4 Influencer Marketing Best Practices to Drive ROI
Staff Writer May 10 2018 | 8 Mins Read | Level - Intermediate
Paroma, aptly nicked ‘Alice in Wordland’ by her peers for her enthusiasm to explore the world of words, crafts compelling features around the fast-growing marketing technology space. As General Assignments Editor, she focuses on the vision of the key players in this industry even while highlighting the interesting side stories around martech companies. With over a decade of dabbling with various forms of writing and working closely with award-winning advertising agencies to launch premium brands in the Travel, Luxury and Real Estate space, she’s now keen to explore all the technology that helps put all this CX interface into place. A music and dance aficionado, Mademoiselle Paroma is as conversant with French as she is with numbers thanks to her five-year stint as an investment banker. She counts ‘Gone with the Wind’ as her fave rainy-day-cuppa-coffee read and ‘Into the Wild’ as the movie she can cozy up on her couch with.
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Marketers have often felt that the kind of content consumers want more of today is strongly inspired by what fellow consumers want. By relying on ‘what peers like’, consumers tend to make faster purchase decisions. It’s the very basis of influencer marketing. Make the most of your influencer marketing strategy with these best practices.
Includes insights from a conversation with Liz Gottbrecht, VP of Marketing at Mavrck.
Towards the end of last year, we shared a list of 5 secrets to help you own your Influencer Marketing campaigns. Why’d we do so? Because, we knew that Influencer Marketing would only be getting bigger come 2018.
Now here are 4 ‘best’ Influencer Marketing practices to help ensure your consumers make faster purchase decisions:
1. Macro and Micro: find the right balance
Influencer marketing has often been linked to macro-influencers. It’s common for marketers to chase professional bloggers, Instagram stars and so on to create and distribute brand content. But do macro-influencers really help change behavior on a day to day basis? Do they reach the long tail of potential customers who may trust someone closer to their own reality?
But should this come at the cost of micro-influencers? Several brands like HubSpot are known to update their blogs regularly by having partnerships with micro-influencers who have digital marketing and sales backgrounds. According to research , sponsored content made by a micro influencer may sometimes garner a higher engagement rate than content created by a macro influencer. People don’t really need to be conventionally famous to be influencers.
Our take is that both macro and micro influencers help achieve different goals. For a clean win-win: try a balance of both.
2. Include influencers in the strategy development phase
If marketers paid more attention to the rich consumer knowledge that influencers have of target audiences, it could positively impact how they plan their influencer campaigns. Liz Gottbrecht, VP of Marketing at Mavrck adds,
“It’s our perspective that not including them (influencers) in the entire marketing process - the research, strategy, planning, ideation, measurement – is a significant missed opportunity.”
She feels that marketers can gain incredible insight and alignment by collaborating with influencers that exist within their own customer bases, across every stage of the marketing process, to bring campaigns or programs to market.
“Doing so also eliminates many of the challenges marketers face when it comes to the actual content creation process, because the influencers they’re working with already love the brand and are aligned with the whole process. It also sets the foundation for long-term influencer partnerships.” Influencers know your customers – use that information as early in your planning stages as possible.”
An Influencers’ knowledge (even if niche) about a brand, product or target audience can lead to those quality consumer insights from which everyone in the organization can benefit.
3. Create a custom measurement framework
“Influencer marketing success starts with having the right measurement framework”,says Liz.
We agree. The trick, however, is to use a model that works for you and fits your context. Traditional marketing metrics are simply not enough to measure the performance or success of influencer marketing the way we know it today.
Mavrck for instance uses a five-part influencer marketing measurement framework that empowers marketers to unequivocally correlate influence to business performance, either in the form of value creation (sales lift, brand lift, channel lift), marketing efficiencies (time savings, media savings, content savings, software savings), or some combination of both. There are several ways to drive authentic engagement with Influencer Marketing Of late, we even see some marketers paying influencers on a performance model.
4. Leverage Influencers to improve CX at every touchpoint
Marketers who want a competitive advantage should collaborate more with influencers across all marketing functions.
“A great way to get started is touchpoint optimization”, says Liz.
“Marketers can dramatically improve their chances of delivering an impactful customer experience by collaborating with influencers to vet and literally validate products and marketing campaigns before they go to market. They can leverage high-performing influencer-generated content across more customer touchpoints to deliver a more cohesive experience.”
“They should also be repurposing and testing high-performing influencer- and consumer-generated content across key touchpoints to not only improve the efficacy of that touchpoint, but to also better quantify influencers’ business values. This can include a/b testing influencer-generated vs. brand-generated content on a brand.com to determine which content drives the most sales, or conducting a multivariate test incorporating many forms of social proof (i.e., star ratings, product reviews, and influencer-generated photos) in different display ads to determine which drives greatest channel lift.”
5. Keep pace with technology:
Technology is enabling influencer marketing to become more automated and executed at scale; it’s even programmatic in the way that marketers are now able to set and manage influencer campaigns. Liz predicts,
“As influencer marketing continues to mature, the application of AI will enable influencer marketing to become even more efficient and impactful, optimizing campaigns around which types of influencers drive the most brand engagement and identifying the best ways to entice influential customers to recommend a product or service, for instance.”
“With this convergence of influencer marketing and technology, marketers will be able to power any marketing initiative through the influence of their own creators, consumers, and employees.”
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