If there's one thing I can promise you, it's this: Influencer marketing is not for everyone. Will it work for you? The answer is: It depends.
If you are new to influencer marketing, chances are you're running your campaigns blind without any real idea of what gets you the results. Perhaps you're a more seasoned marketer and have run several campaigns with influencers already. But, the sheer number of variables involved can make it tricky to determine whether your results were due to a well executed marketing campaign, or whether you were merely a victim of chance who has been "fooled by randomness".
As co-founder of a leading marketing platform, and having now run over 500 branded campaigns with social media influencers, I've learnt over time what works and what doesn't. I've turned down clients who I know would be wasting their money, whilst helping other mobile apps become a #1 trend on iTunes. In this post, I'll give you three key metrics to consider to make sure your money is money well spent.
1 Niche Audience - is there a sufficient niche of your audience available to make it profitable?
Some of the most profitable campaigns I've seen have exercised this one trait: The existence of a niche audience.
A niche audience is essentially "A highly specialized but profitable corner of the market". For example, consider these two companies who are preparing to launch a fashion app.
Company A decide to make a general fashion app that adheres to everyone's style.
Company B decide to make a young and urban fashion app specifically targeted at female teens who live in the UK. (i.e. a niche market).
The consumers of company B's niche market are more likely to become brand advocates because they feel more connected to the product and realize that it was made for them. The trick is to find and collaborate with those influencers who's niche audience overlaps with your product's niche market. These viewers already love and trust the influencers they watch, and so communicating your brand to them appears more authentic and thus returns better results.
2 Storytelling - Can you craft a compelling story which authentically fits into the narrative of an influencers life?
Storytelling is at the heart of any engaging conversation. With social influencers, this is even more apparent. The most important part of brand storytelling with influencers is finding the right people to spread your message in the right ways. The best way to discover which influencers can move the needle for your brand is to follow your customers' path to purchase. Subject to budget and availability, there are three things to consider when deciding whether an influencer will fit into your brand's story:
Understand your customers and define your user profiles - by understanding who you want to influence, you can determine who is truly influential to your customers.
Map the customer journey and identify key influencer touch-points - by knowing what causes your customers to turn to these influencers for advice, you can create a strong emotional bond between your customers and your product.
Derive topics for each touch-point and find influencers by topic - By determining the best topics, you can look for influencers leading conversations in each topic to maximize influence.
By figuring out which influencers are the most relevant to your brand's target audience, you can create a stronger narrative which will make your product feel more relevant to your prospecting customers.
3 Messaging - Can you deliver your message in a way which inspires your viewers to make a purchasing decision?
The final step is choosing the right messaging to maximize your conversion rates and thus make your campaign profitable. Inexperienced marketers often make a mistake here by putting all their eggs in one basket and launching a massive "viral marketing" campaign.
Rather than diving straight into launching your campaign idea, try A/B testing different messaging with the initial 10% of your budget, and scaling up what works. This initial investment can save you from squandering cash on ineffective campaign ideas.
For example, consider a scenario when you have £10K to spend on your influencer marketing campaign. You may set aside the first £1,000 to run 4 small controlled test campaigns as such:
|Test Campaign||Budget||New Users||CPA||Message Style|
|A||£250||250||£1.00||Shoutout at start of video|
|B||£250||150||£1.67||Shoutout at end of video|
Having now identified that a Snapchat Giveaway has brought in the most users on a small scale, you can scale this up and make it the focal approach with the remaining £9K spend.
In this example, taking this approach will lead to ~15,000 new users, whilst prematurely jumping to a full scale campaign through methods A-->C would result in only 6,000 - 10,000 new users. In other words, you can increase your reach by almost 200% by first A/B testing your messaging on a small scale first.
Revisiting our original question "Will influencer marketing work for my brand?" - It depends. However, I hope that after reading this post, you understand that much of the results are in your control. Provided you can identify a niche audience amongst the available social influencers, it is worth considering influencer marketing. Getting the correct messaging and brand story telling is a process that can be learnt, one campaign at a time.
At Fanbytes , we've taken insights from hundreds of marketing campaigns to create a process that works. We specialize in helping brands to engage with a 13-25 year old audience through Snapchat and YouTube and believe that by optimizing your campaigns, your returns can be unlimited.
Find out more at Fanbytes.
Follow @Ambrose_Cooke on Twitter
Subscribe to Fanbytes Blog
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox