Editor's Note: Influencer marketing has gone through a lot recently. One considered a wunderkind of marketing, the bloom may be off the rose. For some critics, consumer engagement with influencers is declining in certain respects.
In addition, there is a growing tension between the industry’s growth (projected to hit $15 billion by 2022) and its fraudulent practices, ineffective partnerships and FTC crackdowns. Luckily, a solid measurement strategy can help brands combat skeptics.
Danica Kombol, CEO of Everywhere Agency, has seen the rise of influencers from humble blogosphere beginnings to multi-billion dollar industry. On the board of the newly founded Influencer Marketing Association, Kombol will share tactics and tips for successful influencer marketing during The Social Shake-Up 2020.
Social Shake-Up senior content leader Sophie Maerowitz asked Kombol about measuring influencer effectiveness and the future of influencer marketing, among other topics. Kombol believes measurement will grow in importance as brands seek to prove the effectiveness of influencers. Kombol's edited responses are below.
PRNEWS: What are the most important measures of influencer marketing success?
Danica Kombol: Engagement and attribution. Gone are the days when we based success on impressions. Sure, it’s great to see that a message was spread far and wide, but when people engage, we know we’ve hit the gold mine.
Engagement can come in many forms, from likes to website visits. When users engage, that means they eventually could be new customers.
In addition, attribution for an influencer’s effectiveness goes far beyond comments like 'Can’t wait to try this new product.' Users and their comments can can be tracked to a brand’s website, all the way to that ideal conversion.
Proper attribution is critical for accurate measurement. Campaign software can reveal accurate numbers. From Instagram story views to boosted Facebook posts, you are able to thread together a holistic view of data from influencers and ultimately see their real impact for a brand.
PRNEWS: What changes are you seeing in the market?
Kombol: More clients are embracing the power of user-generated content (UGC). There’s a clear appreciation for finding creative ways to repurpose influencer content. It’s likely that UGC will become the norm, rather than stuffy stock photography and brand-made visuals.
This is lucky, too, because as Gen Z establishes buying power, they’re demanding not just personalization, but individualization. It’s not enough to tweak copy for a new social channel. You need an intimate understanding of the challenges, hopes, and day-to-day lives of those you’re trying to reach.
PRNEWS: What missteps are brands making?
Kombol: It's mistake to think that influencer marketing can be fully automated. Spoiler alert: This industry is not a machine. Influencers are people, creating content in their voice. You need a combination of data (to understand reach and impact) and the human eye to make sure the content is on brand. Companies that want strong relationships with influencers can’t do that through technology alone. It’s a person-to-person interaction.
PRNEWS: Which brands are using influencers successfully on social?
Kombol: Best Buy has been in the influencer space for years. It has developed powerful connections with brand ambassadors, who are featured on its site. They view influencers as partners, and it’s a symbiotic relationship.
The CSR-focused campaigns of Georgia Pacific [a client of Everywhere Agency] have enlivened stories that the media might not ordinarily pick up.
PRNEWS: What will influencer marketing look like in 2021?
Kombol: 2021 will be the year of measurement; the value of influencer marketing will shine through in performance data.
A version of this content appeared originally at The Social Shake-Up.
More about measuring influencer effectiveness at PRNEWS' Crisis and Measurement Summit, Feb. 25-26, 2020, in Miami.