The cooperation with influencers is increasingly often present in marketing strategies of brands. The question is, is it just the effect of fashion or the measurable effects of activities conducted with internet opinion leaders? In this article, we analyze the advantages of influencer marketing and advise how to effectively measure the effects of the campaign.
Some companies invest in activities with influencers only because they want to follow current trends. Others aim to stay ahead of their competitors. There are also brands that consciously set goals, analyze whether influencer marketing is appropriate for them, and carefully check which blogger will be the best choice for their campaign. What do all these companies have in common? They expect results and know to what extent their spending has translated into desired results. To answer this question, the brand, the influencer, and the agency must join forces. Why? You will read about that in the following article.
Why brands invest in influencer marketing
The Influencer Marketing Hub research shows that 84% of marketers evaluate actions with influencers as effective. In turn, the Nielsen report shows that marketing campaigns conducted with their participation generate a return of $6.50 for every dollar invested. It is not difficult to find examples showing that influencers not only work well in image activities but generate sales.
Many Influencers in private news get pictures of fans who bought the same product as them. On Instagram, you can even find posts with dedicated hashtags showing shopping inspired by influencers.
Influencer channels, whether we're talking about YouTube, blog, Instagram, Facebook, or even Snapchat or musical.ly, have long been a greedy bite for marketers. Among the main advantages of working with online opinion leaders can be mentioned:
- Trust – the community gathered around the influencer observes it because of his/her knowledge, charisma, and the way it is presented. The creators often deepen their relationship with fans by responding to their messages, comments, or group posts on Facebook. Thanks to this, recipients trust their recommendations more than traditional forms of advertising.
- Authenticity – a product tester is also a consumer. It speaks the customer's language, draws attention to the same features, and thus helps to give the brand a human face by shortening the distance.
- Precise reaching the target group – if we add to the relationship built between the influencer and his fans a specific, narrow topic, which is presented by the creator, we can easily and unobtrusively reach even the niche target group. Where to look for people interested in buying photo accessories, as there is no channel full of photo guides, led by an expert. If our target group are vegetarians, we will certainly find them on the blog with recipes and articles devoted to this topic.
- Influencer – it is not without reason that the name influencer comes from the word influence. These studies show that bloggers, vloggers, and social media creators are one of the first sources from which we seek inspiration and support in making purchasing decisions.
- Multi-channel activities – Influencers are able to realize a variety of activities – from participation in the event, through a blog post to a photo shoot or a movie. They often support their campaigns with a promotion in social media and in a newsletter.
- Relatively low cost of cooperation – precise reaching the target group and the multitude of offered activities make a cooperation with influencers sometimes much more attractive than other forms of promotion. Some bloggers are also interested in cooperation based on an affiliate or barter model.
- Industry knowledge, support – the opinion of an influencer and its knowledge of the subject can shed new light on a brand and its marketing strategy. Example? Products created with the participation of bloggers and vloggers.
- Engagement – the channel that uses the influencer is its online home. That's why (s)he cares about the quality of published content, carefully following the reactions of its recipients. Often the creator gets involved in the discussion in comments, promotes his/her materials on thematic groups, and sometimes even becomes a brand ambassador, advertising them also after the campaign.
- Virality – content created by influencers, especially storytelling content, is very often commented and shared. Other creators are inspired by their network friends and use the same products, which results in additional promotional content.
- Reaching Generation Z – YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, or musical.ly are great places to conduct so-called teen marketing, especially if we engage our favorite teen artists.
6in1 – influencer marketing and other strategies
Influencer marketing opens up a huge number of possibilities for us. It is excellent support for the activities of various departments: marketing, PR, SEO, or social media. Cooperation with Internet opinion leaders perfectly complements standard marketing activities. Example? If we have launched a promotion "2 products for 1" in the online store, an influencer can mention it in its materials. When we carry out the competition, in which family holidays are to be won, the travel blogger will be an excellent intermediary in reaching interested recipients.
Although the greatest potential of influencers is their channels, companies are also willing to engage them in offline actions, conducted in brand media, traditional media, and even through direct contact with customers.
Content marketing and influencer marketing
Bloggers and vloggers are masters in creating expert content. They offer a variety of advice, entertainment content, and shopping inspirations from countless industries. Therefore it seems natural to combine both types of activities within one marketing strategy. An influencer can create content with answers to potential customers' questions and, in a way, integrate brand promotion in a natural way. In addition, it also ensures the distribution of this content in its channels.
Influencer marketing in SEO activities
Cooperation with bloggers, especially those who care about optimizing their websites and visibility in the search engine, can bring additional benefits. Good, frequently visited blogs can be valuable sources of incoming links.
Influencers and storytelling
Building a thrilling story around the brand is a real challenge, especially in difficult industries. Influencers famous for their charisma and creativity can look at the company from a completely different perspective. That's why it's so important to involve the creator in creating a campaign concept, instead of sending him a complete, rigid action plan.
Influencers and Real-Time Marketing
Influencers are also masters of real-time marketing. They are often the first to react to trends, communicate industry news, and create memes and visual materials. Influencers can not only inspire but also become an important part of the brand's RTM.
Cooking workshops with a culinary blogger, shopping with a fashion blogger in a shop of a popular clothing brand, a slide show with the participation of a well-known online traveler, and similar events are becoming increasingly popular. The brands willingly invite internet experts to conduct workshops or simply meet with fans during the event. Another option is to organize a trip, conference, training, or other interesting action dedicated strictly to influencers. Such events not only build relationships on the brand-influencers line but also result in mentions of the company in the creators' channels.
Social media marketing
Most influencers are great social media specialists. Who finally knows best how to engage the community and what content to post? An interesting idea to use the potential of the creators is to engage them in running a brand profile.
The effects can be measured!
In order to answer the question of whether influencer marketing pays off, we need to constantly monitor activities and analyze the results as precisely as possible. The effectiveness of a campaign depends, of course, on many factors – a proper selection of creators, strategy, and use of good cooperation practices. Marketers as one of the biggest challenges point to measuring the effectiveness of influencer marketing. However, there are ways and tools that will facilitate our analysis.
Campaign URL Builder allows us to create URLs with UTM parameters, thanks to which we can check how many hits to our website generated by particular influencers and from which channels the traffic comes.
Google Analytics allows us to check not only how many people came to the site from the influencer command, but also their age, gender, or interests.
Bitly or goo.gl not only shortens the links but also enables traffic analysis. Unfortunately, data from these shortcuts can be easily seen by the competition.
SentiOne and Brand24 help to track the brand's mentions on the Internet, see if the campaign has spread out online, what information about the company has been published by influencers, etc.
Iconosquare allows a detailed analysis of specific accounts on Instagram.
Campaigns with Influencers undoubtedly have great potential, especially if we place them in the overall brand promotion strategy. A number of benefits of cooperation on blogs, YouTube, and social media make influencer marketing successfully replace other forms of advertising, especially in the fashion, beauty, fitness, travel, and entertainment industries.
Recent researches and various case studies of marketing campaigns confirm that this new trend generates excellent results. A thorough analysis of influencer channels, the use of appropriate tools, and the creation of detailed reports will allow every marketer to assess the profitability of their brand's operations, maximizing the results.