The past few years have proved influencer marketing to be a reliable marketing resource however, a new year brings new challenges, so how will this affect its success?
- The surge in influencer marketing has seen many companies allocate a large portion of their marketing budget into influencer marketing activations, it provides a method to gain user-generated content, feedback from customers, improve brand awareness and ultimately increase sales.
- New challenges marketers may face in 2020 include: how much to compensate influencers, useful metrics to track and of course, authenticity.
“The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2020 which is up from $8 billion in 2019.” Business Insider
With a projection value that might double by 2022, brands need to stay ahead of the game and be ready to adapt alongside the changing industry.
The last year alone has shown how much the influencer marketing landscape has evolved. Back in the day, PR teams would be reaching out to select bloggers to increase reach and now it has become a well-respected discipline in its own right that is experiencing rapid growth. Although the industry is still in the stages of initial growth, the unquestionable value that comes with influencer marketing indicates that this form of marketing is not only going to stay, but it will become increasingly lucrative.
How do you allocate pay?
With campaign budget expanding, the amount to compensate influencers is an increasing priority, however, calculating this is not that simple.
Previously, influencers have been paid per post published and the price has been based on the number of followers however, as the industry matures, it became evident that this is not accurate. The number of followers is a metric that is too easy to manipulate, for example through buying fake followers. Many brands have paid influencers based on followers and the additional metric of engagement, but this too is easy to manipulate, as purchasing likes or participating at engagement pods (private groups where influencers exchange comments on each other’s social media posts) are also available.
Nevertheless, to gain a more accurate idea of adequate pay, brands can consider some of the following:
- Quality of comments: are they related and specific to the content that shows users going out of their way to engage?
- Time spent in: creating the story, shooting a video or series of photos, time spent editing and the number of assets sent to the brand for approval. These will all show an influencers dedication to the content they are pushing.
- AQS (audience quality score): this can be calculated using free online tools and analyses the number of followers an influencer has to find any fake profiles or follow/unfollow pattern. This will provide a better idea of the quality of reach and engagement provided by that influencer.
What metrics do you track?
It is crucial to track the correct metrics as this will make evident whether or not a campaign will be successful and will help paint a better picture of what will work in the future. Before starting the campaign, both the agency and client need to be on the same page in regards to KPIs and metrics so that any miscommunication is avoided. KPIs and metrics will depend on the type of campaign and goals of that campaign, but some to consider are the following:
- Organic reach
- User-generated content
- Sign-ups generated on the client’s website or number of downloads of the client’s app
However, it is important to note that influencer marketing is not directly associated with increasing sales or signups of an app, for example, it is actually one of the many touchpoints to get into contact with and start forming connections with consumers. They will see the promotion posted by one of their favourite influencers and while this might activate and lead them to become a paying customer, this is not the main aim. Results from using influencer marketing can be noticed weeks after the campaign has completed but it should not be compared to display ads or programmatic activities as they provide different ways to interact with consumers.
Let’s hear it again for authenticity…
Users are turning their backs on the perfect and aesthetic Instagram content, their attention is drawing towards more raw photos and videos with TikTok leading the way as an authentic and relatable platform. This platform encourages users to share their emotions and creativity with other peers of a similar age around the world and this is truly resonating with Gen Zers. Moving the focus away from the picturesque and photoshopped content and instead promoting the real and raw is the way to gain wins in 2020.
Influencer marketing will achieve success only when the creators commit to living beyond their social channels. Through demonstrating more depth and breadth in their offering they will reassure followers of their commitment to the content they have created in collaboration with brands as opposed to the superficial and empty #ad promotion.