Influencer marketing has been on the rise for years, and 2017 won’t be the year we see this trend change. In fact, according to research by Linqia, 48% of U.S. marketers said they plan to increase influencer marketing in 2017 and only 4% reported plans to decrease efforts in this space. Even with these statistics, we know that selling influencer marketing to the c-suite can be a daunting task but that businesses of all sizes are seeing the ancillary value in doing so.

 

Factors to Consider.

First, it’s important to remember what makes this type of marketing appealing to begin with. Just like the rise of content creators, there’s been a major increase in Ad blocker technology making it more difficult for marketers to get their messaging in front of online audiences. This has made solidifying an inbound marketing strategy and achieving organic content more important than ever before.  SocialPR Chat also found that influencer marketing campaigns earn an average of $6.85 in media value for every $1.00 spent on paid media.

It’s also wise to think about who at your company will be managing your influencer relationship cultivation. Does this scope of work seem to make the most sense for a general marketing manager? What about your PR or social media teams? How about all of the above? Thinking through the “who” will help organize budget accountability.

 

How Much Cash to Allocate?

According to Linqia’s research, the majority of marketers spent anywhere between $25,000- $50,000 per influencer marketing program in 2016 and that respondents plan to double their spending to $50,000- $100,000 this year. For some companies, this can be a massive chunk of their year’s budget so committing into a project without promised ROI can be a leap. If this is the case, consider reaching out to micro-influencers who tend to have incredibly engaged niche audiences but may not require the same caliber of compensation to work with. It can also be helpful to think about influencer compensation using 5 common used pricing models:

  1. Cost per Engagement (CPE)– compensation is based on the number of engagements (likes, shares, comments) a piece of content receives.
  2. Cost per Click (CPC)– compensation is based on the number of “actions” taken by consumers when viewing or interacting with influencer content (Ex. consumers clicking a link in a blog post to a brand’s website).
  3. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)– compensation is based on the number of actual sales made or sign-ups generated by a piece of influencer content.
  4. Pay per post- compensation is based on a flat rate. Brands or businesses pay influencers for creating a piece of content whether it be a blog post, social media content, or video.
  5. Free product or experiences- compensation is based on non-monetary payment. Brands or businesses offer influencers product or experiences in return for generated content around that offering.

 

The Proof is in the Pudding.

Among other findings, GroupHigh’s Measuring Influencer Marketing Report expressed that measuring ROI remains the biggest challenge for marketers interacting with this type of outreach… a challenge that will continue and make more important the consideration of smart budget allocation. And unfortunately with the increase of “fake followers,” marketers can’t base the success of their programs on audience reach alone. Smart marketers, Linqia says, “Have started to look at the full consumer journey and examine how consumers are moving through the entire path to purchase, instead of just looking at reach. Eighty-one percent of marketers cite engagement as their top metric for measuring influencer marketing success, followed by 62% who analyze the amount and quality of traffic driven to their website.”

 

Don’t let these challenges discourage you. Here at GroupHigh, we know first hand the value of building an always-on influencer network and have seen our clients achieve trackable results. When working with bloggers for example, measuring the page-view-to-read-ratio can be helpful. It’s said that for every 10 page views only two people read the content in full. If the read counts on a particular post are higher than average, push that influencer’s content on other sites as much as possible and focus on those who have the highest read ratio instead of the highest amount of page views.

 

Adopting an influencer marketing management tool like GroupHigh can streamline reporting by sourcing various engagement metrics for you automatically. Finding the right influencer marketing solution facilitates the measurement of program ROI and makes defending budget spend a lot easier.