Digital marketing in the age of

the social media influencer

Social influencers
Your top three questions about social influencers answered

Bas van Erk, social insights expert By Bas van Erk,
Commercial Director, Social Insights

Influencer marketing is a hot topic among marketers, and for good reason. It helps brands to extend their reach among hard-to-reach audiences and build relationships with consumers. What’s more, it drives sales. Indeed, 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube (Twitter and Annalect, 2016).

It is therefore little wonder that 84% of marketers plan to execute at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months (Forbes, 2016).

But a successful influencer strategy relies on finding the right kinds of influencer. That’s where we can help. Here we answer three common questions that we’re asked about influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a hot topic among marketers

1 Map out your influencers

Question 1: How do I choose the right #influencer for my brand?

You may be surprised about which social media influencer is right for your brand. While a Kardashian promoting a product to their millions of online followers might seem the dream, don’t be dazzled. Perhaps counter-intuitively, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to the number of followers an influencer has.

Micro or macro influencers? Who has the greatest impact?

Micro influencers have smaller but potentially more relevant and engaged audiences. A blogger with 10,000 followers and the potential to increase their reach might be described as a micro blogger. A strategy involving micros bloggers can work when you have a niche product or are running a local campaign.

A macro influencer, with a much bigger and more international following, is more suited to international and global campaigns. But bear in mind that such.

Micro or macro influencers: Who has the greatest impact?

We can help you to identify your perfect influencer partner, and track their impact on your campaign and brand. Check out our article on ‘Digital marketing in the age of the social media influencer’. Or download our whitepaper showing ten examples how brands use influencers and our seven key learnings.

Download whitepaper

2 Build separate storylines around micro influencers and hero influencers

Question 2: How can I maximize the impact of influencers for my brand?

Maximize the impact of influencers

One of the most common ways for brands to work with influencers is via pre-roll ads aired prior to their slot on YouTube. Another is through paying to have their product promoted by the influencer via their blogs, vlogs and posts. A less common way of working perhaps is for brands to generate earned media. That is, they partner with an influencer who naturally likes and will promote their brand without payment.

Our top three recommendations:

  • Ensure your promotion appears natural. Endorsements should look and feel native to their environment, rather than the social media equivalent of an advertorial. At the same time, paid-for endorsements should be labelled as such – e.g., as #spon or #ad.
  • Make sure your campaign messaging comes through clearly and consistently. Provide guidelines so that your influencer knows the key points to cover in their own unique style. Encourage them to repeat this messaging.
  • Generate engagement by equipping your influencers with the right calls to action for their target audience. Encouraging feedback from followers in this way can provide you with important new insights about your target audience.

Some more recommendations:

  • Experiment, think creatively and encourage:
  • product reviews, which provide your brand with authenticity
  • brand mentions alongside picture posts, as these have the potential to be widely shared
  • Use influencers as part of a healthy marketing mix

Top three recommendations

We see significant results when the power of influencers is combined with a TV campaign, for example. Many brands also combine using influencers with their owned and other paid-for social posts on, for instance, Instagram and Facebook. There is also a growing trend for food and beverage brands to combine their out-of-home advertising and their use of social media influencers.

Read how the buying of influence on social media works. Or download our whitepaper showing ten examples how brands use influencers and our seven key learnings.

Download whitepaper

3 Monitor your collaborators

Question 3: How can I measure the success of an influencer campaign?

Total influence benchmark infographics

For every $1 invested in influencer marketing, brands generate, on average, $6.50 in revenue (Report: Influencer Marketing Can Yield Big Returns, 2015). But how can you measure the success of your influencer campaign?

Well, you can measure the reach of your campaign by tracking brand mentions. You can also determine how engaged your target audience is with your influencers by looking at their comments and ‘likes’. But to gain a fuller understanding of the success of your campaign requires deeper analysis. A closer examination of your audience’s response, both in terms of the sentiment of their posts and any action they take, is needed. As is an assessment of the performance of your influencer campaign against other campaign elements. For only then can you determine the best use of your budget.

 

In a recent study of ours, a manufacturer’s
influencer campaign was shown to
add both reach (3%) and impact (19%)
to its TV advertising.

Total exposure 80 influencers infographics

Get examples and key learnings
We share examples of how different brands have worked with influencers. We also outline seven key considerations for marketers looking to harness influencer power.

 

Got a question not covered here? Get in touch with Bas van Erk, our Social Insights Expert!

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