Let’s face it…the impact of traditional digital advertising is dying.
Display ads aren’t producing value like they used to, ad blockers are rendering them ineffective, and consumers despise them. In fact, across all ad formats and placements, ad click through rates are only 0.06%, which is less than 1 click per 1000 impressions. Simply put, the performance of pushed advertising is shifting to discoverable social native advertising. Consumers want to explore and find content or products they desire on their own, which means that marketers need to rethink how their ads are discovered online. But display advertising has amazing perks like being able to programmatically serve them, optimize on performance, retarget consumers, control and scale budgets, and predict performance. When comparing influencer marketing to traditional display media, marketers seem to think that the same effectiveness and efficiencies of banner advertising aren’t available through influencer marketing–which is not true. With advancements in technology, influencer marketing has become a large scale media buying platform with the same control, scalability and predictability of traditional display.
Although it may seem that influencer marketing’s success is at its peak with all the hype surrounding it, the market is quickly and quietly evolving into a very sophisticated landscape. Influencer marketers are becoming more intelligent, and the industry will narrow to a handful of vendors building for future needs–current ones. Marketers want the quantitative perks of display advertising with the same impact that has made influencer marketing so successful. However, it’s through marrying both tech and human intelligence that enables brands to get the most value out of influencer marketing campaigns because it will drive creatively powerful and analytically sound content. Manually managing an influencer campaign is tedious and vulnerable to human error, and using tech alone lacks the ability to predict and engage with viral human trends. We’re letting you in on the secrets to running the best influencer campaigns through our human-tech hybrid tools and methodology.
Adopt The Right Tech To Identify Your Audience.
Here’s how not to do it—cast a huge, general influencer net, cross your fingers, and hope you catch some viewers. Instead, do thorough research and utilize demographics tools to understand your audience in depth, and ask questions like:
- Am I targeting men or women?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
- What platform is most popular among my audience?
- What other related brands do they like?
There are a myriad of other questions you could ask to get really specific, but the above are a great start. However, don’t be too specific—you might risk limiting yourself to a tiny, ultra-niche audience that doesn’t convert into stellar engagements. These three attributes—gender, age, and interests—are your fundamental go-tos because they make up an audience demo that is broad enough for finding a sizable audience but still defined enough to drive good engagement.
Ease Up On Your Influencer Selection.
Here’s a little secret to running a successful influencer strategy—focus more on your targeted audience and less on the influencer’s personal look and feel. Although we understand that both are important, you might actually sacrifice a significant amount of campaign performance by selecting influencers solely based on perception of influencers and appearance. To prove our point, we conducted an in-depth study called Perception vs. Reality which showcases how brands who overthink and over control their influencer selection can sacrifice up to 300% of their potential campaign performance.
Sometimes our human, subjective opinions and judgments will outweigh what the data is telling us. Persona.iD influencer discovery technology helps you identify highly compatible influencer “types” by aggregating over 6,000 data points per influencer—including demographic, contextual, and psychographic data—so you can strategically select from a pool of criteria-fitting influencers.
From Micro To Macro, All Influencers Are Valuable.
Many advertisers are enticed by huge follower numbers, “like” counts, or name recognition. We totally get it—it would seem that larger influencers have the most value, but more often than not, it’s the opposite. Determining whether to work with celebrities, social celebrities, mid-tier influencers, or advocates is only the first step in properly choosing the right type of influencer for a campaign. Once an influencer type is chosen, it is then up to the marketer to determine where each influencer fits on The Scale of Influence.
As you’ll notice on The Scale of Influence diagram below, there is a spectrum of influence between Celebrities and Advocates. On one side of the spectrum, Celebrities will complement campaigns with high reach and admiration but sacrifice engagement due to low trust, acceptance, and efficiency. On the other side, Advocates grant marketers the exact opposite with high trust, acceptance, and efficiency but have low reach and admiration. Social Celebrities and Mid-Tier influencers fall right in the middle, but their influence can scale depending on their content’s strengths and weaknesses.
Finding the right balance of utilizing all influencer types and understanding how they contribute to your campaign goals is the key to deploying a successful Influencer Marketing campaign.
Control Your Message.
Nothing ruins a campaign faster than when a post is riddled with typos, showcasing the incorrect image, or missing disclosure. We’re all human, and if your campaign is complex or a logistical nightmare, the human eye can sometimes accidentally overlook important details (it happens to the best of us). Human-tech hybrid tools like SafeMessage are helpful assets that ensure your brand messaging is correct and FTC-compliant. The gritty details like required copy, FTC disclosures, negative surveillance (like competitor mentions, profanity, off-brand messaging, etc.) are handled in our platform while a dedicated staff also oversees the process to make sure your content is airtight. It’s best to leave nothing to chance and execute your campaign in a controlled environment.
Measure Your Data To Improve.
Always track and report everything. If your current tech can’t show you benchmarks, performance metrics, CTR, CPC, KPIs, and historical data…you should probably switch it. Gathering current campaign performance is important, but aggregating these historical insights in a cumulative databank will help create an even more polished, accurate, and successful campaign in the future. Speakr’s prediction tool allows you to forecast, measure, and compare detailed campaign performance data like participation rates, predicted engagements, and campaign cost. Using tools like this will allow you to take the gambling out of campaign production, flip data on its head, and give you ease of mind for fail safe campaign planning.
Be Flexible With Creative.
Even if data is telling you that you have a star influencer with incredible performance, those engagements can suffer if the influencer isn’t able to apply his/her own authenticity to his/her content. Let’s face it, no one wants to be pitched a product. Consumers want to feel like they’re witnessing the influencer’s personal discovery of your brand. Remember, influencers have pre-built loyal followings with consistent engagements because of their authentic content that their followers love. This loyalty and trust is so strong that consumers trust influencers almost as much as their friends: 49% of those surveyed said they rely on recommendations from influencers. If influencers’ content suddenly veers from their authenticity, their engagements will suffer. Therefore you should always let influencers be themselves—you’ll be surprised at how creatively they can promote your brand.
As marketers, we understand the pressure to stay ahead of the technology curve to deliver successful campaigns. Don’t just jump into the influencer marketing conversation because it’s hot—the industry is changing so rapidly that marketers need to think much more granularly to sustain a dominant hand in the marketplace. By blending the best of technology and human intelligence into your marketing strategy, you can utilize insightful data to produce killer content.
To sum things up, here’s a cheat sheet on how to get the most value from your influencer marketing campaigns:
Now go out there and create something great.