The pitfalls of influencer marketing

Matt Woods CEO of influencer agency AFK Creators says that getting the right influencers can boost your event’s success, but warns due diligence is needed.

Influencer marketing has become a commonly used alternative to traditional advertising and a great way to increase brand awareness and consumer reach in an authentic way. Although this can be extremely useful and cost effective in building your brand in moments, it can also do the total opposite, so how can you get the balance right?

Matt Woods, founder and CEO of digital and influencer marketing agency AFK Creators says it can be a great way to advertise your products and reach the right audiences but there is a lot of work behind it.

“With AFK, myself and my team are working to bring stability and predictability to the industry. Digital agencies like AFK are professionalising the industry, which is crucial to moving the influencer marketing industry forward,” he says.

Woods says that influencers should not just be relegated to consumer brands. He argues that influencers can boost events  even in B2B contexts.

Right fit

He warns it is important to do proper research to make sure your influencers fit your brand.

He says; “Just because person relates to your company doesn’t mean their audience does.

“One very hot topic is taking the step further and moving beyond demographics. How do you understand a personality and their characteristics?

“Whenever we work with someone we really review the influencers. You always want to look at their portfolio of previous work what is it you like about them. What might be a red flag, whether that is creativity, tone of voice.”

He says exhibitions have the advantage of a pre-defined audience.

He adds that influencers can be creative geniuses in creating their own content – often a saving on video experts.

“When it comes to events the large majority are directly related to their space. You can bring in influencers that will be the headliners of the event and be in the panels. We have done things like that and brought in influencers and panels of speakers.

“I have been working with brands who wanted to bring influencers to their stand to showcase and demonstrate their product.

“They show how the products work but it’s cool because it also spreads awareness to that influencer’s audience.”

There are some distinct characteristics of event marketing Woods says.

“I think what makes event marketing different is the event in itself is a meaningful, significant thing that takes place.  It’s a big thing to do.

“When event marketing with influencers the thing I learned very early on is do not work with people unless they are actually going to be there.

“Don’t necessarily make it their show. Obviously you want to empower then and shine a light on them, but the event is the event itself. There should be a good way to integrate them, whether that’s a meet and greet or as a panelist.

“Or if you have a really exciting event and you know that person is going to be interested then why not just invite them as a VIP? Give them a free pass. And don’t necessarily ask anything in return.

“I think if they are going to make engaging content themselves when they are attending the event, posting videos, photos or writing a piece afterwards, I wouldn’t put too much pressure on people to do stuff.”


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