Influencer Marketing Lessons from New Research
2016 has been a fruitful year for influencer marketing, and 2017 seems to be on track to continue this trajectory. According to recent research, many brands have made influencer marketing an integral and effective part of their overall marketing efforts, and other brands plan to follow suit in the new year. Here are a few of the key takeaways from the research.
Influencer marketing is continuing to grow.
Chute, a content marketing solution, surveyed 200 marketing professionals for its 2016 Influencer Marketing Report and found that 66% used social influencers as part of their strategies in 2016. Of the marketers who are not yet using social influencers, 40% plan to start in 2017.
Getting started is a big hurdle.
Many marketers haven’t yet integrated influencers into their strategies because of the learning curve. In the Chute study, 75% of respondents said they haven’t implemented influencer marketing because they don’t know how to begin. Since finding the right influencers is the most challenging and time-consuming part of starting a campaign, brands can benefit from partnering with marketing firms that have expertise in this area. MtoM has a rigorous process for finding the ideal influencers for each brand and campaign, and this service allows our clients to get past this major roadblock.
Brands have multiple motivations for using influencer marketing.
Social influencers can reach a brand’s audience in a personal and targeted way that simply isn’t possible through traditional ads. According to the Chute study, 70% of marketers surveyed who use influencer marketing said they do so to reach smaller niche audiences that are often hard to connect with; 80% report wanting to reach different audiences on social networks. The rise in ad blocking and ad avoidance is also a concern for many marketers; eMarketer’s 2016 report Influencer Marketing for U.S. Brands: The Platforms to Watch, and the Best Ways to Work with Creators listed it as a top reason brands are investing in influencer marketing.
Engagement is the most valuable metric.
While marketers may be inclined to search for influencers with a massive audience, a large following is not the best indicator of success. A huge but disconnected audience won’t help further a brand’s goals. The eMarketer report found that an influencer’s engagement numbers – total reach, views/impressions, likes, comments, click-throughs – are a more useful metric for brands looking for a good match.
The importance of authenticity can’t be overstated.
Effective social influencers are honest and transparent; their audience trusts what they say, and any endorsement they give carries a lot of weight. For this reason, it is worthwhile for brands to invest in long-term relationships with influencers who are a good fit. Followers will see over time that this isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan sponsorship, and influencers can continue build on their reputation.
In The Influencer Marketing Manifesto, released by TapInfluence and Altimeter Group in 2016, 71.2% of the 1,753 influencers surveyed reported that their audience remains engaged due to the influencer’s authenticity. The same study also found that 71% of the 102 marketers surveyed said that forming ongoing ambassadorships with influencers is the most successful marketing tactic.
Learn more about MtoM’s influencer marketing approach, and how we can help your brand.