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Confessions of a Millennial on Fake Influencer Marketing

With many apps getting buried in search results on app stores, today’s marketers are battling for attention elsewhere. Some with more success than others.

When choosing what apps to download, we take recommendations from people we trust. This is where influencer marketing comes in!

Most marketers struggle to attract engagement on corporate social channels, so they collaborate with influencers who have clout in their target market to encourage downloads.

Unfortunately, authenticity isn’t always considered as part of the strategy.

The Influencer Ecosystem

The entire ecosystem of influencers revolves around individuals who have a large social followings. Some benefit from audiences larger than print publications and have more views than primetime TV programmes.

However, there are cracks starting to show in influencer campaigns and the content they produce.

As audiences are regularly subjected to influencer campaigns, they’re becoming pretty savvy. They can determine the good, the bad and the epic fails within seconds and they aren’t afraid to call you out on it!

With this in mind, a lack of authenticity is one of the biggest issues in influencer marketing. Many campaigns are disingenuous, feel forced and aren’t effective.

Authenticity Is Vital, This Epic Fail Proves It

Authenticity is about collaborating with influencers who are loyal to your app, naturally appeal to your audience, and produce credible content.

Lazy and insincere content will be spotted quickly and ignored. This kind of content undermines trust, and trust is something that you don’t want to mess around with when it comes to building a loyal user base and encouraging downloads.

Protein brand Boo-Tea experienced an epic influencer fail when they asked celebrity Scott Disick to endorse their shakes.


Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.32.33
You can see that he was given a predetermined caption (see the unfortunate copy and paste fail), and his pose is very staged. This is clearly not a genuine endorsement and it’s very unlikely that the post was effective amongst his audience. 

How To Keep It Authentic

Some argue that by paying an influencer, the content they create is immediately compromised. However, there are things you can do to ensure your influencer marketing efforts remain as authentic as possible.

  • Followers and reach do not equal efficiency and success.

It may be tempting to spot an influencer with a huge following and assume they’re perfect to endorse your app, but the reality is, they’re probably not.

Influencers with huge followings will charge high premiums to talk about your app, and those who regularly engage in campaigns come across as dishonest.

Instead, you should consider more authentic influencers who are already engaging with your communities and your app. These influencers are more likely to be genuinely interested and motivated to promote your app.

The power of influencers is their ability to effect their audience’s opinions and inspire them to take action. Having an influencer just blast your message to their huge following can guarantee noise, but not impact and conversions.

  • Don’t restrict influencers. Let them create authentic content.

The premise of influencer marketing is their opinions and clout. So, don’t restrict them by telling them what to say or how to say it. Loosen the reins and allow them to create their own content, adding their own perspective and opinions.

Giving influencers creative freedom and letting them talk about your app in their own voice will make your campaign more authentic. The most effective posts show how influencers genuinely use your app in their everyday lives.

Authentic posts have much higher engagement because the influencer channels their honest passion for the product from a unique, personal angle. If an influencer is told how to shoot the content and what copy to include, it comes across as forced and fake.

Allowing influencers to produce their own content will also ensure that it’s in line with their previous posts. If it’s not, people will start questioning the motives behind the post and lose trust in the app and the influencer.

Round Up

An influencer’s power is their authentic voice and image.

If you want to benefit from the relationships that influencers have spent years building with their followers, keep it credible.

Anyone can be paid to endorse an app, but those who are genuine and have creative freedom will generate the biggest growth.

Influencer campaigns that lack authenticity are just a lazy, quick and easy way to get an app in front of people. They can harm reputation and they won’t pay off in the long run. Focusing on large followings and pre-determined content is just a shortcut.

Studies show that the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements is on the decline. So, let’s try and keep influencer marketing alive by staying authentic!



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