Based on a study completed by Linqia, 39% of marketers have factored into their marketing budget for 2018 to increase spending on influencer marketing.

A key message that businesses need to factor in when deciding to take the plunge and explore the potential rewards that influencer marketing can bring, is the fact that return on investment (ROI) can be both measurable and feasible – even for those fairly new to this marketing approach.

According to Social Media today “94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice, and influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising.”

The focus of this post is a practical insight to help you generate increased ROI from your next influencer marketing campaigns.

Generating ROI from Influencer Marketing

Generating ROI from Influencer Marketing

ROI from influencer marketing can range depending on the goals you set to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns, however, there have been many successful campaigns and the trend of an increased marketing budget for influencers is set to massively grow into 2019 and beyond.

Common influencer marketing metrics that can work for measuring your success include:

  • Engagement (often the leading indicator of influencer marketing success)
  • Impressions
  • Traffic
  • Goal completions/conversions
  • Sales

Additional measurements of value can also factor in brand awareness/reach and niche audience targeting – something great for assessing brand exposure to the right people.

Choosing the Best Influencer for your Brand

23% of people in the UK will buy a product or service after they see it shared by an influencer (based on survey data from Statista), meaning that the initial focus for effective influencer marketing is:

  1. Identifying, reaching out to and working with the right influencer
  2. Ensuring that influencer has direct access to the target audience most relevant to your business

According to WorldFirst, 13% of small businesses cited ‘lack of trust’ as a fundamental barrier for companies looking to expand into new markets – a key area where the right influencer can redress.

In fact, Forbes went on to state that “92% of consumers trust an influencer more than a traditional advertisement”.

The main characteristics for identifying the best influencer for your brand include:

  • Credibility and authenticity
  • Large, active and growing social media profiles
  • Trust, expertise, and authority
  • Access to relevant audience
  • Ability to fuel enthusiasm, interaction and engagement

Turning Trust Into ROI

In order to make this trust for ROI, you need to work with the influencer to get to know as much as you can about their higher engaged followers, and match this with the products, services and messaging most likely to align with them.

A trusted brand advocate can add massive perceived value to products, services, and brand power.

Choosing The Best Influencer For Your Brand

Getting the Basics Right

Many brands fail to maximize the basics when it comes to making a return on influencer marketing investment.

The types of basics to focus on are varied, but typically factor in:

  • Agreed influencer actions, deliverables, and outputs
  • Specific, measurable (metric based) outcomes
  • Review and refinement timescales to assess progress made and any change to strategy
  • Specified content, messaging and post scheduling
  • Direct access to data

In order to generate ROI from influencer marketing, you need to have all of the fundamentals in place.

Targeted Website Landing Pages

For an influencer campaign, you will need to create a targeted landing page(s) on your website tailored towards the campaign messaging. This will help land more people directly onto your website regardless of where they initially heard about the brand.

This also facilitates a catch-all destination for any social media hashtags, forum follow-ups, and generally new search behavior and awareness generated by the influencer, which would not necessarily find the brand/website otherwise.

Movement of people from channel to channel is one of the key areas to successfully cater for, as this is undoubtedly where the largest loss of potential value occurs – more so with influencer marketing than most other trackable marketing activities.

Don’t forget, the opportunity for influencer marketing can be well worth the initial investment in time, resource, and funds.

Based on a recent Vertical Leap article influencer marketing is one of the key industries geared up for growth and maximizing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI):

“It is predicted that by 2019, influencer marketing will be a $2 billion industry. On Instagram alone, marketers are spending over $1 billion. Here is what AI can do for marketers who intend to level up their strategies in 2018.”

Tracking Data Effectively

Many campaigns are deemed unsuccessful due to ineffective data tracking and recording of results.

Most clickable elements on social media sites, forums, and websites (including links) can include campaign tracking code. When combined with data analytics packages like Google Analytics (GA) you can gather a fairly comprehensive data map for influencer marketing. This requires full testing well in advance of any campaigns going live.

Don’t forget the offline value too. According to Forbes “We consider a mix of engagement, website traffic, campaign hashtags, influencer-linked URLs and editorial coverage metrics to come up with an earned media value. Fan comments provide anecdotal insights, too.”

Getting the Basics Right

Looking at the longer term

As quoted on MarketingWeek – “Marketers are willing to pay more than £67,000 per video post with a YouTube influencer, rising to £75,000 for a single Facebook post by a celebrity influencer, according to Rakuten Marketing’s research. Brands are also prepared to splash out £53,000 per Snapchat post by a big name influencer.”.

The opportunity that companies overlook all too often is the longer-term value that can be delivered from influencer marketing.

Whilst initial peaks in impressions, traffic, engagement and other metrics may be within the first few days and weeks of a new campaign, there is much longer term (3-6 month+) value that can be derived.

The buzz around new sponsored promotions, videos, social sharing and more regularly leads to comments, brand mentions, forum discussions and other topical noise which can be monitored, engaged with and leveraged for numerous supplemental and ongoing business wins.

The data generated from the influencer marketing can fuel new content creation including creative pieces and PR stories that can generate local and potentially national media coverage.

This type of planned and tiered approach to influencer marketing can extend the duration of the value and enhance the potential ROI substantially.

By Lee Wilson

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