Getting Influencer Marketing Right
When the facts and figures are lined up, it becomes clear that too many brands are wasting their marketing spend by focusing solely on conversions. Instead, companies should be dedicating at least three-quarters of their marketing budget to creating high quality content and spreading awareness by utilizing partnerships with influencers. In the long run, it is these investments that will increase conversions—the kind of conversions that lead to high-value sales and high customer lifetime value.
Much of the success with influencer marketing depends on companies identifying the right influencer. These influencers are the ones that fit in with the brand and embody the company’s culture and values. This influencer could be among the most popular on Instagram or YouTube, costing a company tens of thousands of pounds, but also reaching tens of millions of consumers. Alternatively, the influencer could be what is known as a micro-influencer. Partnerships with these individuals will go for a fraction of the cost and still reach tens of thousands of consumers.
It is important to note that it is not just about choosing the right influencer, but also about using the right influencer in the right way. The most effective way to use influencers is at the beginning of the customer journey and at the point in the journey when customers have purchased a product.
When influencers are used at the beginning of the customer journey—the awareness stage—they can communicate the message authentically to their followers. Using influencers in video for this is ideal and efficient. For the broad audience that a company needs to create awareness across, video consistently ends up being the most cost-effective content. This is mainly because algorithms prefer it, which can be seen through public statements from Facebook.
The influencer method can then be used again after customers make a purchase. These customers can be re-utilised as micro-influencers and share their success with the product or service in an organic and trusting way. This type of influencing is what Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms are built for. Consumers rely on those around them, that they admire and trust, to help them make their buying decisions. When even just a fraction of a brand’s customers share their positive experiences, the product or service is then advertised to thousands or even tens of thousands of new consumers. It creates excitement and inspires others who may have interacted with the brand in the past to engage with the new customer. It sparks discussion and awareness—and it does so in a much more cost-effective way than many other forms of paid advertising.
It is vital, though, for brands to use the influencers’ messaging correctly. They cannot shoe-horn social content into existing activity. Content must be filmed, edited, and marketed specifically for the social channels it is to be seen on. What works on Facebook, will not work as well on Instagram—unique content needs to be created for each individual platform.
Beyond this, content must be rigorously optimised and tested with multi-variant testing on header titles, images, and call-to-actions across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This last platform is particularly important to pay attention to. Currently, it offers the biggest investment returns due to the fact that there is noticeably less competition on it when compared to the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
Another key consideration pertains to the influencers and their relationship to the brand. Today’s consumers are savvy. They can quickly pick up when an influencer is being paid for a post by a specific brand. It is untrustworthy and ineffective at driving conversions. Instead of using the pay-per-post method and getting minimal interaction, brands should only work with influencers who are willing to commit to a partnership. These partnerships are built out of mutual admiration and trust, which will shine through to Generation Z and Millennial audiences.
In the end, the campaign will be 80% planning and 20% execution, with continuous optimisation and great care given to picking out the right influencers for partnerships. For many marketing teams, this will take an adjustment. It will force them to change how they look at their budget and how they measure campaign success. This adjustment is necessary, though. It is the only way to maintain pace with how social media platforms and consumers have fundamentally changed. It is also the best way to avoid resource misuse, in terms of both money and time.
To do this successfully, it requires a partnership with experts in influencer marketing. At Vouch Global, influencer marketing is our speciality. In order to create successful campaigns for all of our clients, we prioritize their customers. This means that we start with the audience, building multiple demographically-based audience profiles. When we have our client’s audience sorted into different personas, we build the right creative content that is comprehensively based on deep social media insights. Then we target the campaigns, execute them, and optimize.
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