A few years back, marketing was mostly done through blogs, emails, TV commercials, and print media. But these traditional marketing techniques are losing popularity to influencer marketing today.
Influencer marketing is a new phenomenon in the marketing industry, with at least nine out of ten marketers having used influencer marketing in their marketing strategy.
According to the experts at influencer marketing platform StarNgage, influencer marketing capitalizes on individuals or organizations with a huge following on social media, which makes them viewed as having authority in their niche. When influencers mention or endorse the target product, they positively influence their followers’ purchasing behavior.
Marketers can use StarNgage to find suitable influencers based on social media platform, niche, and social media data to get the best return on investment on collaborations. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram is the most used platform by influencer marketers.
The strategy is proving to be a big business in the marketing industry, but it faces a huge challenge. Social media platforms are becoming oversaturated with advertisements and this negatively affects the work of influencer marketers.
The rise of influencer marketing on social media
In their influencer campaign, most marketers target Generations Y and Z, and the best place to find them is social media. Statistics by Sprout Social show a boom in Instagram use after the platform introduced shoppable ads and Instagram stories.
Marketers saw an untapped opportunity and began to make the best use of it by engaging social media influencers to promote their products. As a result of influencer marketing, Statistics by Hootsuite show social media has recorded a drastic rise in businesses seeking to post their organic and sponsored ads. Records by OBERLO predict that the budget for influencer marketing is expected to rise by at least 20 percent in the next year, from about $15 billion in 2021.
Recent statistics by Neal Schaffer reveal that generally, close to 70 percent of brands in the USA increased their influencer marketing budgets because they saw a big opportunity they could tap into and reap huge returns.
Effect of disclosure of sponsored ads
Industry players have demanded transparency when it comes to influencer marketing. Industry players feel that an influencer should show a distinction between organic ad posts and sponsored ad posts to their audience. Organic ads appear “naturally” in search results influenced by the most relevant keywords typed during the online search, while marketers pay for sponsored ads to rank above organic ads.
Although organic social media ads may look more authentic to influencers’ audiences, sponsored ads help the influencer reach out to new followers, generate leads, and attract conversions.
When sponsored posts are done sparingly (2 or 3 posts per week), they tend to receive more positive response. When they are overdone, audiences may tend to mute the ads and their influence turns negative. However, if sponsored posts were not disclosed, the impact would be different because the audience would view the posts as organic and therefore take them as authentic. The negative side is that this might not last for long and if the endorsement becomes obvious to the audience, they might unfollow immediately.
Non-disclosure may cause lower rate of return on investment
Any business that invests heavily in marketing expects high-level ROI and will discontinue any channel that makes poor or no returns. Influencer marketing has proved a viable option because, according to statistics, the ratio of return on investment on every dollar is 1:18. This statistic is reasonably high because it will convert to a 1,800 percent ROI. Determining if the ratio is tagged on individual or multiple influencers can however be a challenge. It’s important to be prudent in mentioning what is sponsored and what is not because a non-disclosure might lead to a decline in the conversion rate, which in turn, impacts the ROI negatively.
Effect on saturation rate
Saturation rate is determined by calculating the ratio between the total number of sponsored posts done by an influencer against the total number of organic posts they have done. An influencer who scores above 50 percent has been doing more sponsored ads than organic ads.
The influencer might get a thumbs up from marketers for work well done, but there is a problem. When the number of sponsored posts exceeds organic posts, the influencer’s audience tends to mute ads rather than click on them. The company that advertised with the influencer may receive a negative return on investment.
One quality of a good marketer is posting marketing campaigns in measure. That is, they must avoid uploading too many posts within a short campaign period because the effect may be negative. Too many posts from an influencer may make audiences feel nagged at and hence lower engagement rate. With less engagement, the brand being promoted might be viewed as naggy and attract less attention in the market.
For influencer marketing campaigns to be successful, a high audience engagement rate is critical. The same thing goes with disclosing sponsored posts. If an influencer does not disclose brand endorsements, it can irk audiences, who might unfollow the influencer and also see your brand as untrustworthy.
A disconnect between the brand and the influencer
Brand-influencer disconnect is a major problem with sponsored ads. Most consumers make a connection between a brand and an influencer and their purchase can greatly be influenced by this notion. A fitness influencer can easily promote sports shoes and their audience will easily see a connection between the influencer and the brand.
However, if a male influencer promotes ladies’ shoes, there will be a big disconnect between the brand and influencer and there will be no positive results. Customers generally prefer when influencers disclose sponsored posts, so brands and influencers should not be reluctant in doing so, or even providing a detailed disclosure. Apart from that, the Federal Trade Commission requires all influencers to clearly and conspicuously state their relation with the brand they promote.
Working with an influencer has several advantages for your business, such as improved brand recognition and traffic. What will make your influencer campaign successful is the use of extremely customized targeting and high-quality content. Influencers with higher than 50% saturation rate and a greater connection with your brand will have a greater return on investment. Your brand should be able to customize, manage and analyze influencer marketing results and this is where StarNgage stands out. The influencer marketing platform helps you connect with content creators while providing you real data to make the best decisions on collaborations.
Eliza Sadler is a professional journalist, college paper writer and blogger working with write my dissertation for 4 years. She’s always focused on providing a high quality of work that makes her clients return for more work. Her mantra is simple – work accurately, speedily and produce plagiarism-free work. You can reach her via email.