Isn’t it time to add relevance to the brand’s influencer management efforts?
Influencer marketing has reached a stage where for most of the launches – be it product, variant, teasers or reviews, brands partner with influencers to get the word out. In some cases, the budget ranges from 1-6% of the marketing (not just digital spends) for brands. The number of influencer marketing agencies have also increased in the past 3 years. In 2011, where there were just a handful of fashion and food bloggers, who would shy away from sponsored content and just focus on unbiased reviews, the landscape has drastically changed now. Back in those days, each review would be done for free or maybe for Rs. 5000 + free product or service. But now, the costs can be 25L per facebook post by a celebrity! Can you even digest this number? Maybe no. But do the brands sill go ahead with it? Yes, because it is cheaper to get the biggest Bollywood star to talk about the product launch for 20-25L than to hire him / her as a brand ambassador for 5 crores.
Initially the process to select influencers was very simple; the brand team asks the agency to check with vendors and get their influencer list, and select the influencers basis the category and cost. Nothing was expected – no RoI, no performance guarantee, no exclusivity.
The process evolved and with sophisticated tools coming in, the average engagement per influencer (blog reads, retweets, video views, facebook engagements or Instagram likes) were counted, and an average cost per engagement used to get calculated.
With the social platforms also getting smarter day by day, the affinity of the influencer’s audience, the content relevance and monitoring mechanism to measure the engagement returns have helped the influencer marketing to demand a premium.
And more recently, there have been a few self serve platforms too that are providing access to brands and agencies to deal with the influencers in a marketplace model, where the brands share the base content and timelines, and in return pay for the influencer based on the platforms, follower base and relevance.
While discussing the future of influencer marketing and how to be more relevant for the brand, I also came across a couple of companies that have developed tools that can actually rank the influencers in a slightly unique way. The brand’s most relevant keywords, the slangs that the brands want to avoid, the competitor mentions and branded vs organic post engagements are all listed out by these tools and a customized ranking of influencers (list to be submitted by the brand – taken from their agencies / vendors / in-house list), that can then be used as a way to filter the influencer partners and work with only the best fit. Buzzinga, the product by Headrun technologies and Ripple Links, an influencer marketing agency have both started work in this area and have been testing it out with some of the brands on a pilot basis – to see if the results can see any change (in engagements, cost or overall performance), thus improving the RoI from Influencer marketing.
Ripple Links has been working on a tool that will be able to help brands in Influencer Optimization, Influencer Specific Drill Down, Brand Safety, Influencer selection basis their Interests, Trendspotting, Competitor Tracking as well as Category and Geography Tracking.
Also, in our effort to keep up with the latest trends, here is a roundup of some of the latest news, reports and launches in the influencer space. Do note that none of these are sponsored posts, we just found them while browsing the internet.
A recent survey by influencer marketing platform Zefmo, titled India Influence Report 2018, says that this year nearly 92% marketers will turn to influencer marketing campaigns. “The popularity of influencer marketing to drive brand awareness and reputation can be gauged by the insight that 89% of marketers have found the medium to be effective and 62% are planning to increase their budgetary allocation towards engaging social influencers,” the survey says.
54 per cent of respondents had an influencer marketing budget of around $10,000 per year. 21 per cent spent $20,000, 15 per cent $50,000 and 10 per cent over $50,000. For the vast majority (49 per cent), influencer marketing represented just 2-5 per cent of their annual marketing budget, although 78 per cent intend to increase that in 2018
Only 15 per cent felt it offered a better ROI than other marketing mediums, however, while 55 per cent saw ROI as influencer marketing’s biggest challenge and 73 per cent named determining ROI from a campaign to be their biggest strategic hurdle.
Headquartered in Gurugram, VUROLL allows the brands to target its audience by their age, demographic, and gender for executing market-specific campaigns. By using its unique interface, brands can target the right set of influencers and content creators in those specific markets by leveraging VUROLL’s Search, Discover, Engage and Analytical tools. The platform enables brands and influencers to efficiently engage the audience while they focus on important measures like metrics, payments and campaign performance.
Buzzoka – Influencer Marketing 2.0 (www.buzzoka.com ), a renowned name in the Influencer Marketing ecosystem launched its DIY platform in closed beta. Interestingly, Buzoka launched its DIY platform with a unique Influencer Marketing Survey that covers the length and breadth of Influencer Marketing Ecosystem both in the Influencer and Brand Space. The survey, which was conducted with over 500 Marketers and Influencers showcases the real state of Influencer marketing in India.
Over 50% brand custodians considered branding and reach as their primary objective to use influencer marketing. Interestingly sustained engagement and short burst campaign saw a low this year.
46% Marketers around India attributed reach and engagement as the most important factor for using Influencer Marketing. Interestingly, 23% marketers considered it to be a good alternative for traditional media.
Top 3 challenges for a marketer are to justify ROI, select right partner/platform & determine a balanced marketing mix which has a justified share of influencer marketing.
75% marketers categorized Influencer Marketing as a subset of Brand Marketing & 54% categorized it to be a part of content marketing activity
Wittyfeed Co-founder, Parveen SInghal , in his Afaqs article, says Social Media Influencer Marketing is one of the biggest trends for 2018. “While you might still be the one who thinks social media influencer marketing is expensive, it has a Return on Investment (ROI) of 11 times more than that of traditional digital marketing. It is going to be the trendsetter in 2018 when 71 per cent of the people make their purchases based on social media referrals and, more importantly, 94 per cent of marketers will tell you that influencer marketing has positive results.”
In short, you cant ignore Influencer marketing in 2018, and the best way to tackle it is to embrace it, maybe be a little more scientific in selecting the influencers, add in some more filters, set clear expectations and assign RoI figures to start with.
If you wish to get some assistance in setting things up, you can always reach out to us for the latest updates, tips and tricks at Toshal@whatclicks.in
- Read the Zefmo report here: https://blog.zefmo.com//wp-content/uploads/2018/01/India_Influence_Report_2018.pdf
- Link to Download the Buzzoka Full Survey: http://bit.ly/InfluencerMarketingOutlook2018