There are a lot of brands which have started using this kind of tactic in their marketing strategies to gain customers and increase the sales, and they even dedicate a big part of their budget to that, but we wonder: do influencers have a real return?

For those who don’t know, an influencer is a very popular person in social media, an opinion leader who, as the name says, influences the attitudes and behaviours of his/her followers due to the great capability of conviction and trustiness generated through the big number of followers and the consequent popularity.

Brands and influencers get in touch to establish collaborations, so the influencers can enjoy economic rewards or even obtaining free products and services of the brand in exchange for a promotion or sponsorship of it in the influencer’s social media.

To verify that this method has some loopholes, the advertising agency H2H Human to Human conducted a social experiment in which they invented a fake influencer (role played by the actress Almudena Ripamonti). For that, they created an Instagram account which was fill with prepared content and bought thousands of fake followers through internet bots, giving Almudena an image of influencer which didn’t have (the clothes for the photo sessions were returned to the shops). So, they wanted to check whether the brands would be able to discover a pseudo-influencer or would fall into the trap of what’s trending.

When the experiment ended, Ripamonti had enjoyed luxury dinners, hotel nights, free taxi rides, and even some free products sent to her house, besides of the attendance to many upscale events where she hobnobbed with celebrities and other influencers. With everything, it had been demonstrated that brands are increasingly following the trend of social media and followers without any kind of marketing or strategic planification.

The popularity in social media is something which is currently very relevant, but it’s important to consider the segment we’re focusing on, the target which interests us the most and the quality of the social media interaction, because the followers are just a number and they shouldn’t determine the budget we invest on our communication campaigns. The use of influencers doesn’t conflict with the effectiveness of a campaign, as long as an exhaustive planification process is made, a clear definition of the objectives and a continuous tracking of the carried-out actions.

In Crece Agency we defend a strategic communication, based on the clients’ needs and their objectives, knowing the brand we’re working on and therefore adapting the strategies and the way of working with each client. To know more, contact us.

Here you can see the video of the experiment (in Spanish):