Debunking influencer marketing myths
Influencer marketing has been a popular technique for gaining eyeballs on campaigns. But Natalie Carson, senior account manager at Coegi, questions whether it has passed its sell-by date.
Coegi on the role of influencer marketing today / George Pagan via Unsplash
Influencer marketing – a nice-to-have tactic to boost brand recognition and favorability, but not impact your bottom line. Right?
Marketers have a lot of preconceived notions and biases surrounding influencer marketing. If this is you, it’s time to change your mindset.
The future of influencer marketing supports full-funnel results and should be held with the same accountability as any other media tactic. You can activate an influencer strategy that moves the needle for your brand, no matter the industry. In order to do so, we need to first debunk the top three myths preventing brands from capitalizing on the true ROI of influencer marketing.
Myth #1: Influencer is an awareness-only tactic
Many brands equate influencer posts to an organic-only, brand-building play. Think again. Eight out of 10 consumers have gone on to buy an item after seeing it recommended by an influencer. Not only that, sponsored influencer posts can be activated to drive and track conversions. UTM links, whitelisting and boosting influencer posts through paid social are all tactics that optimize sales and provide measurable results.
Influencer marketing also goes hand-in-hand with e-commerce efforts through integrations with point-of-sale systems such as Shopify. Using affiliate links or discount codes is another way to track actions taken by the creator’s followers while also nurturing that relationship with the content creator themselves.
To achieve lower funnel success, set your goals early on and be clear on how you will measure ROI. Metrics to consider upfront could be the number of sales generated, text message notifications, newsletter opt-ins or website visits. Activating custom links and codes, in addition to setting up key online goals in Google Analytics, will offer much more data than the usual vanity metrics of reach and impressions.
Myth #2: Influencer marketing is unaffordable
Celebrity endorsements sound daunting for smaller brands with lean budgets. However, we need to shake the thinking that you need a massive budget to get a sponsored post. You don’t need to spend $1m for Kim Kardashian. Instead, explore micro-influencers, with 10,000-50,000 followers. These influencers are two times more effective at driving conversions and establishing high-quality trust in your brand among dedicated followers.
Users are becoming more privy to ingenuine advertising, and are trusting creators with more intimate communities that are authentic and relatable. In fact, 90% of consumers view micro-influencers as credible, believable and knowledgeable.
Unlike some types of advertising, influencer marketing is extremely customizable and can typically conform to almost any investment level. The cost of activating an influencer campaign depends on several things: the number of content pieces, the creator’s follower count, average engagement rate, exclusivity and timeline. Advertisers can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$10,000+ per post. Some influencers might even accept payment in the form of free products or services. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to partnering with creators.
Myth #3: Influencer marketing is only for CPG brands
Sure, having a physical, consumable product an influencer can hold up, wear or demonstrate is highly effective. But service-based brands such as Audible, BetterHelp and Robinhood have established strong influencer relationships that have paid dividends.
There’s a niche for everything on the internet, and influencers are no different. Whether it’s professional truck drivers, farmers in the market for seed or businesses on the hunt for a new software system, there is an audience ready to be reached via influencer. In fact, we know that the sales cycle can be longer for B2B purchases, and company buying habits are beginning to mirror personal shopping experiences. This creates an opportunity for businesses to create longer-term partnerships with influencers who have an audience with a common affinity for the business vertical.
Some 67% of marketers stated that influencers helped them reach a more targeted audience. Take the agriculture industry, for example. Brands in this space are leveraging popular farm and ag creators to not only sell or promote a specific product, but also to help educate and inform consumers of brand values and unique offerings. For brands like this, transparent conversation and authentic connection with niche audiences are being achieved through relatable creator content.
With these myths debunked, I believe every brand – regardless of the industry, the budget or the funnel stage – should consider influencer marketing as a viable and effective advertising tactic to drive meaningful results.
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Coegi is an independent digital agency providing services across digital strategy, media buying, paid social, search and influencer campaigns. We bring together people, platforms and tech partners to create custom marketing solutions focused on your business results.Find out more