Will influencer marketing replace advertising

Risks of influencer marketing for brands and countermeasures

Influencer marketing is now part of every good marketing mix. But what does influencer marketing actually mean? And which hurdles and risks should a company pay attention to?


  1. Definition of influencer marketing
  2. Risks of influencer marketing and how to avoid them

1. Definition of influencer marketing

In influencer marketing, brands and influencers work hand in hand and jointly produce content that should have positive consequences for both parties. Successful cooperation with influencers can increase brand awareness, improve the brand image or increase sales of the advertised product. An influencer wants to expand their community by working with brands and satisfy their expectations with high-quality content.

Influencer marketing can be seen as part of content marketing. As with any marketing measure, there are many advantages to influencer marketing. However, as a brand, you should always consider the risks of working with influencers and examine them carefully in advance before deciding to cooperate with an influencer.

2. Risks of influencer marketing and how to avoid them

Nowadays consumers are inundated with advertising, especially on the Internet. As a result, only 36 percent of classic display ads are perceived by consumers. Most purchase decisions nowadays are also influenced less by classic advertising and more by recommendations. This is exactly where influencer marketing shines with its strength of being able to convince customers with personal recommendations. Nevertheless, one should use this marketing tool with caution and be aware of the following risks beforehand:

Risk 1: Many followers are bought, do not bring any interaction or conversions

A large reach does not mean a successful campaign with a lot of traffic and sales. Followers can be bought and no interaction and no conversion can be the result.

What to do about it Measure the activity. Social networks like Instagram collect a lot of information about the profiles of their users. Some of this data can be viewed and is analyzed by companies such as Reachbird. It is important to take a close look at the influencer's profile. Does the content match the product and does the influencer's community also have an affinity for this product category. In order to do everything right in influencer marketing, it is also important to take a closer look at certain key figures. This includes the increase in followers and the interaction rate. For example, if you notice a sharp increase in the number of followers in just a short time, you can assume that influencers have bought followers. The interaction rate is also an important indicator to distinguish a good from a bad influencer selection. After all, what use is a potentially large reach if the community does not interact. It is also important to examine the influencer's profile for possible past missteps in order to avoid negative press.

Risk 2: The influencer's content is unimaginative and of poor quality

Since influencer marketing is part of almost every good marketing mix in a company, the demands on the quality of the content have of course also increased. Unfortunately, these high expectations are not always met and blunt product placements are the result.

What to do about it You should exchange ideas intensively with your cooperation partner and communicate your expectations clearly and openly from the start. It is best to put in writing what is expected in agreements or a briefing. However, this should not restrict the creative freedom of the influencer too much, as this accounts for a large part of the credibility and authenticity. The influencer must be able to stay true to his line of how he prepares his content and transmits it to his community.

Risk 3: The cooperation is perceived as intrusive advertising and the target group is deterred

Classic advertising formats are receiving less and less attention. Influencer marketing offers a good alternative to advertise without being immediately perceived as intrusive. However, this advantage is not always available, as many influencer cooperations are untrustworthy and are therefore labeled as inauthentic by the consumer.

What to do about it In order for this advantage to persist, it is important to pay attention to the accuracy of the influencer's fit with the company. Authentic content can only be created with a good brand influencer fit, which for the consumer is primarily seen as a recommendation and less as classic advertising.

Risk 4: Liability of brands in the event of missing advertising labels on the part of influencers

If the content is missing or incorrectly labeled, which was produced and published by the influencer for a fee or a monetary benefit, the company behind it is also liable. This can result in warnings and penalties for the company.

What to do about it In order to ensure that the published content is clearly and unmistakably labeled as advertising, the advertising labeling should be recorded in a cooperation agreement or a briefing at the beginning of the cooperation.

Risk 5: Honest criticism from influencers

Influencers are usually opinion leaders or experts in their field. In order not to lose this status, you will give an honest opinion on the product or the brand. This opinion does not always have to be positive, which can damage the brand and its image.

What to do about it In order to avoid a negative and bad rating of an influencer, the right influencer selection is the cornerstone for a successful and profitable cooperation. In addition, contact and communication with the influencer is important here in order to clarify problems and points of criticism before they are made public.