Keepin’ It Real

The Importance of Relatability and Vulnerability in Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the strategic collaboration between brands and influential individuals who have a strong online presence. It’s become a vital connection point with consumers, as influencers’ endorsements can sway public opinion and purchasing decisions. The power of influencer marketing lies in its ability to humanize brands. Influencers, with their relatable content and personal touch, bridge the gap between corporations and consumers, bringing with them trust and loyalty.

While influencers can bring brands closer to their audience, businesses and marketers should monitor how their influencers engage with their audience and the world around them. You have an obligation to your target audience, and an imperative to protect your brand. Differing goals and moving landscapes can quickly change the relationship between your brand, the influencer, and the message you’re trying to convey to your audience. 

When Influencer Marketing Can Undermine Your Brand’s Message

Influencer partnerships can backfire if the influencer’s lifestyle diverges from your brand’s values or if they no longer resonate with your target audience.

Living the Brand Inconsistently Over Time

Consistency is key. If an influencer’s personal evolution takes them away from what your brand stands for, it may be time to reassess the partnership. Or if part of your influencer marketing strategy becomes exclusionary instead of motivational. 

For example, Tarte Cosmetics’ recent ‘Trippin’ With Tarte’ campaign to motivate influencers. While programs like these are not new, this one received backlash from consumers and influencers alike as an exclusionary rather than inclusive tactic. It’s important to remember who you are as a brand first and build relationships with influencers who emulate it. 

Challenges in Aligning the Brand’s and Influencer’s Goals

Influencers are individuals with their own pursuits. If their ambition for celebrity status overshadows the brand’s message, it can create dissonance with consumers. Or if their underlying lifestyle is at odds with their social media persona, integrity can be put into question. And, transparently, there are times when perception is all that matters here. The truth can be hard to determine, and consumers like to decide for themselves. So even the appearance of discrepancy can have harmful consequences for your brand.

Example: Ballerina Farm and their homesteading social media following were put into question when it was discovered that her father-in-law owns an airline. Is there a disconnect between the slow, rustic lifestyle portrayed on Instagram and the reality of the family’s wealth? It is possible for these lives to co-exist, but that doesn’t stop people from forming opinions about the influencer and any brands she supports. 

Ensure Brand and Influencer Harmonization

The dynamic of influencer marketing is ever-evolving. Keeping a pulse on your relationships is vital for your brand, and for making sure that you continue to connect with your audience (through an influencer) in a meaningful way that appropriately represents your brand. Focus on:

  • Authenticity: Choose influencers who genuinely resonate with your brand’s ethos and can authentically represent your products or services. Allowing a level of vulnerability into your message can extend your brand’s trustworthiness and allow influencers to feel open about working with you.
  • Consistency: Monitor the influencer’s content over time to ensure it remains aligned with your brand’s messaging. Make sure you have a process set up for ending or changing relationships should the influencer’s message change. 
  • Relevance: Select influencers whose audience demographics align closely with your target market. And continue to monitor relevance over time. 
  • Ethics: Partner with influencers who demonstrate moral behavior and transparency that aligns with your brand’s ethics.

Building deep connections with audiences, through relatability and vulnerability, is essential for effective influencer marketing. Brands must choose influencers that embody their values and speak to their consumers’ hearts to utilize this valuable tool.

Your audience is your first priority, and your brand is your primary tool. Don’t jeopardize them for followers, likes, or virality. Focus on the importance of authenticity, vulnerably connect with your consumers, and let your moral compass guide you and your brand. You’ll find your way.  Get in touch with us to see how we can help guide you.