It is clear that influencers are a major part in brand promotion. However there are a few important things to keep in mind:
Influence Marketing offers different tools for different tasks. Plan your actions for a specific task in view of the target audience, and everything will work just fine. By the way, bloggers are open to creativity and contact with the audience because they will benefit, too, and the content will prove of higher quality;
Do not compare directly any Facebook targeted traffic and promotion through influencers - this is just incorrect to do so. If you need such comparison, then match it against views-based promotion, TV in particular;
Don’t be shy combining various approaches, just experiment. Besides, we strongly recommend you plan your marketing campaigns with influencers beforehand, and better if this planning is done long-term. If integration is well done then the promotional stuff stands a chance to survive longer through its steady coverage.
Followers view releases by influencers as personal recommendations offered by someone they trust. And this is the main difference from any other type of promotion, be that target or TV. We are talking here about a bloggers’ audience of followers who are already warmed up. The conversion from this kind of promotion is typically higher because it is a real person who is offering a product/service, and not a banner.
Companies often seek to gain a wide coverage along with numerous buys. This is OK in general. However, just keep in mind one focus task, which will make it easier to see what bloggers, creatives and formats you need.
If we are talking about coverage, then, given the CPU (cost per user) approach, it would be cheapest to turn to major bloggers. The more followers an influencer has, the lower is his/her CPU, and one post of yours will cover many people at once.
Speaking of performance tasks, then mid-tier, micro- and nano-bloggers would be best to consider here. There is something to mention, though: major influencers are good for this, too. However, if you have a limited budget and you want to recover your costs then you’d better start with smaller expenses and see what bloggers will work best for you. Moreover, work with smaller accounts is a trend, which is gaining momentum in America. Smaller influencers (let’s say those who have an influence on a restricted circle of people) have an audience that is extremely involved and will readily take recommendations.
Bloggers are creative people who have a close contact with their own audience. Try to employ their strong points, compensate for the weak ones, and the effect will be there for you. Don’t underestimate the importance of influencer marketing.
The advantage that influence marketing entails is that the information presented in a promotional message is of recommendation nature. Statistics, meanwhile, shows that 92% of users trust information and feedback reported by their friends and even those they do not know.
Influence marketing is a truly profitable promotion format, and virtually all famous brands have turned to it.
ASOS online store has attracted hundreds of followers and customers through its ASOS Insiders project, which involves fashion celebrities.
Bloggers and artists cooperate with companies to finally become their ambassadors, which was the case with Kiehl's, Clinique and many more beauty brands.
Work with influencers is available to not only larger businesses yet to smaller ones, too. You do not have to seek promotion from mega-bloggers. Besides, it may be even have a s\destructive effect sometimes.
If an influencer takes some genuine interest in your product, then he/she will go on promoting it even after the campaign is over.
Influence Marketing will be effective at each stage, provided it is employed the right way.
Awareness. This is the first stage in grabbing attention. The potential customer knows nothing about your product, so it takes telling about the product and shaping the first impression.
The conventional approach implies, first of all, involving the usual media advertising, namely, banners, videos, programmatic and, of course, TV. Our practice shows that bloggers, too, can do really well dealing with such tasks ensuring coverage and views.
The following factors are typically taken as KPI:
Coverage of unique users;
Brand mention in search returns;
*Brand lift is an automated tool that allows measuring the impact that a campaign had on the perception of the brand: awareness, recall, interest taken.
Opt for bloggers with an audience of followers who are, so to say, warmed up and clearly match the product;
Remember that launching an interactive (contest, collaboration, you name it) is better than just showing an ad;
When assessing the metrics, look at the major KPI (CPM, number of key actions, etc.), yet keep in mind that comparing them with media ads more correct than matching against direct promotion.
Consideration. This the stage where we eliminate objections. People already know about our product yet they are not sure they want to buy it since they may have some doubt that you have to work through. Bloggers will make a perfect choice for this: people tend to trust opinion leaders. Besides, these leaders maintain informal communication style in the net, which helps the audience accept them as their best blogger or someone they know well. Conclusion? People trust these recommendations.
At this stage, the KPI relies on the tasks, yet these typically include:
Number of views per ad;
Number of likes/dislikes;
The overall tone within the comments offered: positive, negative, interest, etc.;
Number of reposts and shares;
Involvement index (activity under the ad).
Just once again: at the Consideration stage, you want to make a native. The less it is obtrusive and more relevant, the better response it will evoke from the audience, which, in turn, will add to the overall result.
Purchase. The final step to take through this funnel. This is where the person takes interest in buying it and all you have to do is to persuade that potential customer to buy it right away. Targeted promotion has proven best here - something that hits the bull’s eye. The KPI include:
Number of clicks to visit the target website or page; Number of targeted actions: orders, app installations, subscriptions, etc.; Bloggers, if involved at this stage, will also ensure great results. However, there is something to keep in mind: often times no direct call to action (CTA) can be placed in the influencer’s post. When doing promotion on Instagram, for instance, a link can be placed in stories only, which is not always the best option (besides, a story will live for no longer than 24 hours).
Brandformance. Earlier, we mentioned some individual stages of the funnel. The most interesting part, though, is to lead the users through the entire chain: from awareness to interest, and then further - to purchase. This can be done through the so-called brandformance* approach.
Ads placed with bloggers is one of the major trends in digital marketing this year, and this is no surprise: statistics shows that over a third of active Internet users buy things being influenced by posts released in the accounts that they follow.
Luxury car manufacturers are fighting to have one of their models James Bond’s next car because they know one thing: any association with the superagent will definitely help their sales soar.
Stephen King’s characters smoke Lucky Strike only, even though Stephen himself says it’s only because he likes smoking this brand, and nothing like product placement.
We have come up to the critical level of noisy data and yet the customer has turned more sophisticated and fed up with that very promotion done by celebrities. As a result, when a people see a TV ad featuring Messi, Terry Crews or someone from a similar league, they will think: OK, they paid him a couple of million bucks, but I know it’s only an ad.
Influence marketing is a finer way to convey the same promotional message to the potential customer: I am a star, I prefer this N brand, and I recommend trying this. The content is the same while the presentation is different, and this alters the way the entire promotion is accepted.
An evident strong point about this is correct delivery of the ad message, correct associations, and approaching the right audience.
Fortunately, nowadays experts do not have to explain to their management why influence marketing is important, just like why there should be some budget allocated on bloggers. The market, once unclear, with most success cases concealed by companies, is getting more and more transparent. Now, each expert does not have to learn everything employing the rule of thumb each time. Post Market service, by the way, has it all transparent, with all the cases publicly available, so you can check all you want before you start your activities.
Influence marketing is something to solve a huge range of issues, so the most acceptable idea here is to turn for help to experts who know what KPI is to be set, and if this or that particular blogger’s cost is reasonable.
According to Mediascope and the PRT Edelman Affiliate communications agency, promotion with a blogger will result in a respective search of that particular item in the store, or in a decision to buy this item, in 23% of cases, whereas in case of native promotion the same indicator is 17%, banner promotion accounting proving effective in 8% of cases only.
Just not to waste your money, try to tune the analytics you need beforehand. If, for instance, you are buying promoting only for your image story, then you want to have a plan as to how to track the outcome: hold offline customer polls, check the website traffic, the quality, etc. If your purpose includes requests and sales, then the result has to be evaluated in view of sales, with the ROI calculated, and the efficiency rated. In case, one of the simplest options is tracking promo codes that you are to offer to the blogger beforehand.
And the last on to keep in mind when evaluating the effect of promotion with bloggers: if you invest a dollar in promotion, then the best you can expect is a dollar in turnover. Given this, we can say you are in the black because the sales rate is most likely to drive you to the breakeven point. However, in you invest one dollar and get only a 10-cent turnover, then you are definitely to end up in the red - compensating for this low result is no easy task.
Promotion with bloggers is always Maths, with budgets, coverage, and results calculated.
Only 10% of companies do not benefit from influence marketing. 90% of the market are good to work with bloggers: online stores, services, just like any other online projects.
Today, the difference between the brand and the consumer is not like it used to be - they are both in the same info-field, and they speak a common language. A business matching this vibe will soar. People are used to bloggers being there, and they read what these bloggers write, which explains why people stay loyal to the ads they see in the bloggers’ accounts. They believe bloggers do filter, so to say, advertisers, and then display only the stuff that is tested, quality, and relevant.
This may be true sometimes, yet most often it is a mistake. But anyway, while buying a blogger’s trust we buy the trust of his or her audience. At least we can be sure our ad will be seen, which nowaday means being half-way to success.