Influencer marketing has been a social media marketing tactic for a while now, and still many marketers say finding the right influencer is a challenge, as is connecting influencer campaigns to business metrics. This is starting to change, thanks in part to the maturation of influencer marketing and its adoption on a larger scale.
According to Tapinfluence co-founder and chief product officer Rustin Banks, the scale is driving the next evolution of influencer marketing wherein campaigns are connected all the way to sales. Now, influencer campaigns can use the same kind of methodologies used to measure the effectiveness of television and display advertising.
In the early days of influencer marketing and, largely, social media, reach, impressions and engagement were the primary metrics for success. These media metrics evolved to earned media models, wherein companies knew what a view was worth on a social network versus another form of advertising.
With the current evolution, companies like Tapinfluence are providing brands with tools and data to connect campaigns. Banks noted that the real connection is made when the data from studies, e-commerce attribution and even mix market modeling is measured over a long period of time:
What we found in our study is that the long-tail effect is pretty impressive. For instance, the number of people who read the (blog) post doubled in the three months after the campaign without any additional paid promotion. And you can’t just measure that ROI at a moment in time: You need a system or software that can measure that three months out, six months or even a year out.
In this way, there is almost always what Banks referred to as a “lag effect” when it comes to marketing in general. However, with influencer marketing, in addition to the lag, there are also fresh brand impressions; people continue to discover content and are influenced to go shopping.
That doesn’t happen in the TV or display space. You don’t get those brand new impressions when you’re done paying for them.
He offered these tips for brands looking to prove the ROI of their influencer campaigns:
- Choose influencers based on performance, not reach or rate. Banks says that if you only use reach and rate, you have a 50 percent chance of either getting it right or overpaying.
- Look at influencers’ audiences. It’s a myth in influencer marketing that the audience looks like the influencer. It’s not enough to select influencers based on what they talk about. Banks said Tapinfluence has been able to build more accurate audiences by indexing keywords readers use as well.
- Encourage influencers to create evergreen content. Banks recommended having influencers create content that will get Pinned, show up in Google searches, have a long-tail effect, and generate essentially “free impressions.”
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