Influencer marketing is an advertising technique that has revolutionised the promotion of products worldwide.
It has pushed traditional advertising out the window, and replaced it with social media marketing where users can tweet, repost, like, and download products within few seconds.
Influencer marketing involves working with prominent people (key-opinion leaders or KOLs) in a particular market niche to promote products and brands.
Any company that truly wants to advertise its products, has already turned to media influencers, accounting for 86% of marketers in 2017 only. This type of marketing has definitely transformed the way products are advertised and case studies show that it is proven to be more successful than any other digital marketing scheme, with a ROI 11 times higher than any other form of digital advertising.
Of course this is great news for companies using influencer marketing; however, it happens that brands end up spending too much money on macro influencers and losing revenue because of it.
Last year, the health-detox company Bootea hired Scott Disick, former Kourtney Kardashian’s date, to promote its product through his Instagram account. His Instagram post went viral, but not in the way the company had wished. Disick posted the photo with the copied and pasted email from the Bootea marketing team as his Instagram caption – he posted not only the caption the company told him to post, but also the instructions telling him how to post it.
This of course, caused Bootea and Scott himself a backlash. The influencer charges $20,000 per Instagram post, and similar costs for a twitter post. Not only did Bootea waste a huge sum of money and got nothing back in revenue for the brand deal, but the photo showed Scott not having even opened the product.
Theoretically, Disick raised brand awareness, but this was done in a quite dangerous way. He did not showcase the product properly, therefore, none of his followers thought that he had used the product, so why should they bother buying it?
Using media influencers is an effective way to advertise; however, the biggest problem with this type of marketing is finding an influencer who will not only sell your product effectively, but that is worth the money you are spending on him/her.
Companies need to realize that spending more money on influencers is nowhere near correlative to the success of their brand. Investing money in Scott Disick was clearly a mistake for Bootea. Yes, he is a social media star with over 20 million followers on Instagram, but the questions you need to be asking BEFORE you invest thousands into KOL are:
• How many of those followers are genuine followers?
• And how active is the influencer him/herself?
• How many of the followers are inactive (ie. not liking or sharing his posts)?
To begin a successful influencer marketing campaign, you need to ensure that when evaluating potential influencers, the number of followers is a false indication of how much of an impact an influencer can make. Instead, you need to find influencers, specifically MICRO influencers who have passionate followers who will care about the products in your industry simply because they will trust their influencer more.
Shocking right? The marketing world has been seriously brainwashed with the idea that the more reach the influencer has, the more customers their product will get, but this is NOT the case.
It is more cost efficient and more revenue efficient to choose a social media influencer who has a smaller, but more dedicated pool of followers, who will trust them and buy the product they are advertising.
Results depend on how influencers are able to creatively and authentically integrate the brand’s message into their video or post, in a way that works for the brand, themselves and the audience. Spending big budgets for huge media stars does not always work – they do not have an authentic relationship with their followers, therefore, their followers will be least likely to buy the product that they are advertising.
Let’s take the app, “Best Friends” for example. It is a gaming app that hit $100 million in December 2017, only three years after its first launch. Actually, it is not that unattainable, the app invested in micro-influencers, most specifically YouTubers to promote their product.
The company realized that teens and young adults considered YouTubers to be their most influential people, and that fans felt that they could relate on a personal level and connect with their micro-influencers in a way no one could be able to do with an “A-List” celeb.
The “YouTubers” they choose to promote their brands, are always connected to the app in some way or allowed to create their own fun story behind it – in order to have a natural engagement with the influencer, the product and their audience.
Best Friends took the smaller, less expensive tactic to advertise and because of this, their gaming app has skyrocketed higher than any other game in the app industry.
In conclusion, it does not matter what your budget is (big or small), what matters is targeting micro-influencers in order to be more cost-efficient and revenue efficient.
60% higher campaign engagement rates are driven by micro-influencers, meaning that micro-influencers’ campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger number followers.
Furthermore, when choosing media influencers it is essential to have a creative story (or relationship) between the influencer and the product, in order to have more authentic selling and increased buying.
Jacopo Pesavento is Managing Partner at Branding Records, a boutique branding agency with a vision to help SMEs to develop and launch their own unique brands throughout the online and offline world. Jacopo and his team are passionate about delivering strong brand strategy, development, marketing, and social media management. Jacopo is currently pursuing new projects and ventures, spending his time equally between Hong Kong and Shanghai.