If a little is good, a lot must be great.

Or so the thinking goes.

However, when it comes to influencer marketing, there can be too much of a good thing.

Over the past few years, there has been a wave of companies extolling the virtues of influencer marketing at scale (often using marketplaces to make the process turnkey).

While it’s terribly convenient for all parties involved, these companies operate on a flawed premise that you can automate relationships, creative, and credibility.

I’d argue that these influencer marketing marketplaces are quickly eroding credibility, and as a result, effectiveness.

Why is this?

There are countless platforms where influencers with a few thousand followers can opt in to create branded content (YouTube videos, Instagram and Facebook posts) in exchange for product or payment.

The “one-off” nature of these brand activations creates trust issues. An influencer can create a piece of content for a brand, then turn around and do another promotion on behalf of a competitor shortly thereafter.

There’s also the human element that is lacking from these arrangements. Simply reading a creative brief without talking to anyone is likely to leave a lot open to interpretation, and inevitably will result in miscommunication.

Talking points are important, but having someone represent your brand without even having a conversation seems sloppy and careless.

What is the impact of this going to be long-term?

Brand credibility gets diluted, influencer credibility gets diluted, and brands will have a ton of garbage content with few people buying.

In an era where anyone can fire off an email, having a conversation is more important than ever.

There is something to be said for having an in person meeting with. In my experience, people want to do ‘right by you’ if you’ve interacted with them in person. Enthusiasm and passion is infectious, but only if people can experience it and see it for themselves.

Automated influencer marketing are a shortcut that is undermining trust in the long run.

Influencers are different from banner ads. You’re not buying impressions — you’re working with people. We need to insert a human element into influencer marketing.