If influence marketing now accounts for a market several billion euros, it would be wrong to believe that the sector has reached maturity. In particular, it has to make significant improvements in order to continue to grow. Find out which ones are the most urgent.
1- Give priority to the long term
Too often, influencer marketing is an opportunistic approach to short-term partnerships. This is an error on both sides of the value chain:
- On the brand side, it’s a loss of potential commitment. Indeed, a partnership’s effectiveness with an influencer will increase with each publication, the engagement rate so growing. The CEO of influencer agency Carusele, reported in Forbes an increase in engagement rates of around 400% on long-term partnerships (versus the standard of one month).
- For influencers, the multiplication of sponsored posts with brands (sometimes competing ones!), risks diminishing their perceived authenticity, and therefore the engagement with their publications.
It is therefore recommended to build a privileged relationship with a limited pool of influencers for much longer periods. By the way, have you thought of Brand Ambassadors?
2- Improve performance estimation accuracy
This has always been the Achilles heel of influencer marketing, and there’s still a lot of progress to be made. Too often, the potential effectiveness of campaigns are estimated based on the maximum number of impressions. So, 3 tweets by an influencer with 30 000 followers could represent a reach of about 90 000. This is of course completely over-rated, the true reach of the campaign is probably closer to 300.
Agencies must stop using those maximum numbers, which are in fact unreachable, and use their experience of past campaigns to honestly assess the potential of a new operation.
3- Get out of the Instagram obsession
Instagram remains a virtuous platform for influencer marketing, and of course needs to be considered for any campaign. On the other hand, limiting all your influencer campaigns to that network is no longer justified and represents a risk, in that it’s a big unknown how much Instagram users will be sensitive to the countless paid recommendations and product placements.
A smart marketer must place their eggs in several baskets: Instagram possibly but also YouTube and specialized blogs. A Liqia study revealed that 52% of marketing managers say they’re launching campaigns in 2019 that mobilize different types of influencers (and therefore different networks). This means that half of them still have to change their practices!
4- Improve the selection of influencers
This was for a long time the most common mistake made by advertisers: choosing influencers whose profile (persona) matches their target. So, a young sportswoman living in the UK was the perfect influencer for a fitness brand wishing to break into the UK. Hmm! A more detailed analysis would have revealed that her audience was composed mainly of men living in the US, more interested in her curves rather than her recommendations: the brand misses the mark by aiming at a segment outside its target.
Agencies have tools to accurately scan their influencers’ audiences and offer brands the right matches. But those tools are too often ignored by marketers who want to enter into partnerships directly with influencers, without going through an intermediary.
5- Combine Influence Marketing with other marketing segments
Often influencer campaigns are conducted in a silo, disconnected from actions in other areas of marketing. Yet, there are many ways to combine influencing with other segments, and so improve their respective effectiveness
For example :
- Influencer creations should ideally be an integral part of the company’s Content Marketing program.
- Influence and Press Relations are also closely linked, as the company can improve its relations with a key figure by sometimes using them for sponsored articles. The chances of organic coverage in the future are then maximized.
- As part of a campaign with an influential blogger (sponsored article), the SEO can benefit from the partnership nprovided you use backlinks and the right keywords that go with it.