Why Influencer Marketing Is More Than A Brand Awareness Channel | Tech News
There’s a common fallacy that exists in the influencer marketing industry that data is for performance marketers and creative is for brand marketers.
At Social Media Week Los Angeles, Angela Seits, Director of Social Media & Influencer Marketing, PMG cleared away some assumptions to focus on the need for performance and brand to work together.
Seits argued the following myths:
Micro influencers are better than macro influencers
Studies show that mid-tier creators, the ‘power-middle’, prove more engaging, trustworthy than both celebs and micro influencers. In fact, different goals require different influencers.
There’s a proprietary method to match you with the right influencer
Seits queried the method and accuracy of results during the matching process, asking ‘how well does an influencer match your brand?’
“When you look at the data points used for matching, it’s not that complicated”, said Seits. The data points usually provided include social value, quantitative and qualitative brand criteria and performance indexing for engagement, saturation and outside movement. The output score is a prediction of how well the influencer will resonate with your target audience.
Influencers guarantee brand safety
Seits said you need to acknowledge that’s it’s a wild card situation once data is released. Risk is unavoidable. Influencers are some of the best content producers in the world, but humans can, and do, make mistakes.
She offered some tips to control such risks:
- Reach – use bots to detect unusual spikes in follower count and engagement
- Compliance – check to see if influencers are using #ad and #sponsored within their content
- Content – consider alignment with your brand values
- Placement – check which channels they areusing
Measurement: True ROI Vs Earned Media Value
Seits advised that some believe influencer marketing works better as a brand awareness channel, so there’s no need to measure it. A second school of thought, however, really says you can absolutely measure ROI.
Seits believes the truth is somewhere in between these two spaces. Her experience is that most rely on vanity metrics, and are happy with this as a standard measurement. Many claim to be measuring ROI but are essentially measuring using an earned media value, which is fine if influencer marketing is only a brand awareness channel.
But, argues Seits, influencer marketing is not just a brand awareness channel… it drives sales, and therefore needs measurement that’s based on more than last click attribution.
Seits also added, that when a customer views influencer marketing activity they are at a discovery stage; they are unlikely to be in a shopping mindset.
If influencer marketing is not influencing sales, you’re not measuring it in the right way.
Influencers as brand advocates
Co-creating content with influencers, treating them as brand advocates and not simply a brand mouthpiece, will strengthen the message authenticity, and value of influencer partnership.
ROI can be improved by going beyond organic reach. Data-driven amplification and paid distribution tactics are required to help move customers through the marketing funnel.
Seits suggested using both custom audiences and retargeting, a method proven to drive more engagement, traffic and brand lift. And of course, ROI.
An integrated model for influencer marketing
If the influencer marketing industry is to grow there is a need to be more sophisticated in measuring campaigns. Performance and brand marketing need to work together, with an integrated marketing model and standardized rigor.
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