May 6, 2020 Tami Nealy

What No One Tells You About Influencer Marketing

Purchase intent is the intersection of Influencer Avenue and Marketing Boulevard.

When it comes to influencer marketing, marketers often think about finding influencers, defining content guidelines and measuring content performance. It is far more than just those three steps. There are many more tactics to consider to execute a successful influencer marketing campaign. 

I recently had a conversation with Michael Creel, FYI’s Director of Marketing, to learn more about the things no one tells you about influencer marketing.

Can you walk us through how a brand can set up a successful influencer marketing campaign using affiliate networks?

Affiliate networks can be most successful when they target micro-influencers in their influencer marketing strategies. Micro-influencers are often niche-focused and are experts in that niche. Micro-influencers have less than 10,000 followers and often have the highest engagement rates. Allowing influencers to use an affiliate link will further help to drive conversions.

At FYI, we’ve seen a lot of affiliate networks have success using the FYI Exchange. This exchange of product for influencer content has proven effective for nearly 50 different brands via affiliates already in 2020. 

Many marketers are familiar with PPC campaigns. How is influencer marketing different from PPC campaigns?

The two marketing strategies could not be more different. There are little-to-no avenues that can compete with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategy in the way of cost. So, comparing these two is a mistake. It is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Influencer marketing is helping brands reach out to more people and is helping small businesses scale by generating increased awareness. Measuring the Return On Investment (ROI) of influencer marketing should be done differently than other marketing methods. ROI should be calculated against the spend for the influencer/content, not in comparison to other marketing strategies. 

While the price for an influencer campaign may be higher, brands are getting much more than just a click. They are getting:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Improved brand perception
  3. Increased traffic and engagement
  4. Diversified content feed

Therefore, the spend on influencers can generate an ROI in multiples compared to PPC. They both play an important role, and have their own place in a brand’s marketing strategy.

What exactly is an attribution model and how does it impact a brand’s influencer marketing campaign? 

An attribution model is basically a scorecard that assigns credit to the various touch-points in the conversion path of a given user, customer or client. It is a necessity to track ROI for a brand’s marketing and/or ad campaigns. But, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution for which attribution model you use.  

Is there a best practice for brands setting up their attribution model for influencer marketing traffic? 

For influencer marketing to receive proper credit, I recommend a Position Based/U-Shape attribution model. This model assigns 40% credit to the first and last touchpoints and distributes the remaining credit evenly. This will allow marketers to ensure credit is effectively given when an influencer is the first touchpoint. 

Which amplification works best for which products? For example, does paid amplification drive more sales for lower price point items (~$5-$20)? Or would you recommend display or banner ads instead? 

This may sound redundant, but with the amount of variables involved, there is no model that is a panacea for price point, or any other variable. It all comes down to ROI. If you have a product that is $20, but your customer needs it every 90 days, then the lifetime value of that customer is drastically higher than a one-time purchase of a product three times that price point. 

Therefore, the bottom-of-funnel campaigns (loyalty, advocacy) should be emphasized just as much as top-of-funnel content and ads. This is if you have a good product, of course. 🙂

Exactly how important are Google Analytics for influencer marketing and does FYI provide Google Analytic evaluations? 

Google Analytics (GA) aren’t only important for influencer marketing, they are essential. Without question, a brand must set up their GA, analyze behavior paths and assign conversion goals should they ever want to prove ROI.

GA is also important in successful influencer marketing campaigns to provide insight into referral traffic. This ensures a greater level of visibility to performance throughout a campaign.

If I’m a brand rep for a new-to-market product, how would you recommend setting up paid amplification since we wouldn’t have extensive ad testing knowledge yet?

Depending on the type of product or service, there will be different ad models that will impact the revenue a brand can generate. Typically, brands would want to attack the ads the same way they would a normal campaign; awareness, consideration, conversion.

How does influencer marketing impact purchase intent? 

Purchase intent is the intersection of Influencer Avenue and Marketing Boulevard. Specifically, social proof; the modern day “word-of-mouth” marketing. 

I believe influencer marketing is the core of social proof online today. It takes billions of data points to measure a buyer’s intent. From what they look at first thing in the morning, to every site in-between, to purchase and every action taken.

What are the best practices for brands to keep in mind when they begin setting up their influencer marketing campaign? 

A best practice to always keep in mind is the value of an influencer. These creators have their own brand awareness and social proof. They have a built-in audience that trusts them. 

Depending on intent and budget, working with influencers can be most effective when the brand has a paid social amplification plan in place. Consider an influencer campaign with 100 mid-tier and micro-influencers averaging 200,000 followers: 20 million possible impressions. The potential isn’t quite as bright when considering true, organic reach. After taking into account duplicate followers, bots, people outside of the target audience or geography, and actual organic reach (15%-30%), the brand will likely make about 1.4 million meaningful impressions.

Thank you for your time and insights, Michael. 

The key to successful influencer marketing campaigns is to look beyond the first layer. Including additional layers like ensuring Google Analytics and attribution models are in place will help to effectively report ROI. Engage micro-influencers via affiliate networks can lead to higher engagement rates. Rely on influencer marketing to help drive purchase intent.

Let us know in the comments below how any of these insights have helped to create successful influencer marketing campaign.



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