Influencer Marketing is a very visual entity. The majority of influencers are popular because of the visual content they post online, whether that is photo or video form. As a result, the content of influencers lends itself very well to product placement and vocal endorsements. Influencers can demonstrate a product to their audience in a video, or show how it fits into their life with a photo.
Trust is Key
Because of the trust that fans have with influencers, if an endorsement comes across as out of place or unnatural to the influencers account, fans will often question the influencer’s intentions. Because of this, they could end up with the impression that the influencer is ‘selling-out’ and supporting a brand they don’t really like just for money.
On the other hand, these product placements can fit in very well with an influencer’s content. This is because fans often look up to influencers and want to be like them. If an influencer promotes a brand which fits well with their own style and the interests of their audience, then this is going to be received well by the audience. Fans also respond better to natural endorsements, for the most part, and don’t want to feel like the influencer is just reading from a script.
Pewdiepie worked with Honor to promote their new phone, the Honor View 10. The ad was badly received by his fans, as many of them know Pewdiepie uses an iPhone in his daily life. Because in the image he is sat holding the phone as if he is an actual user, it completely came across inorganically to his Instagram Feed. Despite being the biggest YouTuber in the world, he wasn’t immune to people doubting this product placement. Comments included;
- ‘[He’s] using an iPhone to take this pic’
- ‘He’s got an apple product [mac book] right below his arms’
- ‘Write a book called How To Make Ads Not Look Like Ads For Dummies’
Since the original ads, Pewdiepie has continued to use the Honor phone throughout his content, showing that the ad may not have been as disingenuous as previously thought. The more recent posts regarding the Honor View 10 don’t have such a negative response. This raises the question – Do long term influencer-brand partnerships increase the authenticity of influencer marketing endorsements?
Pewdiepie, however, has more success with ‘funny’ ads where he doesn’t take them too seriously. He recently partnered with G-Fuel, and because of his slightly comedic spin on the ads during his YouTube videos, his fans have responded well. This has even lead to fans making memes in regards to the G-Fuel content, further spreading the G-Fuel name in a positive way. So perhaps, the Honor View 10 endorsement was just not a right for him.
Making a Connection with Your Audience
LadBaby often gets positive comments on any of the content he produces which include product placements. He is careful to only work with brands which his audience can relate to. His audience comprises of people who watch him because he is laid back, relaxed, and ‘one of the lads’.
He received a lot of praise from his followers for his collaboration with ASDA. Comments included;
- ‘Made me slightly cry. You guys are the best. What a nice thing for Asda and you 2 to do’
- ‘Finally, a video that there are no negative comments about.’
- ‘Absolutely love this. You look like you really enjoyed doing that, and it made me smile as much as you.’
Odd Product Placement
Scarlett London took a more subtle approach to her ad, but because of the content she shared, her followers took it badly. The Listerine, which is placed on her bedside table in the background, is the ‘focus’ of the ad. Many commenters pointed out the odd product placement. Their main issue was that it is unrealistic that someone would keep Listerine on their bedside cabinet. Alongside a bedroom full of balloons and her appearing to have woken up with a full face of makeup, many people took offence to the way the ad was presented. The post ended up going viral and was reported on by several large newspapers. Comments included;
- ‘Are you for real? @listerine do you even have a marketing department?!…’
- ‘Shame shame shame! How much more of your life as you portray here is a fraud?’
- ‘Where do you spit out Listerine that’s stored on the nightstand.’
Despite the criticism, Scarlett received many comments supporting this product placement. Lots of commenters pointed out that many Instagram ads are staged, but this doesn’t mean that people will ignore content that they feel comes across as ungenuine, or that the influencer will promote anything for money.
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The best of days start with a smile and positive thoughts. And pancakes. And strawberries. And bottomless tea. My morning routine is now live on YouTube – and while I don’t show you my real bed hair (trust me, it’s not pretty), I do give you a little insight into how I start my day in a positive way. Head over to my stories for a swipe up link – and let me know what you think! It features my morning habit of rinsing with Listerine Advanced White to help whiten my teeth. @listerineukireland #BringOutTheBold | This is a paid partnership with Listerine.
Natural yet Unique
Someone who doesn’t fit the conventional influencer bracket is Loki. Loki is actually a dog, who’s owners take him on adventures with them. On an account featuring a dog, you would expect their main sponsor to be canine-related products. In Loki’s case, his main sponsor is Toyota.
Loki’s owners regularly post photos featuring him and their Toyota 4 Runner. The posts always have comments about the car, even if it is only featured in the background of the shot. Examples include;
- ‘Omg awesome dog but also awesome truck’
- ‘This makes me want a 4 runner so bad!’
- ‘On point with the 4 Runner’
- ‘Yessss get that sponsorship money, Loki!’
Despite all 4 of these comments being from 4 different Instagram posts, Loki’s fans don’t see this as oversaturation, as the photos are always natural. The car is parked in the background, or Loki is relaxing in the back seat. Because Loki’s audience can see the connection between the active lifestyle of him and his owners, they understand how this product placement fits in with his content.
Working with influencers who are outside the box, but still relate to your brand adds a lot of value to your campaigns.
Making it Relatable
Our influencer marketing delivery team recently worked with the YouTuber ClickForTaz on an Influencer Marketing campaign for Feast Box. We chose Taz because of her relatability, bubbly personality and the authentic connection she has with her audience. Her YouTube video, which included the product placement for Feast Box captured her personality perfectly. As a result of this, lots of Taz’s fans commented about how they also struggle to cook. Her fans loved the video and were very supportive of Taz receiving the sponsorship. Some of the video’s comments included;
- ‘I love your videos! They really remind me of Youtube years ago when people made fun videos that really showcased their personality and were fun to watch! Even your sponsored content is great!’
- ‘I love how Taz keeps her videos natural’
- ‘Love you Taz finally our girls sponsored again’
It’s obvious that Taz took the time to incorporate this product placement into a video that her followers would love. She made sure that preparing a meal from Feast Box came across as a key part of her day, rather than just reading off a script. Even though Taz makes it clear that the content is an ad, her fans are still supportive because of how she presents this content.
Produce Placement Done Right
Influencer Marketing is an important asset for any brand. Product placement can be done very well when you work with relatable influencers that are trusted by their audience. This article further proves that hand-picking the perfect influencers for your campaign, rather than using automated methods is always the best option.
Speaking of product placement, PMYB can work closely with your brand in order to pick the most suitable influencers for your campaign. We only work with Chromo-Influencers™, who pass our 46-point Chromo-Analysis process. These are influencers who have a genuine connection with their audience and who are more likely to make your target consumers ACT!Enquire Now