what you think!”
Build a real brand for real people. Give your customers the equal chance to represent what your brand stands for – kindness, trust, and equality. Make them your real, genuine and authentic brand ambassadors.
Now, if you’re interested in learning more about how you can make your marketing more inclusive, you can check out the Brand Trust Platform that we recently released here at Conversio.