Imagine paying a celebrity £75k to endorse your product on Facebook… while having no idea if you’ll get anything in return. That’s influencer marketing in 2017.

You can probably think of better, and more sensible, ways of spending your money.

£67k on a Youtube video or £53k for a Snapchat post, anyone? Thought not.

Welcome to the weird world of influencer marketing. While marketers are willing to pay these vast sums, Marketing Week recently reported that:

38% of marketers say they are unable to tell whether influencer activity actually drives sales while 86% are unsure how influencers calculate their fees.

It’s total chaos in influencer marketing right now. Nobody knows the value they’re getting or the price they should be paying.

People aren’t stupid

But there’s another, bigger, problem, as we’ve written about before.

The whole point of social influencers is that they’re meant to act as an authentic human advocate for a product.

The trouble is, they don’t. Influencer marketing may mimic real user content, but it’s been around for a few years now, and people can see through it.

As soon you pay someone, it’s no longer a genuine endorsement. And it shows.

Your own customers are your best advocates

So how do you get genuine endorsements for a fraction of the cost? The answer’s pretty simple: instead of paying a celebrity, let the customers who’ve bought your products speak on your behalf.

They’re the ones who know what they’re talking about, after all. Their authenticity can’t be faked, and people trust it when they see it.

Plus, if you empower your customers to help each other out, they feel more involved. Not only do they advocate on your behalf, they also feel more loyal to your brand.

Peer-to-peer advocacy

Consumers tend to have a lot of questions before they buy something.

Nothing beats being able to ask a question about a product and have a real customer answer it for you — honest, unfiltered information from someone you can trust.

That’s what we offer with our Conversations product. It gives prospective buyers the chance to ask someone who we know has actually bought the product. We get questions about everything, from white goods to cars – in fact, 405k questions and 436k answers from the 3.8 million reviewers who have opted-in to our Q&A community.

Hearing from a genuine customer gives them the confidence to buy, as these examples show:

Reevoo Conversations influencer marketing
These are all real examples of an exchange captures through the Reevoo Conversations Q&A engine.
Reevoo Conversations influencer marketing
Peer-to-peer influencer marketing directly leads to sales, like in this real example...
Reevoo Conversations influencer marketing
...and this one.

Conversion is the obvious one. But Conversations brings other benefits. Including:

Marketing — customer questions can provide you with useful marketing ideas.

Product descriptions — knowing what potential customers are always asking about helps you optimise your product descriptions and FAQs.

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Returns — Q&As mean few nasty surprises when the product turns up — fewer returns, and less hassle for you and the customer.

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Customer service  Conversations essentially crowdsources customer service, which takes the heat off you in that department.

So next time there’s £75k burning a hole in your back pocket, remember…there’s no need to throw it away.

To find out more about Reevoo Conversations, get in touch with us here.

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Why conversations with real customers beat influencer marketing