Monthly Archives: March 2017

Evolution of Sponsored Content

These days, seeing a piece of sponsored content on social media is as commonplace as puppy GIFs, engagement announcements and political statements — and for good reason. Anyone not living under a rock has realized the shift from traditional advertising to influencer marketing, native ads, and in-feed social ads, because it resonates better with online consumers. Inc.com reported that 70 percent of individuals want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising. The days of brands being able to talk about themselves and talk at consumers are essentially over. Consumers want to hear from people they trust in a manner and avenue of their choosing. They want to see how a product/service worked for someone like them. Content provides context — something a banner ad or magazine ad couldn’t provide anywhere near as effectively.  

Before we dive in, here’s a few more stats to paint a picture of the effectiveness of sponsored and influencer content:

  • 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. [Twitter and Annalect, 2016]
  • Native advertising generates up to an 82% increase in brand lift. [Dedicated Media]
  • Facebook news feed ads generate 49 times more clicks than traditional sidebar banner ads [AdRoll]

So, where did sponsored content start? How did we get this point of more branded stories and less intrusive ads? Let’s look into the evolution of sponsored content.

Facebook sets the standard for ads on social networks.

As Hubspot reports, the platform started making money off advertisements soon after its founding in 2004. 2009 marked the year that any brand could create a Facebook Page free of charge, thus, opening the floodgates for Page runners to spend money on advertising. In 2011, Facebook launched Sponsored Stories for desktop users, which allowed brand Pages to boost content in the feeds of users who had liked their Page. Brands could also sponsor a user’s action posts, such as checking into Starbucks, to show up in other users’ feeds.

Image Source: Hubspot

Facebook releases mobile ads in 2010.  

These mobile ads were designed to look like the sponsored content we know of today – appearing like any other piece of content to avoid interrupting the flow of the feed. Today, mobile ads account for a whopping 84 percent, or $7.248 billion, of Facebook’s ad revenue.

Image source: Hubspot

Twitter follows suit in 2010.

Twitter first launched Promoted Tweets in 2010, which the platform said from the get-gofirst exist as regular Tweets [that] will be organically sent to the timelines of those who follow a brand.” Twitter touted these promotions as not being “ads” because they were, first and foremost, an organic piece of content. Promoted Trends, which put a brand or campaign’s hashtag at the top of Twitter’s trends, and Promoted Accounts, which put brands in the “Suggested For You” sidebar were released soon after.

Image source: Twitter

Instagram joins the sponsored ad game in 2013.

Instagram partnered with Michael Kors for its first paid ad in November 2013, resulting in 218,000 likes in just 18 hours. There was much backlash at first, but the ad format prevailed, as Instagram hit over 500,000 advertisers last year.  

Image source: The Verge

Fast forward to today and influencer marketing is thriving.

Collective Bias was founded in 2009 on the principle that people trust opinions of people like them, particularly with branded products and services. Influencer marketing is the epitome of sponsored content in that it brings together a trusted online voice and a brand that influencer loves to create content that informs and inspires. To work, influencer marketing requires a higher level of authenticity and trust between the influencer and their audience. It takes many forms: long-form and short-form blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, tweets. From recipes and DIY tutorials, to tech product experience stories, to beauty tutorials and more, influencer marketing works because of the relevancy and format of the content and the connection between the influencer and their followers.

Image Source: Sidelinesocialite.com

The influencer marketing industry will evolve as companies like Collective Bias and social platforms like Instagram release new innovations that bring together the power of content and the desires of consumers and brands alike.

 

Influencers Have Easter Shopping in the Basket

Easter is arriving four weeks later in 2017 than in 2016, which the National Retail Federation predicts will contribute to consumer spending. According to the NRF, Easter spending is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up a full 6% from 2016 (which was a record-setting year, with spending reaching $17.3 billion)! Influencers play a significant part in this Easter spending crazy, providing creative ideas for everything from candy to gifts to parties. (source)

The NRF also found that 28% of Easter shoppers will research products on their mobile devices while 18% will use their phones to make a purchase. Pinterest will no doubt play a large role in consumer research for Easter ideas.

Some of our own influencers have helped brands get their piece of the Easter pie with their own creative influencer campaign contributions.

M&M’s Easter Bunny Cake by Scrappy Geek

Easter Table Setting Ideas by Make Life Lovely

Easter Bunny Printable by Wife in Progress

DIY Wooden Easter Basket by A Shade of Teal

Carrot Cake Bunny Bait & Easter Party by Giggles Galore

Whether it’s creative ideas for Easter entertaining, treats from the Easter bunny for the kids, or handmade treats for the whole family, influencers have Easter in the basket!

The Weekly Bias: Facebook Introduces Collections for Brands

Chipotle puts a new spin on marketing, Facebook helps brands showcase related content, and influencer campaigns can be targeted using micro-data. Read more in this week’s Weekly Bias.

Facebook introduces Collection Feature for Brand Ads

Facebook has been rolling out a lot of new features lately, from their Facebook Day in the Messenger app to reminders to go back and finish videos we didn’t watch to the end. Their newest feature, launched yesterday, is called Collection, which gives brands the ability to showcase related products under engaging videos. In addition, outbound clicks will be easier to track so brands can get more data from their ads. Read more on Venture Beat.

Micro-Data Can Improve Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Follower counts are not enough to gauge the effectiveness or reach of an influencer. Micro-data like specific age groups of those followers, their likes and dislikes, shopping patterns, and more, can provide marketers with more information to make influencer campaigns much more effective. Netflix used micro-data to build an empire. Learn how marketers can follow suit on AdAge.

Chipotle Creates an Unbranded Video Series Aimed at Education Children

Chipotle partnered with the creators of “Yo Gabba Gabba”, a popular children’s program, to create a series of educational videos aimed at educating kids about the importance of natural food. In partnership with Discovery Education, Chipotle will be distributing the 6-video series in schools across the country. “It’s really a return to sort of normalcy from a marketing perspective, a return to the kinds of things that have really helped us define the Chipotle brand after a somewhat anomalous year in our evolution,” said Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold. Read more on AdAge.

Millennials Skipping Video Ads

While a good percentage of consumers – 46% – say they pay more attention to ads they can skip over ads they can’t skip, a recent study by Deloitte found that 80% of Millennials will skip video commercials completely, finding these ads irrelevant. More Millennials and Gen Xers are binge watching TV online, watching upwards of five hours in a single sitting. Read more on MediaPost.

Twitter Is Not Dead Yet

Some avid social users may already see Twitter as a fossil: a relic of platforms past. While it may not hold the stature it did four years ago, there are still millions of social users utilizing the platform for sharing random thoughts, promoting content and much more. (Twitter reported its user base increased by 4% during Q4 of 2016 to 319 million average monthly active users.)

With this in mind, we asked our Social Promotions team and influencers in our Social Fabric community how they still utilize Twitter. Are there still benefits to using the platform for brands and influencers in 2017? Read on.

Twitter is a fast-paced avenue for brands to engage with followers.

“Optimized for the pace of social, Twitter is fast and flexible. Twitter’s format and search capacities promote connections driven by topical and contextual interests, from moments to hours. In comparison to other social channels, Twitter is the ideal medium to engage and influence social consumers, without limitation of existing connections, and with the advantage of perpetual, searchable discovery.”  – Terri Satterlee

What I love about Twitter is that it’s simple and quick. A snapshot from your favorite brands, celebs, friends and more. It’s so easy to keep up to date on news and happenings all over the world. From a brand perspective, it’s an effective way to reach a huge audience. Twitter is awesome for brand awareness, sharing a new product or getting the word out about a discount or sale. – Dawn Wells

Twitter is still a vital platform for redirecting traffic to other content sources.

“I do use it for promotion and see its value in that way. For instance, I may not get many replies or retweets, but I do get clicks.” – Ashley of Pichea Place

“It’s the backbone to what I do. And as far as directing readers, instrumental. But as a result of the API change? It’s so hard to socially prove. Which as a result has lead many to doubt its effectiveness. Quite frankly, I never heard so much about Twitter “failing” as when they stopped contributing social proof.” – Rachel of Roasted Beanz

“I have everything scripted to auto post to Twitter when I create a new blog post, post on Facebook or on Instagram.” – Lori of The Kitchen Whisperer

How do you still utilize Twitter? Tweet us @collectivebias to let us know your thoughts!

Are Grocers Ready for AI?

This article by Bill Sussman of Collective Bias, originally appeared on Progressive Grocer.

When hearing the phrase “artificial intelligence” (AI), one might picture talking computers, machines performing household tasks and robots going rogue. The truth is there is no consensus on how to define AI and it’s that lack of definition that is contributing to its massive growth. Now, you might be wondering how this has anything to do with grocers, but here’s why you need to pay attention.

BCC Research reported that the market will reach $15 billion by 2021. Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos presented at Code Conference how AI would change everything, from shopping to driving. Global PR firm Weber Shandwick’s recently released “AI-Ready or Not: Artificial Intelligence Here We Come!” study aims to equip marketers with early consumer insights so they have a head start on future developments in this rapidly growing space.

iRobot jokes aside, let’s breakdown what consumers are thinking about AI and how marketers can get ahead of the curve.

Consumers Will Put Their Money On Brands That Are Using AI Technology

In their new study, Weber Shandwick’s President Gail Heimann says “as those of us in the marketing industry know, technology disruption brings challenges but also opportunities to master change.” Young consumers are interested in how retailers are going to be adopting and integrating these changes in technology. A report by JWT Intelligence found that 70 percent of U.S. Millennials would appreciate a brand or retailer using AI technology to show more interesting products. Additionally, 72 percent believe that as AI technology expands, brands using AI will be able to accurately predict what consumers want.

Kraft Foods is one brand truly embracing AI with its “iPhone Assistant” app, which integrates AI algorithms that can detect how large a consumer’s family is based on the recipes they download. The app learns about the user’s choices as times goes on and implements these learnings to make better recipe suggestions, such as recipes that use leftovers from other recently created dishes. The app also connects any coupons related to the ingredients needed and automatically downloads them for the user to pull up in the checkout line. All these learnings allow Kraft to better understand their customers’ behavior.

AI Benefits Are Plentiful for Both Consumers and Retailers

Visual listening is a key aspect of AI that is becoming more heavily adopted. Visual listening tools allow marketers to identify and analyze online images, such as posts on image-heavy platforms like Instagram, making it a compelling form of social intelligence for retailers. Just imagine all the times your brand may have been mentioned on social media in the form of untagged Instagram posts, Twitter images and more, and you didn’t even know about it. In fact, according to Netbase, about 80 percent of images that include a company’s logo don’t mention their brand in text. That’s a massive amount of data you could be missing out on. This technology could help answer more customer service issues, thank loyal consumers for sharing their brand love and more.

The benefits of AI that consumers are most excited for include easier access to news/information, easier decision-making for purchases of products or services, the possibility of lower-priced or more affordable products/services and products/services that provide greater ease and convenience. Grocers should not overlook these benefits as they consider integrating AI technologies in the near future.

The world is ready for AI outside of the realm of robot movies and outdated definitions. Will your retail banner be at the forefront?

Behind the Scenes of an Influencer Post

It’s safe to say that influencers are creatively and effectively changing the landscape of digital marketing. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook offer natural ways to introduce brands and products in a way that was simply not available previously. Channels like Instagram Stories and Snapchat offer an even more candid, behind-the-scenes look at the way certain products, companies or brands are shaping the lives of influencers.

Photo credit: www.CaitlinSchlabachPhotography.com

Photo credit: www.CaitlinSchlabachPhotography.com

But what goes into those curated blog posts we see pop up on our news feed? Or the seemingly flawless social posts? The answer is simple: A WHOLE LOT.

BEFORE THE POST

Before an influencer even agrees to a partnership with a business or brand, they take the time to evaluate the opportunity. Is it a good fit for my audience? Will this partnership be mutually beneficial? Do I have enough time to do a good job in content creation?

Once an influencer accepts a job, he or she takes the time to develop a story idea surrounding the product or brand. Let’s use sunscreen, for example. Everyone knows that sunscreen is important, but why is it important? It’s an influencer’s job to weave the product or brand into a genuine story that flows organically into their established base of followers. Perhaps the influencer has a history of skin cancer and provides tips for being sun smart, or lives in a tropical location and wants to share what is in their beach bag. Regardless of the storyline, it is far more than “Hey look at this sunscreen I bought! You should buy it, too!”

CREATING THE POST

After the post topic is established, the influencer will get to work on writing. Sometimes this proves to be the most difficult part as the goal is to both showcase the product, but also weave it into a genuine story that is both a reflection of the influencer and of the brand without sounding like an advertisement.

Photo credit: www.CaitlinSchlabachPhotography.com

Photo credit: www.CaitlinSchlabachPhotography.com

Once the content has been written, it’s time to photograph. If you don’t already own the product, you’ll need to go pick some up at the store, as well as any additional props you may need. If you’re sharing what’s in your beach bag from the example above, you’ll want to make sure your beach bag is clean, you have a towel ready and all the other essentials are ready to be photographed as well.

Are you beginning to see that this is a bit more than write, point, shoot and publish?!

Most influencers are pretty detail-oriented so just shooting the contents of their beach bag for the aforementioned sunscreen post may take an entire afternoon. Getting the shot from multiple angles, using a bokeh effect or other special detail, and making sure the lighting is just right are all just a few things influencers have to think about while photographing.

PicMonkey Collage-10

These photos were taken in an afternoon of shooting on behalf of a post I am working on for Aquafina. Trying to work with factors I could control (props, photo styling, photography), as well as factors outside of my control (sun, wind, other people on the beach and rain) were all part of a shoot that lasted well over 3 hours and only produced a handful of quality shots.

Once the writing has been done and the photos have been taken (and edited!), the influencer now has the task of proofing their content to make sure it aligns with the agreed upon parameters of the partnership. Though this sounds like the frosting of the project, sometimes details are forgotten, photos need to be re-shot and paragraphs you fell in love with writing need to be omitted entirely. It’s important to note that some brands request access to the posting for their own internal editing, particularly if it is a larger, more well-known company that needs to have their legal department check for any infringements. Sometimes this process alone takes a week or longer!

AFTER THE POST

The time has come – it’s finally time to publish the post and set it free on the internet, so the influencer’s job is done, right? Wrong. With most influencer posts, social media touting is a required component of a partnership, so drafting tweets, pins, Instagram and Facebook posts, as well as Snapchat and Instagram stories, is a crucial step on the day the post goes live.

A large majority of the time, influencers take the brunt of commentary that includes sentiments about how easy their lives must be or how fun it must be to just be at home all the time. While the job of an influencer certainly offers flexibility and perks, at the end of the day – it’s still a job. One thing is for certain – as the landscape of digital technology continues to evolve, influencers are not going anywhere.

About the Author: Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based writer who focuses on food, travel and lifestyle topics. She is a bar columnist for Metro Honolulu and contributing writer for Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, People Magazine and more. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying a new restaurant with her husband or playing with her two chocolate Labs, Judy and Bill, at the beach.

17 Statistics You Need to Know About Gen Z

Millennials have been the main focus for marketers in recent years as they were quickly becoming a powerful demographic, population, and economic group. Now Generation Z is contributing to the consumer market, ranging in age from seven to 20 years old. This is the first generation to have lived in a digital world since birth. They experienced the post-9/11 world and a major recession that has caused them to live more cautiously than their Millennial predecessors. Marketers must research and understand Gen Z as their buying power and influence continues to increase. Here are some stats to give a flavor of what Gen Z is really about:

Overview:

  • Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation in US history (Forbes).
  • 25% of consumer spending is owned by Gen Z and that will grow to 40% within the next decade (Ryan Jenkins).
  • They have a combined buying power of $43 billion and have an additional $600 billion from family spending (Chamber of Commerce).
  • 57% would rather save their money than spend it. (Forbes).

Influence:

  • In a top 10 list of influencers, Jennifer Lawrence was the only traditional movie star Gen Z listed. 63% of them say they prefer to see real people than celebs in ads (Forbes).
  • 67% are interested in narratives and content that have realistic endings and want to be engaged by real people (Deep Focus).
  • Gen Zers are most likely to turn to friends, family and Google for health info (Vision Critical).
  • 43% said their family influences their purchasing decisions the most followed by friends (35%), friends of friends (23%) and celebrities (10%) (Dan Schawbel).

Digital:

  • 60% of Gen Zers say they like to share their knowledge with others online (Time).
  • 64% say they contribute to websites because they like learning new things (Time).
  • Over half of Gen Zers would rather buy clothes, books and electronics online (Dan Schawbel).

Compared to Millennials:

  • 60% of Gen Zers would rather have a cool product than a cool experience vs. 23% of Millennials (Vision Critical).
  • Gen Zers multitask across at least five screens a day and spend 41% of their time outside of school or work with computers or mobile devices compared to 22% of Millennials 10 years ago (Small Business Trends).

Marketing behaviors:

  • Only 45% of Gen Zers watch cable TV on a television (Vision Critical).
  • 69% of Gen Zers find advertisements are disruptive (Vision Critical).
  • 34% want brands to reach out to them on social media, 33% by email and 28% by online advertisements. (Vision Critical).
  • Gen Zers are more likely to visit YouTube than any other social site (85%) and would prefer their favorite brands communicate with them there than anywhere else (40%) (Deep Focus).

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Understanding The Fickle Adult Beverage Consumer

This article by Holly Pavlika of Collective Bias, originally appeared on Media Post.

Many of us will head to the grocery store to pick up a few items and, inevitably, that includes grabbing beer, wine or a spirit product. We have our list in hand and a pretty good idea of what we’re going to buy. But something happens to 21% of us while in the store: We change our mind.

This is just one of the insights from IRI’s cross-generational study of adult beverage shopping habits in the U.S. IRI studied these habits with a focused eye on understanding the all-important Millennial consumer and uncovering whether behavior differs between generations.

“They may be fickle once they hit the store, but consumers from Millennials to seniors are indulging in beer, wine and spirit products with regular frequency at home and on premise. There is an opportunity for adult beverage brands to engage with shoppers while in the store and online to find new pockets of growth,” said Chris von der Linden, SVP, consumer and shopper marketing for IRI.

IRI uses its national panel of 100k consumers to create syndicated segments:

New Traditionalists are the largest, representing 21% of the U.S. population. They tend to be married, faith-involved, value-driven and financially stable. They are more mature and act more like generations, which preceded them. They represent 25% of performance in the category.

Confident Connectors represent 17% of U.S. population.Social is how they interact with one with another and they tend of be digitally savvy overall. Confident Connectors are socially conscious and have a greater awareness of their environment. They are foodies who tend to shop at specialty stores. Ten percent of beverage category performance is made up of Confident Connectors.

Free Spirits are a small segment at only 13% of U.S. population but represent the coveted Millennial market. They are single, involved, more ethnic, trendsetting and spontaneous. They are also more materialistic and value entrepreneurship. They are 15% of performance in the adult beverage category.

Struggling Wanderers are 21% of the U.S.population. They tend to be less educated, struggling financially, more price conscious and not digitally connected – but, 25% of performance in the category.

Concerned Aspirationalists, 21% of the U.S. population, are more female, struggling financially, worried, strapped for time and more involved in social media. For the Concerned Aspirationalist, it’s all about convenience and price. They are 16% of performance in the category.

Conscious Naturalists are 15% of the U.S. population. These Conscious Naturalists are also more female, more likely to be mothers, and happy, but overwhelmed. They are eco-conscious and look for minimally processed food, and homeopathic or locally grown products. They are fiscally responsible and are 15% of performance in the category.

In addition to leveraging the insights around the various segments, marketers should consider the following:

Packaging/labels matter for younger generations

Younger generations care about the look of their alcoholic beverages — 36% of Millennials and 30% of Gen Xers chooses by bottle, while only 12% for seniors and boomers do so. Packaging and labels are an important way of influencing these younger consumers in-store, so get creative in highlighting new flavors or ways to use the beverage.

There is a “lighter” trend centered on social responsibility

“There are some pretty good indicators versus 20 years ago that there is more awareness about drunk driving, especially among Millennials. The other part of the trend is health with metering intake of calories,” said von der Linden. But this desire isn’t exclusive to Millennials. There is interest across generations for products that are lighter in calories and alcohol by volume. Across all generations, 50% say they interested in lighter alternatives.

The sheer size of the Millennial generation can change a category

Millennials are changing the use of the champagne/sparkling category, making it an everyday adult beverage. A whopping 60% of Millennials say this beverage is great for drinking year round, which is a great opportunity for the champagne industry. “During a three-month period, Millennials drank two times more champagne than any other generational cohort,” said von der Linden.

Adult beverage companies are embracing influencer marketing

Separate from the trends IRI has uncovered, influencer marketing campaigns centered on the adult beverage category are increasing in our network. With consumers searching for inspiration, influencer marketing is an effective way to reach the digitally savvy, Millennial shopper who is always looking for variety and experimentation. Content around gift giving, entertaining and innovative cocktails is helping to educate and drive engagement in the adult beverage category despite differing state-by-state regulations on marketing to consumers.

“Don’t lose sight of Boomers while chasing Millennials,” von der Linden cautioned. “While Millennial growth is going to overtake Boomers over the next 5 to10 years, Boomers still represent 445% of category volume. So there is need for a bifurcated strategy for promoting to both generations,” he added.

How to Not Get Turned Down by Influencers

As the face of communication changes to a widely digital spectrum, it’s important for businesses and brands to realize the importance and value of influencers in their marketing plan. What is an influencer? An influencer is an individual who has an impact on a niche market, audience or community. Influencers are not just individuals who can help your plan become a reality – they are an asset to success.

But, why do brands need influencers? Simply – to reach target audiences through genuine connections. Think about grassroots campaigning. It’s effective, because it begins at the most basic level, where the large majority of the population sits, and expands from there. The same goes for digital influencers working hard for a business or brand. Influencers talk and create general buzz within their communities in a genuine and natural way, creating an authentic buzz that is nearly impossible to emulate in any form of traditional advertising or marketing.

So, how do we avoid getting turned down by influencers? What do we need to know so that these digital power players will want to work with us? Great questions! Let’s start with a key word in there – work.

BEING CLEAR ON PAYMENT

What influencers can do for your business or brand is work, and where there is a job to be done, there’s also a payment to be made. You would never ask a plumber or a hairdresser to work for free, so don’t expect that of influencers.

The most important aspect of influencer marketing is creating a budget for your influencers that is both fair and competitive. Ask yourself: Would I, myself, do the given task for this amount of money? If the answer is no, then perhaps you should reconsider your budget.

BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP

Aside from compensation, you’ll want to make sure that your relationship with the blogger is mutually beneficial. Sure, you’re giving them monetary compensation, and they’re giving you the marketing reach – but does it end there? It shouldn’t! Brands and companies have the ability to give influencers more than money and they should, because it increases the chances of a great end product. Event invitations, access to unique interview/media opportunities and product are all examples of additional compensation that  can sweeten any deal – and relationship!

OUTLINING GOALS & OBJECTIVES

So, I have my budget and I’ve chosen my influencers. Now what? It’s important to make sure that your chosen group is all on the same page. Make your marketing goals and objectives clear from the beginning. What do you want to accomplish within this specific campaign? There’s nothing worse than having to send out multiple follow-up e-mails, because influencers are all over the place and your goals are not being met. When considering goals, make sure you create easily identifiable action items. Ultimately, “spreading awareness” is great, but means different things to different people. Instead, consider targeted audiences or age groups that would be drawn to a specific aspect of your campaign to create engagement.

ALLOWING ROOM FOR CREATIVITY

On the flip side, it’s important that once your goals are established to give your influencers creative liberty to achieve benchmarks in a way that is relevant and suitable for their specific audiences. Only they will know what tactics need to be employed here. Social media is not a “one size fits all” kind of place, so make sure you aren’t trying to shove a square peg in a round hole.

In the realm of digital communications, influencers have the unique ability to influence consumers in a way that is unprecedented. A study revealed that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands, so it’s important that your business or brand is familiar with navigating the landscape of influencer marketing. (source) By creating a budget for projects, fostering a mutually beneficial work environment and developing actionable campaign goals, you’ll be on your way to working with today’s top influencers in no time!

About the Author: Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based writer who focuses on food, travel and lifestyle topics. She is a bar columnist for Metro Honolulu and contributing writer for Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, People Magazine and more. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying a new restaurant with her husband or playing with her two chocolate Labs, Judy and Bill, at the beach.

Setting Metrics for Influencer Marketing

A major woe for brands diving into influencer marketing campaigns is a lack of understanding in measuring the success of these campaigns. Typically, the industry measures impressions and page views, but those metrics do not provide an accurate depiction of sales conversion. In reality, what determines the success of a campaign is tracking how well a campaign will do from the start, using rich engagement metrics that track total media value, earned vs. paid, organic social shares, and verified blog analytics.

Gartner Inc. defined three categories when setting metrics for influencer marketing. Let’s break these down.

Strategic Metrics

Description: Overarching business goals and desired outcomes

Sample Metrics: Revenue growth, brand heath, profitability, market share, customer acquisition, or lead generation

Marketing Metrics

Description: Measures of success based on marketing objectives

Sample Metrics: Awareness, engagement, audience growth, conversion or other desired actions (e.g. downloads)

Operational Metrics

Description: Program-level proxy metrics and cross-functional KPI’s

Sample Metrics: Number of influencers/posts, inbound links, referral traffic, SEO improvement or mentions, sentiment

Without strategy, there is no way for an influencer campaign to succeed. Each type of influencer  can play a role in a brand’s success but it takes careful planning, setting clear objectives, establishing a plan for each channel, and choosing the right influencers.

How do you start? Check out our new white paper, The Sweet Spot of Influence: Balancing Reach and Engagement in Influencer Marketing to determine which type of influencer is best for your brand and campaign needs. Your free copy is just a download away.

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