For a long time in Canada, influencer marketing had the perception of being the wild west. Well, it is no longer the case! Influencer Marketing isn’t the same as it was a decade ago.
Influencer marketing has seen a massive growth over the past couple of years, due in large part to its authenticity. The use of influencers increases consumer awareness and allows brands to be seen and come in contact with their target audiences. The association brings value, mainly for the reason that these influencers have already established a certain level of trust with their followers and therefore have an impact on their perception of things or products in our case.
Influencer marketing works because it allows a brand to reach an audience through someone that the audience already trusts. It is not the brand that speaks, it's a person! What makes influencer marketing unique and appealing to brands and businesses is that it looks natural and consumers don’t necessarily realize that they’re being subtly sold to.
With 65% of brands planning to increase their influencer marketing budget, there is a need to make sure there are industry-wide standards. To help achieve this, Advertising Standards Canada announced that influencer guidelines, which will require brands to fully disclose any paid endorsements or mentions of products/services by an influencer. Influencers are required to disclose any type of material connection they have to the company, clearly.
“Material connection” is defined as any connection between an entity providing a product or service and an endorser, reviewer, influencer or person making a representation that may affect the weight or credibility of the representation, and includes: benefits and incentives, such as monetary or other compensation, free products with or without any conditions attached, discounts, gifts, contest and sweepstakes entries, and any employment relationship, but excludes nominal consideration for the legal right to identify publicly the person making the representation.- ASC
Here's a quick low down on the state of social media marketing and influencer marketing landscape in the Canada
- Canada population has surged above 36 million. According to Statistics Canada, the official population was 36,591,241, as of April 1, 2017.
- In 2017, there were approximately 22.7 million social network users in Canada, and this figure is projected to grow to 24.09 million in 2022.
- Facebook was used the most frequently with an average of 9 usage sessions per week. Instagram was also used frequently, with an average use of 6 weekly sessions.
- 36 percent of responding Canadians said they were following celebrities on social media, while 51 percent said they followed vloggers.
- The mobile social media ad revenue in Canada is expected to grow from 282 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 508 million in 2021.
- 26 percent of the female respondents named YouTube as a social media channel that influenced their purchase decisions.
- 22 percent of small businesses reported using Facebook on a weekly basis to engage with customers or prospects.
- When asked which media saw an increase in marketing spending that year, 43 percent of responding marketers said they spent more on digital advertising.
- Approximately 16 percent of female respondents stated that they have made online purchases after following a sponsored link or an ad on social media.
- 56 percent of responding Canadian online shoppers said they would decide to make on online purchase via buy button if the brand was offering a discount or a promotion.
Top Influencer Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know
- 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
- 86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.
- 32% of influencers who currently work with brands cite Facebook as the best platform, followed by Instagram at 24%.
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
- 86% of the most-viewed beauty videos on YouTube were made by influencers, compared to 14% by beauty brands, themselves.
- 57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers as part of their marketing strategies.
- On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Brands looking into influencer marketing should take note of the trends in the industry in order to fully strategise their campaign. We have identified 3 prominent trends of influencer marketing coming 2017:
Trend #1: Emphasis Towards Content Marketing
In 2016, we have seen and experienced both the good and not-so-positive impact influencer marketing can bring to a brand. Some prominent mistakes made by brands include the overuse of influencers, selecting influencers irrelevant to your brand and so on. But one big mistake that should be avoided is the posting of content which is irrelevant to the audience.
Coming 2017, the emphasis on quality content will be largely noticeable. Content posted by Canada influencers not only have to be engaging and interactive, it also have to be new, natural, suited to the influencer and brand, shareable and encompasses a call-to-action to be able to reach out to a wide network of your target and produce positive results. Consequentially, brands which invest greatly in creating quality content will have an edge over the rest.
Trend #2: People-Centric Influencer Marketing
Most brands and marketers are focused on tapping on the hype of influencer marketing without considering the rationale behind those marketing efforts. In the upcoming year, it is crucial for brands to become more people-centric and focus on the audience when implementing each campaign.
Influencer marketing in 2017 will need to provide consumers with what they desire and explain how purchasing your product or service will add value to their life. With many marketers executing their marketing campaigns without much thought regarding their audience, being the first few to resonate with the audience will bring your brand ahead.
Trend #3: Canadian Becoming Risk-Adverse
Being risk-adverse, Canada consumers are increasingly relying on influencers and word-of-mouth to decide on their purchases. This should be seen as an opportunity to leverage on the available influencers to bring about more sales through the online platform. To be able to leverage on influencer marketing to provide a form of reassurance for the consumers would definitely bring about positive impact on your brand's ROI.
Influencer marketing would hence be a great platform to reach out to Canada market, especially the young Canadian who constantly look online for reviews. These characteristics of the community is what make influencer marketing extremely effective in Canada.
How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing?
Reaching out to Influencer Personally or through Influencer Marketing Agency
You may ask, what are the various ways to engage Instagram influencers in Canada to perform influencer marketing? There are simply two options: businesses to reach out to influencers personally, or go through an influencer marketing agency.
On the surface, it may seem reasonable to reach out to influencers personally with the presumed low cost and easy reach. However, with the vast amount of influencers in Canada, each focusing on specific topics of interest, performing influencer marketing and liaising can be a real challenge. To execute an effective influencer marketing campaign, one should be sure to read up on the various aspect of influencer marketing from the various articles and ebooks available online.
Alternatively, an influencer marketing agency would be of great help in terms of identifying the right influencer for your marketing campaign, negotiating prices and measuring results.
Canada Fastest Growing Influencer Marketing Agency
StarNgage is an Influencer marketing and reporting platform allowing brands to customise, manage, launch, and measure digital advertising campaigns on Instagram. StarNgage empowers brands to partner and advertise with everyday influencers - the same way you would on search engines or social networks!
StarNgage provides 4 main services: Targeting, Identifying, Amplifying and Tracking.
Set your targeted customer profiles and categories while indicating preferred Cost-Per Engagement
Search for category-specific and brand aligned Influencers with the right profile to promote your campaign through our patented matching algorithm
Mobilise Influencers to create optimised visual content that engages your targeted consumers, amplifies your brand, and generate online buzz
Track your influencer marketing performance through our dashboard and measure your ROI. Pay based on desired results.
How To Choose Your Influencer Marketing Goals and KPIs
The Most Common Influencer Marketing Campaign Goals
After activating more than 10,000 influencers across 120 campaigns, we've seen influencers used in many different ways. Here are the most common goals we saw across our campaigns.
The Most Common Influencer Marketing Campaign KPIs
Can be measured based on the number of followers of influencers. Easy to measure, but the least valuable.
Easy to measure and one of the most important performance based metrics
Includes any social action (like, comment and share). Requires a hashtag or unique link for proper attribution. More value than a click.
Includes installs, sign-ups, form completions and purchases. Hardest to measure, requiring a pixel & unique link or a promo code for attribution.
How To Choose Your Influencer Types
The Pyramid of Influence
The Pyramid of Influence encompasses the full spectrum of your influencer relationships. Here is a breakdown of how that pyramid works from the top down. Not all influencers are the same. Over the past few years, there is a big shift in focus from these high-end influencers to micro-influencers. To explain the different types of influencers, StarNgage uses the Pyramid of Influence. Influencers with a high reach and lower relevance, like celebrities and thought leaders, are at the top of the pyramid, while those with lower reach but higher relevance, like advocate and current customers are at the bottom. Micro-Influencers is a mix of people who have reach, but more importantly, have a high relevance among their audiences. Their influence lies in their niche understandings and the mutual trust with their audiences.
Spectrum of Influencers
The term ‘influencer’ used to describe celebrity and social media elite. But the mass adoption of social media leveled the playing field to include bloggers, instagrammers, youtubers and even everyday consumers. As such, the industry is working to establish a common taxonomy to talk about influencers. Influencers can be identified among the following three types:
Actors, artists, athletes and social media stars who have 500k+ followers and drive 2% to 5% engagement per post. They have the highest reach on the influencer spectrum, with their influence driven by their celebrity (they tend to be brands in their own right). They have the lowest overall resonance when it comes to driving actions on behalf of a brand.
Professional bloggers, and YouTubers who have large base of 50,000 to 500,000 followers and drive 5% to 20% engagement per post. They have the highest topical relevance on the spectrum, with category-specific influence – such as lifestyle, fashion or business.
Everyday consumers who have 500 to 100,000 followers and drive 25% — 50% engagement per post. They have the highest brand relevance and resonance on the spectrum of influencers, with influence driven by their personal experience with a brand and their strength of relationship with their networks.
Social Media Influencer Landscape in Canada
Mega-influencers: Earn their living some other way (e.g. athlete, actor, artist, top model, celebrity), and monetize their influence as a secondary source of income. (For example Drake and Avril Lavigne)
Macro-influencers: Earn their living as an influencer (e.g. professional blogger, creator, or journalist). (For example The Coveteur, Not Your Standard, Ania B and Alicia Fashionista)
Micro-influencers: Consumers who have relevant influence and may not know it, or aspire to become a macro-influencer. (For example Cara Jourdan, Gumboot Glam, Stephanie Strejovski, Jessica Luxe and Krystin Lee )
Brand Advocates: Consumers who are passionate and willing to share, but have little influence.
Top Youtubers (Youtube Influencers) in Canada
Top Instagrammers (Instagram Influencers) in Canada
How To Choose Your Influencer Marketing Content Types
Plan Your Content Type Before Activating The Influencers
Brand creates the content and influencers are activated to share it with their networks.
Influencers don't add any personalization; they simply share the content. Least risk.
Less Creativity and personalization. Least impactful.
Brand develops guidelines for the content and influencers create their own content based on adaptation. For example: “Share a picture of your selfie in Singapore Botanic Garden”.
Moderate Impact Pontential.
Content is generated by Influencers based on their creativity. Brand gives loose and generic direction.
Influencers have full creativity with loose guideline from brands. Maximum impact.
Review process is needed as part of risk management as the risk is higher.
How To Choose the Right Incentive for Your Influencer
Plan Your Incentives Before Activating The Influencers
There are different factors you should consider before making a decision on what kind of incentives you offer to your influencers.
Exclusivity: Incentives should be exclusive to only influencers that you like to activate in order to motivate participation in your influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer type: Most of the mega-influencers and macro-influencers will require cash payment, while micro-influencers will consider other form of compensations aside from cash.
Brand affinity: The most enduring and valuable level of influencer relationship is based on the mutual belief that the influencers and the brand share common values. It is advisable to activate relevant influencer who is passionate about your brands for best results. Branded incentives will work best in this case.
Fulfilment Effort: If more effort is required by the influencer to create and share branded content, then a higher incentive value is needed.
Types of Incentives
For most of the mega-influencers and macro-influencers, you will have to use payments for incentives. However for micro-influencers, some of them are open to receive VIP treatments and special branded incentives other than cash.
When activating micro-influencers, the most popular incentive is an exclusive experience. This type of incentive works best when they are passionate about your brand. This could be in the form of a discount, gift card, limited product giveaway, VIP free trial etc.
Micro-influencers are more than happy to receive non-monetary rewards such as recognition. You can do this by featuring their content on your owned media such as Website or share their voices and give them a limelight on your social media channel.
Common Incentives Ideas
- Exclusive Event
- Early Access
- Free Trial
- Contest Entries
- Gift Cards
- Experience Box
- Limited Product Sample
- Priority Service