What is the value of a “manufactured” like or share? That’s one question brands are starting to ask regarding influencer marketing. For any business, it’s beneficial for there to be agreement on objectives and metrics. Likewise, the right influencer strategy succeeds when it is mapped to the goal, and influencers are pinned to ROI.
Some companies may find it worth it to work with a “celebrity” for access to their large audience, but with a tradeoff for lower engagement rates. There are brands that have reach, scale of audience and broad awareness as their focus. Generally these are the ones that are selling lower-cost, impulse products, such as CPG marketers.
But, there are a slew of brands that look to get greater returns by connecting with “micro-influencers” with smaller but committed networks who value genuine connections and authentic messages. Think of fashion, travel or automotive brands and their extended conversion paths.
Micro-influence can bring a macro-payoff: Research has shown that Instagram users with followers in the hundreds get five times the rate of engagement with their social posts than do those of “macro-influencers” with millions of followers. This is important, as the main value a brand gets is from engagement, as the content itself is more ephemeral on a social platform.
We have looked at this from the tried and true perspective of the metrics-driven ad-buying world. The sharing of visual content has not always been measured as easily, and we’re working to change that. Brands should view these social media shares by “engagements per thousand followers,” similar to the way ads are traditionally measured. In this way, influencer programs can do their job and be held accountable, helping connect the dots and get real answers for marketers.