Zoella, Logan Paul, Jake Paul and Deliciously Ella have all made a lot of money from their hobby. And for businesses, it's better to have someone who isn't officially on the company payroll review and endorse your products. But it isn't without its pitfalls.
Recently, the news - even the main BBC news - have been littered with stories of influencers messing up. From Swedish comedian DewDiePie's racism losing him Disney sponsorship to America's Logan Paul exploiting a Japanese teens suicide, the bottom is falling out of influencers.
Much like Premiership footballers, these are kids who happen to be good at what they do. For some reason, the kids like what they say and their reach is phenomenal. This shouldn't detract from the fact they're kids, who happen to be role models to other kids. And just like footballers who find themselves on the wrong side of the law for naively misjudging a situation or being high on hubris, influencers find themselves on the wrong side of their adoring public.
They bring great benefits to a brand, advocating them to a new audience and their experience in building a community. However, what do you do when they start ripping off suggestable teens with their merchandise, fall off their pedestal or the thing they champion (like clean eating) is proved to be counterproductive.
Choose a solid roster of influencers
Do a background check to make sure they're squeaky clean. Choose influencers that best represent your target audience, most influencers are young but they have to have integrity in the eyes of the people you're trying to influence. So the superficiality of Kim Kardashian won't resonate with AA members and topics Alex Andreou covers won't appeal to H&M customers. It's also a good idea to "on-board" them, meet and train them in your company values, brand and ethos. And don't rely on one person, spread the love.
Have a crisis plan in place
Think about the company's position and build it into any contract. Think about how you will react to limit damage and what you can do to counterbalance it. For example, a reaction of Logan Paul's misdemeanour would be to contribute to relevant charities, ask him to do a piece to camera about social responsibility or mental health awareness, set up phone lines.
Keep abreast of cultural changes and political movements
It wasn't that long ago that long ago, Miley Cyrus went from being girl-next-door tween starlet to gyrating demon or Kevin Spacey going from celebrated actor to disgraced sexual deviant. These things ignited movements, changes, backlash and shifting opinion. It's important you stay ahead of the curve on it, so you can be proactive and move with a rapidly changing world.