Last week it came to the fore that social influencer, Arii with over 2.6m followers struggled to sell the 36 units required for a full production of her new clothing line. With it, came the latest spotlight around the true impact and value offered by influencers. Never has it been more critical to understand what influence truly is.
As trust continues to dwindle, the oversaturation of influencer marketing appears to have hit its peak. With press sources claiming that the influencer bubble has finally burst.
But has it?
Whilst audiences are savvier than ever before and rightly more cynical as to what they are consuming online. One school of thought is that influencer marketing is simply evolving to more of a micro-influencer approach. One based around quality ‘true’ engagement over quantity.
Perhaps this can be attributed to the escalating demands from influencers (often charging upwards of £1k per post), the increasing cost of in-feed advertising (which is likely to only continue going in one direction) and the concerns of rising influencer fraud (yep, just as you can buy followers you can also buy engagements).
This led to social media agency, Social Chain building a custom tool called Like-Wise to try to stamp out influencer and engagement fraud for their clients. Their research found that brands were being scammed out of up to 95% of their influencer investment a quarter of the time! That is crazy.
However, there is one area of influence, opinion and thought leadership that seems to have gone a little under the radar. Although one that has started to gain more momentum.
It falls within the micro-influencer category and has the potential to drive consistent impact for both businesses and individuals. That’s the influence of companies number one asset – their employees.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, influence is the ability to have an effect on people or events. By its nature, true influence is about networks, relationships, thought leadership and trust. Employees are in a prime position and for years have been a key touchpoint offline for brands.
Benefit Cosmetics UK is a great example of a company embracing this opportunity – putting their own employees at the centre of their influencer marketing strategy. The brand has a team of 30 plus employees who consistently create content. Taking this approach enables the brand to feel more authentic and relatable to consumers. In turn, the activity has helped drive greater engagement and impact than what the brand has seen with more polished ‘ad type’ content.
The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer highlighted ‘Trust at Work’ as an interesting opportunity for organisations. It found that employees are now more willing to share relevant company information and POVs to help grow their own personal brands as well as benefit their employer’s business.
With employees ready and willing to trust their employers, the Edelman report found that trust must be earned through more than “business as usual” and with employees who have trust in their employer far more likely to engage in beneficial actions on their behalf. The possibility of your employees becoming social brand ambassadors can be a reality.
At DSMN8 we found on average that only 2% of employees currently share employer-related content. Highlighting a huge potential for brands to generate greater reach, impact and engagement for their digital efforts. Supporting employees and their own social brands can have a great impact at relatively little cost or effort.
Ultimately an engaged workforce can have a significant impact on businesses bottom lines. Going further than just driving reach or traffic to a site. Employee influencer programs can be an extremely effective marketing strategy for businesses.
We’d love to hear from others embracing employees in their activity and understand the impact this has had on the wider business? Also as an employee, would you create and share more employer content if you were supported or incentivised to do so?
To find out how you could activate your own Employee Influencers, Book A Demo with our sales team today.
Article originally posted on LinkedIn.