Influencer marketing: a powerful force to be reckoned with
As social media channels attract millions of users on a daily basis, more and more brands are moving away from traditional advertising to achieve higher levels of engagement with today’s audiences, and influencer marketing is now one of the best ways to generate word of mouth and build trustworthiness and loyalty.
According to a McKinsey Study, influencer marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and a 37% higher customer retention rate.
In the past, brands have mainly focused on celebrity-sized bloggers, but today there is a new wave of everyday consumers who generate content that can have just as big an impact.
One of the most notable and globally successful examples of influencer campaigns in 2016 was #MyCalvins by Calvin Klein.
It all started with a few Instagrammers taking selfies in their gifted underwear, and the audience response was massive.
A report by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) shows that within one year of launching the campaign, Calvin Klein’s social media following had increased by millions, and the user generated content reached over 25 million brand interactions (likes and comments) globally. These results really highlight the amazing impact a well executed influencer campaign can have on a brand.
The campaign not only encouraged users to upload their photo using the hashtag #MyCalvins, but it has also increased the brand’s ROI by allowing visitors to easily click through the thousands of submissions to the brand’s ecommerce site to purchase the merchandise.
Image source – Calvin Klein
Leading brands maximise their ROI by putting key influencers to great use.
Nike and Starbucks are winning on Instagram largely due to the smart use of user-generated content
American Express earned 10 million impressions and 40,000 engagements in just two weeks with the help of digital influencers to whom the company “handed over the keys” to its account. Overall, the influencer content earned 23 % more engagement than the company’s other Instagram content.
All Saints recently launched a user-generated content campaign, the Biker Portrait Series. Their digital initiative encourages real people, their customers, to take photos of themselves wearing an All Saints Biker jacket and share their images using the hashtag #BikerPortraits. Without having to cast any big-name models or spend a big budget on high-production photoshoots, the campaign received more than 1000 UGC content, within the first days of launching the campaign
Brandy Melville, the Los Angeles inspired fashion house, doesn’t participate in any traditional advertising and their brand awareness is fuelled almost exclusively through savvy Instagram promotion
Image source – GoPro
GoPro’s user-created videos on YouTube have engaged 4.2 million subscribers and according to Engadget UK, at least 6000 GoPro-tagged videos are uploaded every day. Accompanied by 388 videos that have been produced by sponsored GoPro athletes and have generated more than 50 million views each.
Tracking influencer marketing
When planning a long-term influencer marketing program, tracking is crucial to understand which influencers are performing best. Services, such as bit.ly, use redirects so that brands can track user data.
Promo codes can also be a great way to track performance during an influencer campaign, especially when trying to track actions such as purchases, store visits, etc. All a brand has to do is get their influencers to distribute their own unique promo codes to their followers.
“The highest ROI potential = knowing the brand’s audience + tapping the right influencers + tracking (the influencers’ and the brand’s) performance”
Cost-effectiveness and the rise of ‘micro-influencers’
Collaborating with micro-influencers can help maximise the reach of branded content and message in a much more cost-effective way. When it comes to choosing the right digital influencers, bigger social following doesn’t always mean better results. Key reports show that as an influencer’s follower total rises, the rate of engagement with followers decreases; micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers. Tapping into influencers with a smaller (10-100K followers) but more active following, and most importantly with relevant content style that fits the brand, could be the best way forward.
If you would like to know more about how we can create an Influencer Marketing strategy for your brand please get in touch