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Why Influencer Marketing Is A Hoax

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

The rise of social media stars led to a steep decline in honest, innovative, and effective marketing strategies. As the shadow of social media spreads, brands with world-class creative teams are settling for the low hanging fruit. It's true the initial few to the party had some success with influencer marketing, however, the stragglers still trying to catch the bus in 2021 are losing out big time.

What's even more flummoxing is the stubbornness of millennial-run marketing teams refusing to give up the charade. Their hokey marketing strategies support the lie that influencer marketing is still ripe and effective. Really, they're just looking for a quick way to generate a few bucks in revenue while making their jobs easier.

Sorry to let you down guys, but you’re another victim of the latest hoax

circulating the young digital atmosphere. And your advertising dollars are paying for it.

In this article, we dissect "influencer marketing" and discuss why you’ve been (or might be) getting ripped off.

1.) Digital trends come and go quickly. They’re most effective when you’re the first in line to engage them.

Sure, five or six years ago brands made money paying "influencers" to promote their products. But that was when audiences were far more naive and under the impression social media accounts were all organic and authentic. The poorly coined term “influencer” wasn’t well known back then like it is now either. Thankfully, the majority of consumers aren’t taking the bait anymore.

Lace it anyway you want, but in 2021 you’re late to the party. Don’t insult a potential customer by subjecting them to an underwhelming soliloquy about your product when, really, they’re looking for a few minutes of free entertainment on the toilet.

2.) Influencer marketing makes you less likely to put real work and effort into growing your brand awareness.

Marketing does and should require heavy lifting at times. Besides the fact that influencer marketing is a hokey strategy, it also distracts you and your marketing team from putting honest work into your brand. You should be using your resources to create a strong and authentic brand message. Keep it real. Don’t just toss money and product at some weirdo on the internet for exposure to their followers.

Although, you might have better luck with some real cult leaders out there as a sponsor.

3.) It misrepresents and muddles your brand. "Influencers" are basically modern day carnies.

While you’re at it, why don’t you hire a clown to promote your products? Or, if you’re feeling fancy, how about a court jester? Generally speaking, “influencers” are weird people and they don’t have real jobs.

Sorry guys, but someone had to say it. If I wanted Peter Pan and the Neverland crew to rep my business, I’d check on Instagram first to see if they have some availability.

4.) You’re paying to have people scroll or skip over your message.

How many times do you get up from the couch to use the bathroom or grab another bite during the commercials? Avoiding advertisements is even easier on social media because users just tap their screen to get back to the content they want. When that happens (inevitably), there’s a few hundred bucks out the window, or down the toilet, so to speak.

5.) Consumers know a paid promotion. Don’t insult them.

You’re not pulling a fast one. All you’re doing is alienating a potential buyer. Customer acquisition should be honest and carry a meaningful message. Stop spitting in people’s faces with your advertising dollars.

6.) It’s really a total rip off.

Some of these hucksters charge upwards of $2,000 for a single post to their feed. Oh, and they’ll want a few free products thrown into the deal too. Trust me, there are far better ways to waste your money.

P.S. Didn’t anyone tell these clowns that social media is a free medium?

7.) "Influencers" are not marketing pros. Like, not at all.

Do you really want to risk jeopardizing your brand identity by putting it in the hands of some weirdo on the internet? C’mon guys, don’t cheapen your brand. You’re better than that.

8.) Every little bit adds up. Spend it where it counts.

A few grand may seem like a little to reach a lot, but your message won't translate to the amount of people you think it will. Put your time and resources into creating beautiful brand materials, messages, and content that will actually speak to people. Focus on developing new, unique strategies to get your message across rather than following the herd.

Stop wasting your money on the carnies. You’re never gonna hit enough bottles in time or win that stuffed animal.

But here’s an olive branch…

Digital advertising is here to stay, for now at least. Paid media isn’t sneaky or insulting. It doesn’t hide behind a person with a popular Instagram account. Stick with it and figure out how you can make it work.

A good ad is a good ad, no matter where it runs. Stop lying to people. Be honest about where and how you advertise. In the end, influencer marketing will age as poorly as the shag rug did from the 1970s.

Ultimate takeaway:

Make your paid media better, more captivating, and keep it honest.

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