A recent Adweek headline announced that brands hesitated with social media marketing and that now they’re doing the same thing with influencers. The implication is clear – companies that held back from adopting the latest, greatest marketing technology missed out on some of the benefits that come from being among the first to use to use them.
What are these advantages? In some industries, it’s particularly important for a brand to be seen as cutting edge, or at least ahead of the curve. In other instances, building client relationships is such an exclusive and time-intensive process that you don’t want to waste a minute – any hesitation creates an opportunity for a competitor to slide into the space you’ve left vacant.
But is the hesitancy unwarranted? Even Adweek admits it’s not. Social media networks have taken time to establish and prove their value. Facebook, the most dominant player in the game, has hardly been free from problems. Some social media platforms launched to great acclaim and proved to be non-starters. Other platforms have had a hard time demonstrating their value to the business community. If you’d devoted your time, energy and resources to getting set up on these networks, you’d be no further ahead now than if you’d not bothered at all.
It’s not an unreasonable expectation that the influencer market will take a similarly long time to prove its value. In the earliest days of influencer marketing, the costs spiraled quickly beyond the reach of what the typical smaller brand could afford. There was no clear relationship between the price an influencer charged and their impact on a brand’s visibility and reputation – and in a few high profile cases, influencers caused their sponsors far more bad publicity than good.
It’s not a bad idea to give new technology an opportunity to establish itself before deciding you’re going to use it to promote your business. There are economic reasons for this as well. Being an early adopter can be more expensive; the costs associated with adopting a new technology go down as more people use it. Digital marketing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach, as we discussed in this article on the benefits of launching your website in stages. Choose the tools that you’re comfortable using, that have proven value and staying power, that help you accomplish your goals – when you’re ready to use them. A little hesitation that allows you to focus on what you’re doing that’s working, and research your options fully before implementing them, can be a strategic choice that helps your business grow.