influencer working on a laptop

Why top influencers are really difficult to work with

Influencer marketing has been growing at a colossal rate to say the least. According to a study, more than 35% marketers believed that they would spend more than 30% of their marketing budgets on influencer marketing and it is estimated to cross $20 billion by 2023. So why top influencers are really difficult to work with you may ask?


Well, there are many reasons why brands hesitate getting into influencer marketing. We will discuss those issues 1 by 1 so you get a clear picture of what you should expect. But, before that we need to take a look at why you should get into it in the first place.


Why influencer marketing is the way forward?


As the saying goes, A picture is worth 1000 words and a video is worth 1000 pictures, the rise of influencer marketing can be attributed to technological advancements and rise is usage of smartphones. A buyer depends heavily on smartphones for product reviews and research before they decide on a product. Now due to rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok to name a few, a huge part of that product research and reviews have gone towards these social media stars. These social media stars have started a online recommendation culture that affects online purchasing heavily.


Now if it the trend where online reviews and social media recommendations play a huge role in sales, it is quite natural for the brands to spend a huge chunk of their marketing budget towards investing in influencer marketing. Since these influencers invest quite their time and effort in creating something that aligns with their audience, their audience will naturally be aligned towards their reviews about the products or services they use. Now if the ROI is that promising and with increasing internet penetration around the world and promising future, why some brands are still hesitating to get into it? The answer lies in the next point.


Major issues with influencer marketing


Since influencer marketing is still in its early days, a lot of issues are still there that need to be addressed. Regardless to say that all emerging trends have some troubles, not much has been done to solve the problems when it comes to influencer marketing. Let’s proceed and see what major challenges lie ahead if you are looking to start influencer marketing for your brand.


  • No established SOP – As soon as influencer marketing started gaining pace, many brands jumped the wagon and started collaborating with social media trendsetters as per their convenience. Now, considering the fact that work culture differ brand to brand, it created a lot of confusion for influencers and marketing managers alike. From ad placement to delivery style, deliverables to payment terms, it all got changed rapidly and no one had time to address these. There is still no SOP in place that can be universal for brands.


  • Dependency on social media platforms – With a whole lot of social media platforms in different categories, a marketer is always is a position of losing company’s money if things don’t go well. All the social media platforms come with different set of tools for creators to work with and different ways to connect with the audience. For example, you can put your advertisement links in either long or short YouTube videos that helps you to track campaign performance. But you can’t do the same on Instagram reels or posts. Moreover, different platforms have different ways to handle bots and spam accounts that can hamper your campaign for sure. If we talk about pros, it is the best to research and connect with influencers when you are looking to promote your products and services on a single platform. Moreover, you can learn quickly if you are spending more time on 1 or 2 social media platforms.


  • Macro influencers are becoming more expensive – Now that social media influencers are no less than celebrities, they are denting a huge hole in brand’s pockets. Some influencers are charging in millions for single posts that can be unattractive for many brands considering the short attention span people have these days. To overcome this, many brands have started working with micro and nano influencers who have fewer followers than huge names but definitely enjoy more personal connection with their audience.


  • Bots and spam accounts – This problem has grown manifold in recent times due to some service providers who create bot accounts. For a minimal fee of $50, you can get more than 1000 bot followers on Instagram which is a huge challenge for brands and original creators alike. According to a study by CHEQ, brands lost more than $1.3 Billion because of these spam accounts. Because of views and likes by these bots and spam accounts, ROI was never in favour of brands despite getting better numbers in terms of views and likes. This manipulation of data also hampers authentic creators who put so much time and effort. Brands can stay safe from this by looking at the engagement certain influencers get.


Why top influencers are difficult to work with?


There is no doubt that it is quite difficult to work with some of the mega influencers. You might be someone who has been planning to work with these mega influencers for a long time without success. But why is it so tough to work with these guys? Well, here are some reasons –


  • Unavailability – these mega influencers are kind of celebrities in their own spectrum. Getting in touch with them can be really hectic as they tend to get a lot of messages and emails. This happens due to the fact that they get a whole lot of emails and personal messages from their fans and followers. Even if you get a response from them, it is tough to carry forward the relationship given they are already working for many brands and finding a slot for your brand can be really tough.


  • Brand alignment – A study done by eMarketers shows that 75% of the marketers face issues in identifying the right set of influencers for their campaigns. With so many influencers available on different social media platforms, it is a daunting task for marketers to identify the influencers who align with their brand’s story organically. If we were to understand by an example, a cryptocurrency trading platform by the name of CoinSwitch Kuber, partnered with influencers who were aligned with their brand’s vision i.e technological advancements. They identified the influencers in technology, finance and infotainment category and reaped a good result. They later on identified those influencers who brought them good ROI and invested heavily in establishing a long terms relationship with them worked on long term collaborations. This helped them become the largest cryptocurrency aggregator in India.


  • Creative differences – In our agency experience, we have seen this happening with many brands who have complained us regarding some influencers with whom they don’t want to associate anymore. However, when we work with those influencers, everything runs smoothly. There is an important reason behind this disagreement. When brands create a campaign, they don’t think specifically about some particular influencers and design the campaign in a standard way that suits most of them. Now these influencers became what they are due to how they create content and what aligns with their audience. They have their own voice and they know how they can connect with the audience. So when we work with such influencers who want to do the promotion in their own way, we try to give as much creative freedom we can without compromising on the brand’s story. It has given us good results and we were also able to maintain a good long relationship with those influencers.


  • Brand associations – This can be divided into 2 parts. One is where some influencers are already working with one of your competitors and they are legally bound to their association. Frankly speaking you can’t do much about that. This is the reason why we always advise brands to identify the talents as early as possible. These fast rising creators can be roped in for a long time and at a very less cost than those established ones. The next part is where an influencer don’t see much value in associating with your brand. Now that you have done your research and you want to collaborate with that influencer, you will need to get on a call with him and make him understand why your brands want to work them in the first place. You will need to explain what you want to achieve through this campaign and how their audience is going to benefit from this collaboration. This will also help you to create a long term relationship with the influencers.


How agencies can help shrink the gap with influencers?


Now, we don’t always suggest brands to associate with agencies if they are capable to build a dedicated team for influencer marketing. But in some cases most established and capable brands also look for agencies to collaborate with. And we have already discussed the reasons why brands prefer agencies when it comes to macro and mega influencers. Since these agencies, including us, invest a loot of effort and time in building relationships with these influencers, they can help brands get the best deal and ease of working with them. They can help them get ad slots quickly and do all the planning and posting on behalf of the brand. Not only that, they can help you identify some of the creators you might have missed (read rising creators).


So if you are also looking to work with these mega influencers and you are worried how to go ahead since you have read multiple negative reports of these influencers, please do go through the post again and you won’t have any second thoughts. Afterall, influencer marketing is the way forward and you can’t miss this tide.