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Knocking Down Influencer Marketing ROI Woes

Dollar mark on a flower pot

Influencer marketing has become a keyword in marketing circles. It is now impossible to think of digital marketing without influencers in mind. Whether you’re after sales or brand awareness, working with influencers is already an essential initiative.

For many clients, influencer marketing sounds like a new thing, but it’s actually very old, possibly even one of the oldest marketing tactics next to word-of-mouth marketing. Both share similar attributes. Both involve consumers telling other consumers about a brand. The only difference is the former involves a tiny group of people. The latter involves a large network. So if you’re a business owner and you’re looking to influence people to buy your products or procure your services, you would want the help of influencers.

So much has been said about influencer marketing that it has become too complicated even for seasoned marketers. But it’s actually pretty simple. You look for people with authority in their niches. You befriend them so that they become your allies. And you become partners who collaborate on projects that help promote your brand.

Supposing you’re launching a wedding photography business, you would want bloggers to talk about you. You also would want professional wedding organizers to recommend you on their social media channels.

If you’re a fashion stylist, you would want a fashion blogger to feature your style on their Instagram account. You probably want a popular model to wear your style, thereby influencing their followers to look you up.

Influencer marketing statistics shows a growing number of marketers and brands looking to influencer marketing as an essential slice of their marketing plan. Many companies have redirected more funds into marketing with social media partners. They do so not out of popularity alone but also out of effectiveness as data shows. Influencers drive more conversion. Meaning, if an influencer shares your post or talks about you, you’re more likely to see an increase in sales. Moreover, influencers stimulate brand loyalty.

Challenges in Determining Influencer Marketing Effectiveness

We have seen a problem that is arising related to influencer marketing. Japan and US marketers that work with influencers and brand ambassadors lament the seeming lack of measurable results. They say it’s hard to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy. However, we believe it’s not the strategy that is the problem when it comes to evaluation of effectiveness. The problem is how marketers evaluate.

It’s possible to bring influencer and marketers together within a system wherein it is possible to monitor the influence of each influencer, measure their reach and engagement, and find out where referral traffic comes from. This system also allows you to find out who among your influencers brings the most conversion. This way, you can determine the most prolific influencer and you can redirect your resources to that person, thereby maximizing your gains.

Cost and Value Comparison

Discrepancies in the cost of influencer marketing is a real issue. Many brands complain that they have been overpaying influencers and getting little results. On the other hand, influencers complain brands are shortchanging and exploiting them. An influencer with only 10K followers may expect to be treated the same way as a celebrity with a million followers. This problem intimidates so many brands that then become reluctant to even invest money in bloggers or Instagram “celebrities.”

Real Influence vs Apparent Influence

Influence has also become a controversial topic, not only in politics but also in business. Many companies have made a mistake of entrusting their brands on people with seemingly large following size only to find out their money isn’t going anywhere. When they dig a little deeper, they find out these faux influencers rely on fake followers and bots. Thus, while they are able to create a good buzz online, the buzz fails to translate into real world sales.

This issue can be better addressed during influencer targeting, wherein you have to look past the numbers. After all, you don’t want to work with a social media savvy bloke whose false engagement is attributed to accounts of users who don’t exist in real life.

Views vs Sales

Who doesn’t want more Facebook and Instagram followers? Who doesn’t want more likes and shares? When we start business pages online, we want people to come in and like our stuff. We want them to comment on our updates and share them with their friends. These activities make us think our social media strategies are working. Likes mean we’re relevant. But until we see sales going up, these numbers mean nothing.

Influencer marketing statistics generally gives us hopes of increased brand awareness online. But we’re more interested in conversion. What’s the point in making people aware you exist without them coming to your stores and actually buying your stuff? Then again, good influence doesn’t end only in sending more followers to your pages. True influence results in real action. If you’re not seeing ROI, it’s most likely a failure in one of the steps in influencer marketing, not a failure of influencer marketing altogether.

When businesses don’t know how to measure ROI

That influencer marketing doesn’t work is a controversial assumption that even marketers claim, considering the wealth of research that shows the opposite. We’ve written so many articles about influencer marketing stats and data. We’ve shown on several occasions that marketing with influencers brings in revenue. It’s possible to earn $20 for every dollar spent on influencers.

Much of digital marketing involves targeted campaigns. When properly implemented, any of these measures work. But if you don’t know how to implement them properly, that’s when the problem arises. Worse, when you don’t know how to measure ROI, you’re going to lose a lot money, because you’re essentially directing funds into a dark vacuum.

Best Influencer Marketing Tactics for ROI

  1. Work with the right people.

We keep emphasizing this. Ending up with the right influencers is a product of smart influencer targeting. But many clients fail this early. Several sources of failure are lack of understanding of your niche, misidentification of your audience, and looking at numbers that don’t matter.

  1. Track analytics.

If you’re not using tools to monitor the health of your pages and online campaigns, you’re in for trouble. Social media platforms offer businesses a means to track engagement and following demographics. You’re supposed to use that data intelligently.

  1. Be patient.

It takes a while for social media, content, and influencer marketing to produce results. If you’re in a hurry, pay an advertiser. Done properly, influencer marketing campaigns have a lasting effect.

  1. Compensate your influencers.

If you want to put them on your payroll, that’s okay. But there are tons of ways to reward them. You can feature them. You can give them free services. You can entitle them to discounts and freebies.