Opinion: How to navigate the cycle of influencer marketing

Opinion: How to navigate the cycle of influencer marketing

Kajal Bakrania, founder of Just Sawse, explores the cycle of influencer marketing and the ways which brands will need to secure their services as the sector evolves.


Engagement, metrics, algorithms: welcome to the influencer game.

As an industry we have reached capacity on talking about influencers, micro-influencers, ASA regulations, authenticity, gifting and how much to pay. As a brand you need to decide what route you want to take whether you want to pay the price of using #ad or organically gift.

Only one option is guaranteed exposure. Brands are still being told which influencers to use and what impact they will have, but the results differ for many reasons.

The cycle of influencer marketing


Typically, when tasked with a new launch, PRs across the country have a little black book of bloggers they can rely on for a quick mention. There are some who will take the freebie, some who will promote for a fee and others where money is not enough.

Once you’ve exhausted your go-to contacts, you then produce a great coverage deck full of engagement rates and stats. Brands continually ask what is the ROI? What are the engagement rates? How much do they cost? Should we go down the micro route, or just pick Zoella?

What you need to do first is your research. You don’t need to find out the data on what they eat, when they wake up or how much Drake they listen to. You need to need to ask yourself what type of influencer are you looking for and does their content fit your brand image?

Relevance is key in the influencer game. It doesn’t matter how many followers they have, if their audience don’t believe they actually use the product or service, the purpose of influencer will be worthless.

#AD or gift?


The next question you’ll ask is do we need to pay? The offer of payment seems like the easy route, but money may not be enough to secure a deal, although it can help speed the process for a mention if and when the contract gets signed.

Gifting is often a waiting game with a lot of scrolling through social feeds every hour of the day, but this benefits from coming without the need of #ad. This is where the argument of authenticity comes into play as they are not being paid to say what they like.

Both options comes with pros and cons but gifting can pay off in the long run, as you can build on the relationship if your desired influencer loves your product.

If you choose the paid activity route and want to increase your authenticity make your fee spread out towards a more long-term contract with an ambassador role on offer. For consumers we are getting more sceptical of the #ad, so use it wisely.

The future of influencer marketing


Influencer marketing is now a permanent fixture of any PR plan. With the likes of Alfie & Zoella setting up their own company and dominating the influencer world, influencers are beginning to take more ownership of their industry and call the shots.

Brands have a lot of decisions to make and not all of them will have the same strategy when it comes to influencers. One-off posts by brands will start to fade out and long-term ambassadors will take over, providing a meaningful relationship for both parties.

The influencer landscape is an exciting one and my message to brands is do your research and you will reap the benefits.

Related Posts
Opinion: Why we’re in the dying days of spin
Opinion: Why we’re in the dying days of spin
Steph Bailey, FleishmanHillard Fishburn managing director, corporate, details what the agency uncovered in its recent Dying days of spin report into issues consumers expect [...]
PR News in Brief
PR news round-up (15-19 October)
Here’s a round-up of the week’s top PR news, featuring the Comms Revolutionist and PRWeek awards, new account wins for Munch and Stephen Waddington’s new [...]
Opinion: Improving PR
Opinion: Improving PR’s value by proving our value
To mark the publication of Platinum, a book from the CIPR with crowdsourced insight from industry leaders, Cision is publishing a chapter from AMEC chairman Richard Bagnall [...]
Cision-powered communicators dominate PRWeek Awards
Cision-powered communicators dominate PRWeek Awards
It was a sparkling night for Cision clients at yesterday’s PRWeek Awards, as they took home 31 of the 33 gongs on offer. The big winners on the night were Taylor [...]