Building Trust: Influencer Marketing

After a buzz-worthy year in 2014 influencer marketing has evolved to become an integral strategy for successful brands around the globe. For brands not already connected to Influencers, or those that feel they’re being edged out by larger budgets, the market can feel entirely overwhelming. Don’t fret because getting dialed in to this booming marketplace is easier than you think.

In today’s Internet era the average user encounters over 1,700 banner ads, 415 commercial emails, and hundreds of granularly targeted Facebook Ads each month. In all that noise it’s hard for brands to rise above and build a meaningful connection with their consumers. Often engaging new users means building and maintaining trust. For about 90% of consumers this trust comes from word-of-mouth. In a digital era, this no longer only means reviews from friends and family – but also valued third party sources (i.e. Influencers).

Bridging The Trust Gap

Influencer marketing not only provides an initial engagement piece, it helps bridge the trust gap of media buying to help produce conversions. This creates a beautiful conversion cycle: media buying is put into place, supplemented by trust, and built by Influencers who also provide demographics on converting users. All of which can be used as new targeting groups for more media buying, and so-on and so-forth.

Budget Flexibility

Many brands are finding that a-list Influencers are now coming with a-list prices. If your brand has a smaller budget don’t let these fees scare you away. We’ve found that the best ROI’s and engagement rates come from posts by middle tier — or ”power middle” Influencers  — who have around 2,500-250,000 followers or readers. These Influencers are showing an engagement rate that is about 16 times higher than paid media.

Unlike mega Influencers who charge thousands of dollars in upfront fees per post, mid-tier Influencers will cost a relatively small payout and/or free product. Mid-tier Influencers are also more fee flexible–a lot of brands are finding success using a 10% payout of conversions received from their post.

Reusable Content

 Typically, when repurposed on brand channels, Influencer-generated content outperforms brand-original content 35x and 10x, respectively, when used for brand Facebook sponsored stories. Repurposing this strategy not only strengthens engagement it can create an SEO boost for your brand.

Labor of Love

In a three-month campaign, 100 influencers can drive up to 1k actions and 30-40k social endorsements. This kind of engagement will take a full-time commitment from a team of people. From researching Influencers, building relationships, managing posts, engagement, conversions and executing a creative strategy, it’s a labor-intensive process. If hiring a team of Influencer marketers, managing them and shelling out money for each post feels shocking to your wallet and clock, outsource your Influencer marketing channel.

Execute

In the end it is all about testing and then testing some more, until finally you can effectively and efficiently execute. Going into a campaign with a comprehensive strategy is the first step to your success. In this particular case, the testing involves patience and trust in the system. Oh, and you need to be smart with your decision-making. It is important to understand your customers and to not be afraid to jump outside of the box if need be. The future is now and influencer marketing is a jet getting ready for launch. You’ll miss your ride if you don’t start packing now. Have any questions? You know where to find us!

 

About: Hawke Media is full service outsourced CMO and digital advertising agency with clients in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

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