With Social Media Influencer (SMI) marketing set to become a $10 billion industry by 2020, the rise of the SMI marketing cannot be ignored. It’s no surprise then that the CIPR NI chose the impact of social media influencers as the most recent topic in its latest showcase series which we were delighted to present at.
For me, nothing exemplifies the power of the influencer more than the ill-fated Fyre Festival – arguably, the most effective co-ordinated SMI campaign in history. It didn’t matter that the festival itself was an unmitigated disaster from the get-go – with the help of 400 ‘Fyre Starters’ (including celebrities and SMIs) simultaneously posting a single orange tile on their Instagram grid, the festival sold out 95% of its tickets in 48 hours.
Love them or loathe them… SMIs are here to stay as businesses increasingly adopt a collaborative approach to influencer marketing as part of a wider marketing strategy. This however, is not without its challenges. From forging an authentic and credible partnership to measuring the outcome of the campaign, businesses need to weigh up both the opportunities and weaknesses
According to the Influencer Marketing Hub Research, 76% of marketeers say that their biggest challenge in 2018 was determining the Return On Investment (ROI) for their SMI campaign
Having worked across a wide variety of successful SMI orientated campaigns – from Fivemiletown Cheese to George at Asda – there are commonalities in the success of each collaboration. An effective, measurable partnership can only come from careful strategic planning, and setting clear KPIs that align to overall business objectives is the first step.
Whether you want to increase engagement, sales, brand visibility, content creation or all the above, by laying out your intentions, you make it much easier to measure the perceived success after the likes have stopped rolling in!
Presenting at the recent CIPRNI ‘Measuring the Impact of a Social Media #Influencer’ event, here are my key goals to bear in mind when establishing a partnership and KPIs:
Goal One: Engagement – To generate engagement, authenticity is key. The desire is to create a SMI collaboration that is credible so recommendations from an influencer appear like genuine tips from a friend. We’ve all witnessed partnerships between influencer and brand that jars, this has the potential to damage both parties, so it’s important to find the right person who has a similar target demographic. Remember: do not get lost in likes – with engagement it is always quality over quantity!
Goal Two: Sales – Sales can be difficult to measure when the SMI collaboration sits alongside a sustained marketing drive. Affiliate links, promo codes and Google Analytics can help better track the sales stats from a campaign.
Goal Three: Brand Visibility – For growth orientated campaigns, ROI is the number of new potential customers who became aware of your brand through SMI collaboration. This also provides an opportunity to gather valuable information on brand sentiment, not just who is talking about your brand, but more importantly what they are saying.
Goal Four: Content Creation – Ultimately the key to strong engagement is quality content. SMIs are natural content creators and curators so this provides a powerful ROI due to the savings on in-house content creation.
By adopting a goal orientated approach and cultivating a collaboration with the right SMI partner, you have all the ingredients to create a successful and sustainable campaign that will have you Influencing with Ease!
Thanks also to Morrow’s team member and CIPR NI Committee member Olivia McAleenan for coordinating the ‘Measuring the Impact of a Social Media #Influencer’ event.
By Fiona Anderson, Senior Communications Executive