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Influencer Marketing: Why The Current Mindset Needs To Change

Written by Andy McGowan: Digital marketing executive.
· 4 minute read

Measuring value is key to any marketing strategy. As marketers, we live and die by our ability to show clients that the work we’re doing is having a positive impact on their conversions, brand, audience, website, social accounts, advertising – the list goes on! After all, marketing is an investment and one businesses deserve to see a return on. In the past 8 to 10 year’s, it’s been easier than ever to justify this return with the use of basic tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Adwords Reporting and an improvement in the way social media reports back to businesses.

One thing that keeps coming up with our own clients is how to properly measure value and ROI within an Influencer Marketing strategy.

In my last blog, I gave you all some tips on how to initially approach an influencer marketing strategy which included the use of discount codes, custom links, exclusive products to measure the value of your chosen influencers. Although I still believe these tools do prove some value, I don’t think these are the ‘be all and end all’ in measuring value.

I believe first, businesses need to change their mindset of what it is exactly they’re looking to achieve from working with influencers and wanted to mention a few points where I’ve seen strategy’s stumble along the way.

The ‘Bulk’ Approach

Many businesses currently think ‘the more influencers that are shouting about us the better’ is the best approach to deal with their strategy. This works to an extent and has also proven effective in the past especially through influencers who have large followings.

One of the main issues with using a bulk of influencers is there isn’t any brand personalisation. Due to the sheer volume of people you’re working with, it’s harder to make a direct relationship with an influencer and get them to properly understand what your brand is, who your target market is and how they can effectively utilise there social accounts to bring value to your brand.

The ‘bulk’ approach might sound good but in the long term, you’re going to see limited value and limit yourself to short-term relationships.

The Discount Approach

As I mentioned in my last blog, offering influencers unique codes, links and freebies can be a good way of tracking how valuable an influencer has been to you. I’ve seen this work for many businesses, especially if all you’re looking to do is shift some stock at a discounted rate – a quick win. But, if you’re looking for true value, a discount code doesn’t always paint the full picture.

If your chosen influencer generates 3 discount code sales for you, this doesn’t always mean that the people who have bought your products are invested in your brand. Remembering that the main aim of influencer marketing is to broaden your current audience and generate more loyal/dedicated customers. Discount code customers might just be in it for the bargains and are more interested in the influencer post than the actual offering.

A Change In Approach

My advice is to think small when it comes to your influencer marketing strategy and look at establishing good, long-term relationships with influencers as opposed to just going in for the quick win. Here’s some steps to consider:

  1. Identify an influencer that has a good track record of generating value for multiple brands
  2. Before contacting them, make sure you have a brand guidelines document ready
  3. Contact them and establish a relationship with them – have a video call, phone call or even a meeting if possible
  4. Talk them through why you think their audience is right for your brand.
  5. Show them posts you love and posts you don’t like.
  6. Know what you’re willing to offer them – is this a paid partnership? Commission? Freebies? A paid or commission based partnership is often a better way of establishing a long-term relationship
  7. Once they start posting about your brand – let them know what you think. Help guide them and show them the results they’ve generated so they can also understand what works/doesn’t work.

It may seem quite simple but establishing a relationship with your chosen influencer in this way can generate so much more value than just handing out a freebie and telling them to post about your brand. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where the influencers following is also your following and have therefore increased an audience which is invested in your brand.