How to Get Smarter About Influencer Marketing

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How to Get Smarter About Influencer Marketing

Marrying technical rigidity with unrestrained creativity? Due to its ability to transform brand engagement with creators on social media, programmatic influencer marketing is here to stay.

Millennial consumers have been abandoning traditional media channels and instead becoming increasingly invested in social media. However, with an overwhelming amount of programmatic advertised content, marketers may find that PPC ads may not reach the desired performance levels.

As eliminating digital noise basically is becoming the new lifestyle trend, there is an urgent need to refocus marketing efforts in 2019. Luckily, marketers may find a new lifeline in the growing appetite for creative content produced by social media influencers.

Exposing products and services in front of an audience with an authentic voice can work wonders. Some studies show that influencer marketing can return US$6.50 for every $1 spent. Clearly, there is a consensus across social media: Influencer marketing represents an opportunity to promote a brand in an extremely cost-effective way.

The biggest pain point for marketers always has been where to allocate their budgets most efficiently. Influencer marketing presents an equation with too many variables, and companies may find themselves in a dilemma when considering which specific content creator to contract.

Scaling is practically impossible, and even with budgets that exceed $100,000 for a single campaign, results are not guaranteed. Perhaps that’s about to change. There is an emerging phenomenon of programmatic influencer marketing that brings quantifiable metrics.

A Game Changer?

In the era of digital disruption, the nature of marketing has changed dramatically. As the Internet approximated advertising to practically anyone, the abundance of ads has diluted marketing efforts. Being overwhelmed with commercial content has made consumers increasingly resistant to click-on ads and affiliate marketing links, while ad blocker tools have made it more difficult for marketers to reach their audiences.

To overcome these new challenges, advertisers have been exploring how to engage with consumers in a more creative and genuine way. A growing number of brands have been establishing their presence on social media to engage with their audiences.

However, social media platforms give consumers basically unlimited freedom and choice over the content they wish to consume, which has made it increasingly difficult to reach them. Targeting audiences right where they are without seeming disingenuous requires a peer-to-peer approach. We are witnessing a shift toward direct engagement with consumers.

The influencer marketing sector has been making its way to the forefront. In recent years, it has been developing rapidly, and the volume of the industry is estimated to reach $6.5 billion in 2019. Audiences crave creative content, even when it’s promotional: Many paid social advertisements are viewed from the beginning to end.

Demographics suggest that influencer marketing will become even more relevant. As millennials grow older and switch priorities, Generation Z gradually will take over social media. The Gen-Z demographic is more globalized, more focused on individuality, and has higher expectations, making millennials ideal participants in the influencer-follower trend.

The Risks of Betting on the Wrong Brand

As brands delegate more time and funds to influencer collaborations and sponsorships, it’s necessary to assess the prospects of these ventures. The price of promoting one’s content by an Instagram influencer is $1,000 dollars per 100,000 followers, according to an industry expert. On YouTube, prices reach $100 per 1,000 views. With billions of dollars at risk, brands need to be careful about not betting on the wrong horse.

That uncertainty is the main reason some brands are still reluctant to plunge into the world of influencer marketing, as there have been prominent scandals and issues in the past. For example, it can be challenging to determine whether the influencer is really influential. Apparently, more than 10 percent of influencers in the UK bought fake followers in the first half of 2018. In an era when 94 percent of marketers think that transparency and authenticity are keyto influencer marketing success, it’s curious that there are no established rules for influencer marketing.

However, an important discussion has been going on about how to measure influencer performance in sponsored posts. There have been attempts to develop elaborate indicators to assess results, but none of them have proven completely reliable.

The classic key performance indicators (KPIs) are not always sufficient; therefore, influencer campaigns usually are assessed over time through increased sales or other indicators. The measurement of the return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing remains a major challenge, even though the majority of marketers believe that this benchmark is critical for the future success of influencer marketing.