Key takeaways from LEARN Influencer Marketing
One week on, we reflect on the top takeaways from our fourth edition of #LEARNbyVERB, which featured session introducing Influencer Marketing and the best practices to optimise this channel.
The idea is clear, more and more retail brands are looking for trustworthy marketing channels through which they can push their products to the right audience. Influencer Marketing plays a key role in conveying trust towards your brand.
Where does it sit within your marketing strategy?
Influencer Marketing plays a key role to any of your digital marketing channels. However, there are four of them where is can especially assist improve your brand results:
- SEO: Influencers help build a diverse and strong backlink profile. The quality of your link profile has a huge impact on your search engine ranking. In addition, they provide unique and intriguing content that increases reach and engagement.
- PR: Influencers help create trustworthy content. Users trust influencers almost as much as they trust their friends. They are more popular than mainstream celebrities and it helps improve reputation.
- Social Media: Social Media is the primary source of content for most influencers. Social Media channels have a huge audience reach and the shareable content helps your brand to be seen by more users.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketers can become influencers in their own right by focusing on a specific niche. Affiliate and influencers combined provide the biggest audience reach. Often affiliate marketers have their own network of influencers to push a specific product.
Monica Vinader’s influencer campaign @SAADA___ was a great example of how to not only use your influencer content on Social Media, but also through your website, email, paid social and PR.
THE INFLUENCER’S PROFILE
We identified four key profiles that could be suitable for your brand. If you think you’re a retail brand, you would probably choose a wider audience that aligns with your brand’s personality, whereas if you provide a service or have a B2B focus, your influencer profile may change to a journalist or an ‘activist’.
HOW TO DELIVER YOUR MARKETING GOALS
1 .Define your goals
Defining the objectives of your influencer marketing program will help you identify relevant influencers and metrics later on.
- Conversion: This translates into sales on your website. There are a number of ways you can track this success. For example, trackable tags and discount codes.
- Engagement: By building a relationship with an influencer’s audience, you’re simultaneously strengthening the relationship with your customers.
- Reputation: Getting your brand seen to be associated with the right kind of people to establish a particular reputation.
- Brand awareness: Influencer marketing reaches new and engaged audiences – an extension of your own brand reach.
2. Identify your influencer
73% of brands say that identifying the right influencer has been one of the biggest challenges
Influencer research is arguably one of the most important parts of influencer marketing:
- Influencer intel/research: Individual knowledge about influencer combined with in depth research on finding influencers.
- Agency: Agencies like Verb have experience working with influencers and therefore know best approach and also who might be a good fit for a brand & their objectives.
- Platforms: there are a number of platforms you can use to discover influencers such as Wearisma, Whalar, Takumi or Bloglovin’.
- Networks: Networks such as RewardStyle, Brit Mums, Handpicked Media, Bloglovin’.
3. The Strategy
- Long-term vs one-off campaign: a Long-term partnership with an influencer enhances brand recall and conveys authenticity but they usually have a bigger up-front cost, higher vetting of influencers and requires the influencer to nurture the organic following & Content. On the other side, one-off campaigns offer more flexibility, having quick access to new audiences with less time and financial commitment. On the negative side, one-off campaigns have a reduced exposure to your target audience, could be conveyed as disingenuous and allows your competitor to engage with the same influencer.
- Macro (90K+ followers) vs Micro Influencer (from 1K to 10K): Decide which approach is more appropriate for your brand, whether you want to have committed followers or reach to bigger audiences.
- The type of content: How do you want to approach it. You can opt for having sponsored content (which is the most used approach), or try gifting, choosing a brand ambassador or try to initiate competitions on the influencer’s channel.
- Compensation: Depending on your strategy, there is four main type of Influencer’s compensation. Commission driven collaborations where promotion codes can be applied. Other influencers offer a flat fee where as other ones would be happy with a free (gifting compensation). A new and more popular method is PPE (Pay Per Engagement) where they take a commission for every like or comment they receive.
EVALUATING INFLUENCER MARKETING
78% of marketing professionals struggle to prove the value of an influencer marketing programme.
65% agree that measuring ROI from Influencers has been challenging
It is well-known how proving value is one of the hardest parts of Influencer Marketing. In a survey of marketing professionals from Fashion Monitor, the responses varied from Web traffic generated, the number of content shared to press coverage and lead referrals.
We can identify three key success metrics:
- Conversion Success Metrics
- Number of clicks on a trackable link
- Commission based sales
- Uplift on website traffic when posted. This can be checked through Google Analytics.
- Particular product sales uplift
- Engagement Success Metrics
- The number of comments, likes and shares. You need to benchmark against the engagement the influencer sees on their content.
- The type of comments seen on the post: Is the audience saying they want to try your product?
- An increased engagement on your posts around that time
- Brand Awareness Success Metrics
- Following increase. You can track this manually or you can use a tool called SocialBlade for instance.
- A positive sentiment of comments. For example, “I want to try this”.
THE INFLUENCER’S PERSPECTIVE
86% of the most-viewed Beauty videos on YouTube were made by Influencers – the remaining 14% were made by brands
We had the luck to interview one of the biggest beauty influencers at the moment, Vic Ceridono. Journalist, Blogger, author, YouTuber, Glamour Brazil International Editor, she currently lives in London and has over 515K followers on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and her own blog: Dia de Beauté.
The interview started with an easy and first step question. ‘How do you like to be approached by a brand?’
“At first, I would probably meet the PR, have coffee, talk and understand the alignment between me and the brand. On occasions, if I’m passionate about the brand, I would approach the brand myself. Going to events and building the relationship between both parties is key.The opportunity to work together comes after this.The most important thing is to have an alignment that is genuine.” – Vic Ceridono.
Ceridono gave a lot of emphasis on the fact that brands need to understand the influencer’s creativity and style. The reason why an influencer has its audience, it’s because they are real and genuine. Trying to ‘transform’ an influencer into something else would result into decreasing their following.
With regards to working with project guidelines or having a ‘free style’, Ceridono explained that the most information she receives about the brand itself, the most involved she gets with the project.
“Talking about what the brand wants and what aims with that specific campaign is key. The influencer can then build its creativity from having that dialogue and come up with a great idea together. Having as much information as possible is key to get involved with the brand’s culture and values.”
The next LEARN will discuss P.P.C. We will announce the date shortly. Please let us know if you would be interested in attending.
If you wish to receive the full presentation or discuss your Influencer Marketing strategy, please get in touch.