Social media influencer Y posts an image or video of the latest product by brand X, an avalanche of product sales ensue – a win-win for both brand and influencer, and a big win for influencer marketing.
If that worked, we would be the highest-valued tech company in the world. We would have unlocked the secret for businesses to boost their dollar.
If only it were that easy!
For marketers scratching their head, wondering what all this hype about influencer marketing is, or marketers who have written off influencer marketing as a failure, this article’s for you.
For marketers who are running influencer marketing campaigns, we hope this piece provides you with new ideas that you can implement into your future marketing plans.
Influencer marketing, although effective, should definitely not be carried out in silo.
When was the last time you believed what your friend said, and purchased a product without knowing more details? There were no other details online as well!
If you run your influencer marketing campaign in silo, this is exactly what will happen – the logical mind will immediately raise red flags.
Don’t get us wrong, influencer marketing is an effective marketing tactic (that’s why we have CastingAsia). Used the right way, influencer marketing can reap benefits to marketers.
Just how big is the influencer marketing industry? A recent report by Business Insider Intelligence projected that influencer marketing spend will rise up to US$15 billion in the year 2022 (Side note: we’re almost into 2020 – Oh how time flies!).
Projections are rosy – we’ll still have an influencer marketing industry at least for the next three years, and it will be thriving!
Wow, that was a mouthful.
Looking at the state of influencer marketing right now, we know that it is a tool that can generate awareness and buzz about products/services/causes, but just how can marketers further leverage the power of influencer marketing?
A continuous storyline
The whole premise of using popular personalities on social media to advocate products/services/causes gave rise to influencer marketing as we know it today. Looking a bit further back, brands paid high-profile personalities like celebrities to endorse their products, aligning brand-fit with personality-fit.
A social media influencer is not too different – some social media personalities have huge followings and are easily recognizable by their followings.
Extend your macro-influencer campaigns by featuring your influencer on other marketing activities, including brand endorsements, advertising creatives, event appearances and more. Build multiple brand touchpoints around your influencer marketing campaigns. From awareness on social media (through influencer marketing), ensure the post has a link or tag to a landing page that contains more details. Layer this with advertising on social media, or leverage on micro-influencers to drive conversations at the grassroots level.
As a brand, you can also keep track of influencer post activity (including comments), and engage with an influencer’s followings directly. Alternatively, you can also ensure influencers are fully briefed of the details, effectively building a hoard of spokespeople for your brand.
Remember: the objective is not how many likes or shares you get on the post. The objective should be the traffic to your landing page from influencer marketing or sales conversions.
Influencer marketing to better target advertising strategy
We all have pre-defined advertising audience segments built out – our go-to audiences that have been tested to respond better to certain advertising activities.
However, if you’re already tracking traffic or sales conversions from influencer marketing, there might be new audience segments that may appear. With the availability of influencer marketing platforms and data available to marketers today, marketers can also better understand audience segments or followers of an influencer, and build lookalike audiences for ad targeting.
Additionally, influencer marketing presents a unique opportunity for marketers – to test certain messages on live and large audience segments. If an influencer campaign does not work out, or an influencer (or their followers) does not resound with a certain message, the opportunity is there to revise or fine-tune the message.
Influencer posts also provide another opportunity for marketers to understand which creative concept, copy and tones resound best with the audience. This extends to image posts and video content as well – and you’ll be able to build out more informed creatives that have been proven effective to the audience.
Building the right buzz across channels
Previously we dived into advertising as an extension of influencer marketing, and now we’ll look at the opposite – influencer marketing as a means to extend advertising campaigns.
The power of influence is magical and when taken in the context of marketing, means convincing audiences to try out a product or service, align with a cause, or affect and shape a movement.
A properly aligned, briefed and prepared group of influencers can generate appropriate buzz be it on social media platforms, forums, or channels where your advertising is being shown (think private marketplace deals).
When running an advertising campaign across certain media platforms and sites, layering influencer advocacy to audiences with similar interests or lookalike audiences can potentially reap benefits.
Picture this – an online advertising campaign surrounding a product launch can generate awareness (and some sales conversions) – but if you add influencers into the mix, they can give subtle hints of the launch or test the product for their followers. Alternatively, you can lead with the advertising campaign, and find influencers whose followers are similar to those you targeted during the campaign – and this is where influencer data comes in handy, by understanding an influencer and their followers’ interests, causes and beliefs, and how their followers have reacted in the past to that influencer.
Right now, we have access to influencer and follower data, campaign analytics and tracking, and unique ways a business or brand can engage or activate their customer base (through influencer marketing). However, we’ve just only scratched the surface of what we can do with influencer marketing, and we will see further and more diverse implementations of influencers into the marketing mix.
To find out more on how influencer marketing can be combined with advertising, how influencer marketing can work for your business, or check out the offerings of CastingAsia and AdAsia, reach out to us.