Nov 20, 2017 / in Comms Best Practices / by Tony Hardman

In our ongoing series, Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and New York Times bestselling author discusses important questions facing the communications industry. In this video, Baer talks about how influencer marketing is a powerful strategy that can easily go wrong. Not only does he discuss pitfalls to avoid, but he also offers solutions to improve your outreach. Jay Baer Asks — What Are The 3 Biggest Problems With Influencer Marketing?

Click the image to view the video or read the transcript below. And if you want to check out the entire series of Jay Baer Asks videos click here.

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Jay Baer: What are the three biggest problems with influencer marketing? I’m Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, New York Times best-selling author and digital business celebrity.

Audiences are suspicious and jaded today. The head-on approach to customer acquisition works less, and the indirect approach (via content marketing in many cases) works better….in theory.

But the problem is the days of “if you build an infographic, people will – of course – read it and love it” are OVER.

There is more content than ever, but most content fails miserably. Why? Because the existence of content counts for nothing. It must be amplified. Doing so via paid is getting more and more costly. So, companies and organizations of every size, shape, and category are embracing influencer marketing as the savior.

And it can work. After all, I am (hopefully) influencing you Right. This. Second. on behalf of my friends at Cision.

My team and I develop dozens of influencer strategies every year for major brands, and I personally work on lots of these programs. And I can tell you that influencer marketing is harder than it appears. It is not magic beans.

First off, you have to pick the right influencers. Do they reach YOUR audience, or your desired audience, or just an audience? And even more importantly, do they have real influence – meaning they can cause behavior or attitude change – or do they just have an audience?

Second, you have to be able to know definitively what these influencers are doing for your business. And not just clicks and shares, either. Trust me, you can’t pay your mortgage with retweets….I tried that once.

Third, you have to know who is actually interacting and engaging with content your influencers create or amplify, and what the psychographic and demographic characteristics of those people are, and whether they are good potential customers for you or your client.

I mean if you’re trying to introduce a new line of artisanal bread, and you get a bunch of video views from consumers that have sworn off gluten, what have you really accomplished?

So here’s what I think: Influencer Marketing isn’t going away; quite the opposite, in fact. But it needs to get more measurable, and strategic, and specific. It needs to stop being experimental and start getting real.

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About Tony Hardman

Anthony Hardman is a senior content editor for Cision. He has more than 10 years of combined experience in broadcast news, public relations, inbound and content marketing. Connect with him on Twitter: @ahardman or LinkedIn.