Recently, I came across an article written by Joel Contartese titled “What I’ve Learned From Spending $10 Million on Influencer Marketing” and it was definitely a good read! As someone experienced in the industry itself, he gave some really insightful comments for all brands who are already or intending to venture into the influencer marketing and I couldn’t agree more.
Today, I’m taking inspiration from his post to come up with this article where I’ll be sharing our views on influencer marketing from the team here at Popular Chips!
Research conducted globally, brands and marketers have spent over $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone. In fact, another study conducted has revealed an even staggering number with an estimate of $1 billion advertising spend on influencer marketing per year. This numbers estimated from the number of sponsored posts on Instagram and is projected to double in the years to come!
Influencer marketing is projected to be the fastest growing brand activation channels through 2020, according to the Association of National Advertisers and we are not surprised at all. As influencer marketing transformed the way brands market to consumers, we can only expect to see more in the years to come.
In the following, let’s explore some of the top advice for all brands who are starting out on influencer marketing in one way or another.
1. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Numbers are a big thing for all of us, it gives us concrete assurance of the performance and results of the effort that we are engaging in. Thus, it is not surprising that one of the common misconception when it comes to choosing an influencer is deciding blindly based on follower numbers.
While a huge following number would more or less guarantee more eyeballs and awareness, brands should definitely keep in mind the quality of followers when making a decision. In the recent years, we have seen more brands beginning to realize the potential of micro influencers who may have way lesser but very targeted group of followers.
So, celebrities or micro influencers?
If brands have the budget and are going for large scale brand awareness then celebrities are an amazing fit. However, micro influencers on the other hand would provide a more budget friendly, niche and genuine point of conversation on social media.
2. INFLUENCER MARKETING IS A SCIENCE
One of the key challenge that many brands and marketers encounter when it comes to influencer marketing is the difficulty in measuring/ quantifying the impact of influencer marketing. Many may associate influencer marketing with intuition, letting it guide decision making and success evaluation.
Q: “Which influencer should we engage?”
A: “Just pick the one that is most popular right now. Oh the one with the most followers.”
Q: “How successful was our influencer campaign? How should we measure?”
A: “Well, we generated lots of brand awareness.”
Don’t fall into these! Influencer marketing is a science and there are various numbers and analytics that can guide your every decision. There are several marketing analytics providing a full suite of services and at Popular Chips, it aims to quantify and give brands the assurance when it comes to implementing influencer campaign.
Determining the quality of influencers
Take for example our first point, does the number of followers we see mean everything and should it guide the decision? With Popular Chips’ platform and technology, brands are now able to look even deeper behind these numbers to see how many percentage of followers are in fact fake bots or inactive accounts.
Together with the comparison tool, brands can easily compare potential influencers in their portfolio and identify the best fit for the campaign using metrics such as followers demographic and inactive rate.
Measuring success of influencer campaign
Also, when it comes to determining the performance of influencer campaign, many may find that there is a lack of metrics. While most marketing strategies ultimately aim to increase conversion and sales figure, influencer marketing on social media platforms such as Instagram tend to be more of building brand awareness than conversion. As Instagram still do not support link in caption or post, brands find it challenging to direct interested followers to their site.
That is not to say that there are no metrics to track for influencer marketing. Brands can look at key engagement statistics such as likes, views and comments to determine performance of a campaign or individual influencer.
That is exactly what Popular Chips offer on its live campaign reporting feature. Brands are able to track their influencer campaign in real time, gaining access to real time performance insights. Not only are there statistics on campaign and influencers’ KPIs, brands are also able to compare the publicity value it received from the total campaign investment.
3. LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH INFLUENCERS
Working with influencers provides endless opportunity, be it as a content creator or simply as an extension voice of your brand, influencers have the ability to spark a creative and genuine conversation in the online space. Brands who have realized the potential should definitely aim to build a long term relationship with influencers.
Influencer marketing should not be viewed as a one off campaign, brands should continuously engage followers and put themselves out in social media. Be it engaging a top brand favorite as ambassador on a long term basis (Selena Gomez for Coach) or working with multiple micro influencers on a frequent basis to create continuous content (Benefit Cosmetics, Timberland), a long term view on influencer marketing will definitely pay off!