For many influencers, reaching out to brands is a daunting task. And I absolutely get that getting rejected is not fun! But if you are spending time and energy creating high quality and engaging content that resonates with your audience, why not leverage that to bring in some revenue?
The first step in securing paid collaborations is to showcase your value to brands. Influencer marketing has grown substantially over the last few years; over 60% of brands – especially those targeted towards millennials – have adopted some form of the modern advertising method. Also, according to Smart Insights, 84% of marketers planned to launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months. Companies that have yet to integrate it into their marketing strategy are lagging behind.
It’s important to note that influencer marketing is radically different from other, more traditional forms of digital advertising. Unlike that of banner or pre-roll ads, the performance of influencer-generated content can be difficult to measure, especially if parts of the campaign live on social media platforms. However, sponsored blog posts alone have been proven to yield up to 11x more ROI than standard banner ads; the success of a well implemented social media campaign is undeniable. This is because they can be targeted to relevant demographics based on the influencer’s audience, for a fraction of the cost.
How do then we determine the value of influencer marketing? Here are several ways – both tangible and intangible – to measure a campaign:
Views, Impressions and Reach: Analytics tools like Google Analytics can be installed on websites to measure the performance of posts. Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, offer in-app data insights for businesses. As a brand, you can request this information from bloggers, or track how traffic is being driven on your end.
Engagement: An audience’s responsiveness to a campaign is easy to calculate through likes and reposts. Reading comments is also a great way to gauge how people feel about a product or service. Hootsuite’s Beginners’ Guide to Social Media Metrics includes a portion dedicated to engagement.
Conversion: Implementing a tracking pixel or URL (for an influencer to use during the duration of the campaign) is a rewarding way to collect insights. This can reveal details about the actions of an influencer’s audience, like where they’re being directed from, if they’ve been converted to customers, and more.
Trust and Authenticity: The reason influencer marketing works so well is because it’s less contrived than traditional marketing methods. Though by law influencers must disclose that they’re being sponsored, 92% of consumers still trust a real person’s recommendations over a company’s. If a campaign is executed well (whereas it utilizes the most relevant influencers), the resulting numbers should be made up of exactly who the brand targets: an engaged audience and loyal, committed customers over time.
Organic Conversation: Real-life buzz sparks when online influencers mention a brand; those who engaged with an influencer’s posts will remember a brand and spread it via word-of-mouth.
Creative Content: When brands invest in influencer marketing, they’re not only gaining likes, comments, follows, traffic, and sales — they’re receiving quality creative content that can be tied to their name. Beautiful visuals and honest testimonials of a brand’s products or services are great pieces for sharing and simply existing online.
Residual Marketing Effects: Although influencer posts tend to perform best closest to the publishing time, unlike temporary ads the content continues to live online long after the campaign is complete. Especially if the posts are SEO-rich, they’ll be evergreen on search engines. Moreover, an influencer may continue to use and recommend your products or services if they truly enjoy it!