Navigating the digital marketing world can be difficult with all of the constant user experience changes across platforms. Social media channels like Facebook have updated their algorithms to all but eliminate organic posts from businesses, and many internet browsers like Chrome contain effective ad blockers that prevent a variety of ad formats from appearing. It can be difficult to get a brand in front of its desired target audience, but influencer marketing serves as a potential solution here.
Forbes defines influencer marketing as, “A relationship between a brand and an influencer. The influencer promotes the brand’s products or services through various media outlets such as Instagram and YouTube.” This differs from a celebrity endorsement in that influencers tend to skew toward a particular audience or interest, and usually don’t have as large of a following as celebrities.
The practice of influencer marketing is where brands and influencers reach an agreement to partner on a piece of content. This content can take multiple forms such as a post on Instagram, or a video on YouTube. The influencer will agree to post this content through one of their channels because the brand aligns with the influencer’s beliefs and/or values. The influencer will sometimes receive some sort of compensation in return, and the brand finds access to its desired target audience. However, how does the brand know if this partnership has been successful?
As with most marketing efforts, measurement is critical, and influencer marketing is no different. Digital Marketing agency Elite SEMmakes a great point when noting that it is important to determine a goal before even beginning to look for an influencer to partner with. Influencers are helpful to achieve three different types of marketing goals.
Each of these different goals align with different parts of the buyer funnel. If an influencer has a broad audience that varies in interests, creating brand awareness by maximizing reach would be a great way to use this particular influencer. On the other hand, if an influencer has a smaller following, but that following is highly engaged and closely aligned with the influencer’s values, then marketers make look to leverage this influencer for conversions over reach or engagement.
It is important to research the brand of each influencer, before deciding which influencer to partner with. Preliminary research such as follower counts, views, likes, engagements, etc., should always be done when looking into influencer marketing. Once the best influencer is found for a company’s specific goal, it is a simple process to select the appropriate KPIs and determine a measurement strategy. Once this is completed, companies can use learnings from each influencer partnership and optimize future partnerships and campaigns accordingly.