More than half of consumers say that content created by influencers is more memorable than brand-produced content. That’s just one reason that marketers are increasingly including influencer strategies in their marketing mix. It’s estimated that 61% of U.S. marketers will have some form of influencer program in place this year and budgets are expected to increase in 2017. Now that so many brands have executed influencer marketing campaigns, we can better understand the approaches that work and how to measure their effectiveness. Here, eight points we consider when planning an influencer engagement.
1. Identifying influencers, still the biggest challenge
75% of marketing professionals named “identifying the right influencers” as the most challenging aspect of influencer marketing. Another 69% said “finding the right engagement tactics” was difficult.
2. Long-term relationships create lasting resultsOver 70% of U.S. marketers agree that ongoing partnerships are the most effective influencer marketing tactic. Take the time to look for content creators who love your brand and connect with them on a one-to-one basis, listen to their feedback, and cultivate their followers—the longer an influencer is recognized for being associated with your brand, the more clout they will hold with consumers.
3. Authenticity is everything
71% of influencers said they keep followers engaged by being honest, raw, and real. Allowing influencers to speak in their voice, rather than imposing strict guidelines, increases engagement and authenticity.
4. Influencers integral for content promotion, creation, and product launches67% of marketers worked with influencers to launch content promotion campaigns, 59% used influencers to create brand content, and 59% engaged influencers to help them launch new products.
5. Consumers trust individual testimonials
49% of marketers agreed that influencer engagement was “very effective” in raising brand awareness and 26% agreed it increased customer loyalty.
6. Engagement rate of U.S. influencer marketing campaigns is highest in BeautyToys & Games is a close second, followed by Food, Retailers & Apparel, Travel, and Health.
7. Original content is a necessity
While it used to be enough for influencers to simply mention brands, as influencer marketing becomes more popular it is also in the best interest of brand marketers to enlist influencers in creating original content.
8. Less about reach, more about relevancy
While identifying the right influencers is critical, marketers agree that top talent and social media superstars are not always the best option. Micro-influencers, with less reach but greater relevance, are getting better results for brands.
Is your brand struggling to identify the right influencers or finding it challenging to manage your campaigns? Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how we can help your brand launch a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Source: eMarketer, Influencer Marketing Roundup, August 2016