Social media has seen the birth of many new trends, things like fake news, viral videos, memes, and influencers never existed before social media, or at least, they never got the exposure they do now. Whilst some industries, such as fast-fashion and fitness are leading the way in influencer marketing, others don’t know where to start or how to make it work for their business.
For any brand, a recommendation is the best form of marketing you can get, and I like to think of an influencer strategy as digital word-of-mouth. Think about it; you go to a restaurant and have a delicious meal, you tell your friends or colleagues and they decide to try it out - you’re an influencer. It’s as simple as that, you changed their behaviour and convinced them to buy from somewhere new. The only difference is that social media means you can do this at scale.
Managing ROI Expectations
The biggest (and probably most avoided) question by many social media marketers is how to measure and prove the return on investment from working with influencers.
Realistically, tracking everything from a specific influencer is nearly impossible, for direct sales you can use UTM tags and adding links to Instagram stories means these are picked up by analytics. Typically, though, the return on this direct response is very low - for example:
If you work with an influencer with 30,000 followers, you could expect an engagement rate of 10% resulting in around 3,000 likes. 10% of those who engaged may click through to the website and if your on-site conversion rate is 1-2% (average) you might get 3-6 impulse sales, but as with all marketing, this isn’t an exact science.
Depending on your product, that could be a decent ROI, but in the fast fashion industry that would typically be a revenue of £150 - £300. Hardly worth the investment, right? But the real value is in those customers, who see the brand via an influencer, follow them on social media and come back later to purchase. Consider the lifetime value and loyalty of the 300 customers who visited your site - now it seems worth it.
Working with Micro-influencers
Following size isn’t everything when it comes to influencers. Micro-influencers have a much closer relationship with their following and generally higher engagement rates. It could be more beneficial to split the budget between 3-4 different smaller influencers, who are highly relevant to your audience and really believe in your brand.
For example, male reality tv stars with approx. 1m followers sound like the perfect influencer for a new gym wear brand, right? Their followers are 80% female – so really there is relatively little exposure to your target audience. Five smaller personal trainer influencers, who each have a 20K following dedicated to fitness (and therefore are likely to purchase gym fashion) will be significantly more cost effective.
Increased brand awareness is one of the greatest benefits to be gained from working with any influencer. The people interacting with the post all saw your brand recommended by someone they trust. Using the previous example, that equals 3,000 potential customers. Looking at specific metrics, this could be reflected by an increase in social media followers and an increase in organic traffic from branded search terms.
Using Search Console, you can see the number of impressions your website had for branded vs non-branded searches. You can measure this over a specific time-period to see any changes during a campaign or after working with an influencer, you can then look at the click-through rate to see how many of those people visited your site. *this is a good tip for tracking any social media activity value*
Content, content & more content
If you don’t already have a content marketing strategy in place, stop reading and visit our content & comms page because every business should have one, before you even consider working with influencers.
Influencers only get to where they are because people like, trust and respect their opinion over a common interest such as Fashion, Beauty or Fitness. They know what your customers want, so you can use their insights, knowledge and feedback to add value to your existing and potential customers via your content strategy. Influencers are content marketers themselves (whether they know it or not), usually creative and can provide blogs, copy, videos and imagery for you to use and build into your content strategy.
To really get the most out of working with an influencer, you can use these assets to improve all your digital efforts right the way down the sales funnel to conversion.
Typically, influencer imagery is more effective and engages more users whilst being significantly cheaper than the cost of arranging a studio or lifestyle shoot.
An example of using these assets further down the funnel is to combine influencer imagery with paid social and remarketing. By taking this route as opposed to traditional e-commerce studio shots, one agency reported Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) for Rebellious increase from £13 to £54.
There are so many factors when considering working with influencers, but you don’t need to go it alone. To maximise the benefits influencer marketing has to offer you need to tie everything into your digital strategy.
If you’re looking to work with influencers and boost your content strategy, get in touch today to discuss how we can make it possible.