The Wall Street Journal recently had a pretty damaging article about influencer marketing. The challenge is two fold a) do they really help and b) do they disclose the relationship.
I've been a "small business influencer", what I'm often called in the industry for many years. As such, part of my business is to be compensated by brands to share their information with my community and/or to represent them in other ways.
The wrong way for your brand to work with an influencer is to NOT have them disclose the relationship and to just look for them to post about you on Instagram.
Good influencers want to work hard to ensure they provide to things for your brand's product or service.
- Authenticity and credibility. By aligning with your brand they provide a human dimension and credibility to you.
- Also it's important to tout and leverage the 3rd party endorsement. Add their endorsement and use of the product in your own marketing materials
Furthermore, take the time to follow up socially, get to know their fan base and ensure you're aligned in how you community.
Influencer marketing can turn out all wrong, but often times it can work out well if both the brand and the influencer have common goals and ways to work together.
As a small business owner, you can find influencers who genuinely love your brand and will promote you just because. Others might want some compensation for their time and their status to help expose your brand to their fan base.
If you're just looking purely for "clicks" to your website that's one thing an influencer can do, but seek to also build a relationship built on some common goals and interests.