How has Instagram influencer marketing changed the face of advertising?
I recently watched the documentary FYRE, The Greatest Event that Never Happened. If you haven’t watched this, I recommend it. It was a great learning curve for me as it was at this point that I understood the impact of influencer marketing and how it has taken the world by storm. With all the chaos in putting this FYRE music festival together including the money spent to run ads & working with an agency to promote the event, the number one thing the event promoter was concerned with was letting down the social media influencers that were promoting the event. Even when the event was sure to fail, the promoter refused to tell the influencers they could not attend the event. He had promised them free private jets to travel in, mansion estates with private chefs during their stay, and free tickets to the event. Once you watch the documentary you will see what happens and how it all plays out, I won’t be your spoiler. My own viewing of it made me start paying close attention to my own marketing company and realizing that I needed to take this influencer marketing more seriously. This is the first of a few blogs I am writing about this subject. There is so much to learn and so much to share about this amazing new medium and the opportunities it may offer to assist our clients in their marketing efforts.
My research started with: Why would you use an “influencer?”. What I quickly realized made perfect sense…you want to do business with someone you trust. You want a true voice and guaranteed tone, and someone you believe will provide open and honest feedback about a product or service you provide. This influencer marketing is a real business with over 8 billion dollars being generated annually.
By partnering with relevant influencers who have an engaging and authentic voice, your business is placed in front of people who are already interested in your niche, so it’s easier to make a real, lasting impression!
Authenticity is key. When an influencer is consistent with a niche market, for example if you follow someone who is a vegan or only usues cruelty-free products, you have a true voice you follow and trust. As a result, partnering with this influencer can save you a lot of time and money if you can get them to promote your product with posting and promoting to their audience. As for how you pay this influencer for their collaboration—that is something that can be set-up with gift cards, service trades, cash payouts or other agreements set-up individually.
There are all kinds of influencers from mega, macro, micro or nano. The mega influencers could be thousands of dollars for a takeover of your page or a simple post or two. The micro or nano (only for small local & community base followings) influencers could be a better way to start to “dip your toe” in the social networking pool. You must look at your brand and see who fits your objectives, budget and marketing philosophy. Often a nano influencer will only charge a few hundred dollars or less for a post or two. A micro influencer will be more but may not always be as good of a fit just because they have a larger following. Sometimes you can trade services or product. Finding the right influencer for your marketing campaign can be a bit of challenge. For example, if your goal is to rack up a lot of engagement, it might make sense to partner with a micro influencer with a smaller audience but higher engagement rates. On the other hand, if you’re trying to increase your brand awareness, metrics such as an influencer’s reach and traffic will be more useful.
So how do we track our successes with influencer advertising? On Instagram, “reach” is calculated as the number of unique users who saw your content, and it’s becoming an incredibly important metric for determining an influencer’s value. You must ask your influencer for their insights. Also, look at their audience and make sure it matches your product. Look at their distribution, where the influencers’ followers are located, age, gender, language and more. The goal isn’t necessarily to reach an entire market, but rather to find that intersection where your two audiences overlap. This is the best way to get in front of the “right” eyes and showcase your product and services to a customer segment that’s most likely to convert.
So how do we calculate an influencer’s engagement rate? At CMA we divide the average number of likes and comments they get on their posts by their follower count, and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. Once you have this calculation in hand you can begin to do an ROI. Other ways to measure your results include seeing how your engagement rate increases, listening to how people are talking about you, we call this brand sentiment, and of course driving traffic to the website for visits or purchases.
So, Gurus this was a lot to cover in one BLOG. Next month I am researching 6 Reasons Influencer Marketing is a Must. We cannot continue to use social media in the same way we have been. We must ask for help, reach out and make connections. Even though this is a virtual medium, we still must have a human connection. More to come on this in the May blog.