How well Influencer marketing works?

Over the last decade, social media has significantly contributed in changing the landscape of traditional marketing. Brands have recognised the value they obtain when collaborating with influencers, within their niches, to promote awareness of their products or services in exchange for an agreed fee or some other benefit.

Figure A: Google trends data for “influencer marketing”

Figure A shows the interest of the search term ‘influencer marketing’ over the last 5 years. Not only are businesses more aware of the concept, but they are actually making use of this method of advertising in order to promote their sales.

In 2018, a total of $1.6bn was spent on Instagram posts alone. The industry is expected to be worth $22bn dollars over the next 5 years, and 89% of marketers consider influencer marketing as very important to their marketing strategy. These are just some of the impressive statistics that are available out there.

Let us take a look at some examples of brands collaborating with influencers via Instagram.

These examples demonstrate that influencers are present within several different niches and are accessible through different platforms which this article will discuss. The products being promoted in the above images range from food, to beauty, to fitness and health.

Every business, big or small, have their own ways of selecting influencers to work with. Whilst some do a very good job, others conduct very basic research of influencers which can yield significantly low ROI’s. Suppose you have a business and are faced with working with two influencers of different sized followings. Influencer A has a total of 1 million followers, whereas Influencer B has 50K followers. The decision by first glance may seem to be obvious, but if A has a niche within cars and B has a niche within beauty, the decision (if your business was in the beauty industry) isn’t so obvious anymore. The point is, it is crucial not to base the decision on individual metrics such as likes and followers. Rather, being able to obtain analytics of geography, gender, age range of the followers is important in order to have an overall picture and determining whether collaborating with the influencer at hand will reap the reward the brand may have hoped for. A summary page is available to all influencers across all platforms. Below is an example provided by an influencer on Instagram.

Being able to take a holistic approach to come to a decision will not only serve a good relationship between brands and influencers but also, reap good long-term ROIs.

Why are brands using influencers?

Influencers are trust builders

Creators listen and interact with their followers resulting in communities that look more like friendship as opposed to fanship.

Influencers are easier to find and connect with

Brands can set filters based on their preferences on gender, location, social media platform and in turn find the relevant creator.

Influencers are revenue generators

Glossybox struggled to break through the beauty industry as it’s crowded. They then used revfluence and worked with influencers who generated 150K views and as a result, recurring monthly sales of $3000.

However, despite all the benefits influencers can bring to brands, there are some considerations to be taken – as things don’t always go as planned. A whopping 37% of female consumers have unfollowed an influencer because they posted too much sponsored content. Due to Instagram’s new rules, creators are obliged to make it clear that any post with benefits (not just financial) must be labelled as sponsored content.

Moreover, there have been examples of controversial influencers in the past. Belle Gibson, 27, who had over hundreds of thousands of followers wrote a book and released an app based on how she cured her cancer through diet. Upon investigation, she had admitted to have fabricated her cancer story. Yovana Mendoza, 29, built a whole brand on the foundation of veganism only to then be caught eating fish. She refused to take the blame and claimed that her doctor had enforced the change of diet – these are just some examples that exist.

Overall, there are many things to consider when working with influencers in order to ensure a successful campaign. It is important to work with individuals who are known within the niche the brand is trying to operate in and that the decision to work with a given influencer is not solely based on individual metrics. Ultimately, the decision is always going to be a gamble, and conducting good research will only reduce the risk of working with controversial partners.

The Brightblue team have decades of experience helping clients understand media efficiency by truly digging into the drivers of sales and revenue. We have experience across automotive, retail, travel, entertainment, telecoms, FMCG, white goods, financial services, health and many other sectors. Our unique way of modelling the entire client journey truly helps marketeers understand what they can do to shine in their organisation by driving business and making a real difference to their bottom line. Get in touch if you have any questions on this article or any of the ways Brightblue can help.

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