The average person has a total of 5.54 social media accounts, spends 116 minutes on social media each day.
With 1.7 billion users on social media, advertisers and brands are beginning to shift their attention to this new phenomenon. However, what can we expect from social media marketing, or more specifically influencer marketing? Will engaging an influencer to market your products on social media lead to an immediate increase of sales? This article serves to address these doubts and to set your expectations for an influencer marketing campaign.
We will start off with a brief explanation of influencer marketing. It is the engagement of influencers for marketing purposes. An influencer refers to someone who has the ability to influence the perceptions and decisions of others on social media.
So what can we expect from influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing ROI #1 Brand awareness
In Singapore alone, there is a total of 4.8 million active social media users (HootSuite). This makes social media an ideal platform for brand exposure. This is especially important for young brands who have yet to gain sufficient exposure. New brands can expect to benefit from the boost in awareness influencer marketing brings.
A good way to measure impact on brand awareness of an influencer marketing campaign would be the reach of a campaign. This is the combined number of followers influencers in a campaign have. The number of followers is a good indication of the number of people who have seen a post. Macro influencers (influencers with a larger number of following) are therefore great for boosting brand awareness.
However, since macro influencers have a lower engagement rate (proportion of people who like and comment on their postings), brands will include a mix of macro and micro influencers to attain both reach and engagement.
For more information on the various categories of influencers and their respective pros and cons, do click here.
Influencer marketing ROI #2 Engagement
Engagement, as mentioned above refers to the number of likes and comments on an influencer’s postings. When users are actively liking and commenting on such postings, it implies a certain level of interest induced by an influencer marketing campaign.
With its sharing, liking, commenting features, social media is built in such a way that encourages conversations and discussions among users. Apart from creating buzz, such conversations can also help to pique interest among social media users.
Take the example of popular beauty brand, Glossier. Engaging influencers on both Instagram and YouTube got social media users curious about this new but increasingly common brand that they see on their Instagram feeds. The buzz created on social media thanks to these influencers got users researching about the brand, with many users even purchasing glossier products to try them out.
Engagement is not only important for new brands, but also applies for household brand names.
Despite being well known, a constant interest in their products is necessary for the survival of businesses. This explains the presence of popular brands such as McDonalds and H&M in the influencer marketing scene.
Influencer marketing ROI #3 – Direction of traffic to website
The use of Facebook, Instagram or YouTube ads can help attract social media users onto your website. However, 650 million users are using ad blockers, significantly reducing the impact of an advertisement.
Furthermore, social media users are less likely to engage or click on advertisements online, the average clickthrough rate of banner ads is 0.06% (Google).
Therefore, influencer marketing becomes one of the best tools to direct traffic to a website. This is especially true for an influencer marketing campaign with high engagement. The interest induced after coming across an influencer’s posting would lead to further research, which often leads these people onto the main websites of brands.
To add on, influencer marketing campaigns often include promotional codes and giveaways to which help direct their audience to the brand’s website. Brands that have done so include Daniel Wellington which included a discount code unique to each influencer to share with their followers.
Influencer marketing ROI #4 – Improvement in sales
This however depends on the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign. Assuming the campaign is successful, influencer marketing would most probably help with sales. An immediate spike in sales number after an influencer marketing campaign is not unseen. That being said, the effects of influencer marketing are more long run in nature. This means that future purchase decisions are most possibly influenced by what consumers see online.
This is because the first step in a typical customer journey is interest and awareness. Influencer marketing builds the foundation for future purchases. The sushi post you saw online this morning will most probably influence your choice of sushi for dinner later that day. The effects of influencer marketing (brand awareness, engagement etc) as mentioned earlier is ultimately targeted at sales.
Take the Clean&Clear influencer marketing campaign as an example. A nano influencer campaign carried out in February 2018 has helped boost Clean & Clear’s sales by 19 percent since its launch, according to Johnson & Johnson, the company in charge of Clean&Clear.
Influencer marketing ROI #5 – Branding
Whether your brand is looking forward to reinforce its existing image or to develop a new image, social media is a good place to start. By picking the right set of influencers, coming up with content that is in line with the brand’s direction, strong branding can occur.
In a nutshell, these are the main results you can expect from a successful influencer marketing campaign.
If you are still wondering why influencer marketing, do click on this article to compare between influencer marketing and other traditional forms of marketing.