27th November 2018 - No Comments!

Social Media Influencers – Are they worth it?

As influencer marketing continues to grow, we question, is it worth the investment? Studies show in 2018 that influencer marketing is worth an estimated $3.2 billion to $6.3 billion. This is estimated to rapidly grow up to $10 billion in 2020. These findings highlight the huge growth opportunities within influencer marketing for both influencers and investing brands.

This blog aims to answer key questions from brands looking to invest in influencer marketing from; influencer fraud, to measuring the success of a Influencer campaign and how to approach an influencer to get a positive response.

What makes a good influencer?
The key factors that make a good influencer are; passion for what they do, an understanding of current trends and a strong ethical understanding. They also need to produce strong content to engage their current audience, entice new followers, other influencers and brand collaborations.

Another key factor is authenticity and being authentic within their brand collaborations. To be authentic, the brands also need to build their following organically without buying engagement or followers, to avoid influencer fraud. If the influencer builds their personal or business brand organically, this will result in more engagement and follower growth. In order to improve engagement they should respond to all comments and answer questions their audience might have.

What is an average influencer follower count? How much do they get paid?
Influencers rely heavily on brand sponsorship in order to make a living from their passion. Studies show that only the top 3% of YouTube influencers bring in $16,800 per annum, which sparks the question 'How profitable is an influencer career?’

In order to capitalise on brand sponsorship, influencers must build up a large and loyal following count, in order to attract new sponsorship deals.

Follower count can vary due to niches. If the account is purely entertainment focused the average follower count is around 76,000, whereas if the account focus is niche it is around 15,000. These can be broken into two categories micro and macro.

A micro-influencer is an influencer with a following count of around 15,000 followers. Micro-influencers have an extremely loyal following and a close relationship with their followers. The average pay that micro-influencers charge for a sponsorship or brand deals is an average of $1000 per 100,000 followers on instagram, $500 - $750 per campaign and around $2000 - $2500 per 100,000 subscribers.

Positives: Whilst micro-influencers have a smaller following the ROI from these influencers can be stronger than macro, due to their loyal following.

Negative: Smaller following means less reach, therefore micro-influencers are less appealing for brands looking to quickly build their own following.

A macro-influencer is a influencer which has millions of followers. The macro influencers are more likely to get paid more from brands to do sponsorships. The cost of a macro-influencer can range from $2000 to $50,000 depending on different factors like engagement rates and follower counts.

Positives: Macro, whilst having less loyal followers, are able to reach a much wider audience, which is better for brand awareness objectives.

Negatives: Engagement tends to be lower, cost is higher and more risk of fake followers and influencer fraud.

A study shows that out of 10,000 well-known influencers, around 25% of influencers have bought fake followers from illegal bot farms. This results in brands paying sometimes 10s of £1000s for brand deals, especially for macro-influencers, when realistically they are only getting around 1/10 of the return on investment, whether that be leads, engagement for sales basically, they don’t get their money's worth.

How to avoid influencer fraud?
There are a few signs that ‘influencers’ are being fraudulent:

  • If the social account has a lower engagement rate than expected when compared to their follower count.
  • It is possible to have larger spikes of followers due to viral posts, but if they have little engagement with spikes of followers then they have probably bought followers.
  • If the comments and likes, on different social posts, are from the same social accounts then it would be fake engagement and the classed as fraudulent.

How to measure the success of a influencer collaboration?
We know the warning signs of bad influencers, so how do we check if an influencer can provide your brand with strong results.

You can start by looking at engagement rate and comments. You can also request to see ROI analytics from other collaborations. If the influencer has a blog you can also look at the traffic generated by this account to their blog. This is harder to determine when working with micro influencers as they are less established, however if you really want to work with an influencer, here are some tips to monitor your campaign.

Provide each influencer with a unique code for their followers to redeem, such as 10% off. You can track how many customers enter the code at checkout to see who has the strongest conversion rate. You can also add tracking metrics to discover which account is funneling new traffic to the website. This can be measured using Google Analytics.

When measuring the success of a influencer collaboration, the brand needs to decide what they want the return on investment to be, as the different metrics and dimensions you track are dependent on you want to get out of the collaboration.

If the brand is trying to get more awareness they should track impressions, which might result in less engagement but more eyes on the brand. Whereas if the brand is trying to result in more web traffic, there are a few more metrics you should track which is; new users, total page views, total sessions and time on site, to see the ROI from the influencer collaboration.

Here are a few ways to get a positive response when approaching an influencer through direct messages or emails:

  • Do research into the influencer and their brand. Influencers are more likely to respond to the email or direct message if they show that they understand their message for their brand.
  • Be creative. They need to be able to get the attention of the influencer through all the messages and emails they will receive on a daily basis. If they are creative through the ways of messaging the influencer they would have a larger chance of getting a response.
  • Try micro-influencers. There are a few reasons why brands should try using micro influencers:

- Micro-influencers don’t get as many messages and emails as influencers with a larger following, so there is a higher chance of getting a response.

- Brands won’t have to pay as much money for micro-influencers compared to larger influencers.

- Brands would get more engagement and results from a  micro-influencer in a specific niche and targeting their demographic rather than a larger influencer targeting everyone who follows the influencers.

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Published by: Jordan in Uncategorised

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