Why Engagement Is The Most Important Metric… Ever.

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By Courtney Moser

 

Is it better to reach 10,000 or 50,000 potential consumers?

Trick question: Neither one matters if there isn’t engagement. You can reach as many people as possible, but if nothing comes out of those impressions, there is no value in them. As shocking as that may seem at first, engagement is what proves people are listening; that they care about what you’re saying or appreciate what you’re offering. Without that feedback, you may as well be sending your message into outer space.

The real impact of influencer marketing surpasses celebrities and increased awareness – ultimately, it can turn passive browsers into active customers and paid influencers into long-term brand advocates. How? It all goes back to engagement.

Marketing guru Jay Baer once said: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.” If a campaign is powerful enough, it will make consumers want to engage – whether by way of likes, comments, shares, clicks or buys. Those goals will be different, depending on your strategy, but the ultimate measure of value remains the same.

When you focus on engagement in your influencer marketing campaign, you’re prioritizing quality over quantity. The benefits of this strategy include:

  • More meaningful connections
  • Increased credibility
  • Higher intent to purchase

Influencers who have higher engagement on their blog or social networks are likely closer to their followers. And a higher engagement doesn’t mean a large reach. It can be more valuable to partner with a small, niche influencer who specifically speaks to your target audience than a random famous figure. In fact, this study found that we are “50 times more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend than a celebrity or internet personality.”

Smaller influencers often become friends to their followers, and that trust is critical when it comes to influencing digital communities. By working with these influencers, you can build on their credibility to cultivate relationships and encourage brand loyalty. And once you’re in with them, celebrate! It’s been proven that word-of-mouth marketing results in a 37 percent higher retention rate.

“Once your social media foundation has been laid, you should forget the big names and focus on those influencers with the highest engagement… It’s important to remember that an engaged audience will grow itself, but an unengaged audience will not grow much at all,” this Entrepreneurarticle says.

For all of the above reasons – and many more – prioritizing engagement is the key to success in your influencer marketing efforts. Contact the Find Your Influence team today to start driving engagement and turning influence into action.

 

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Video Games & Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

 

Total revenue for the U.S. video game industry in 2015 was $23.5 billion – up 7 percent from the previous year. And as we dive deeper into 2017, this number continues to rise. Clearly, the market is huge, so the real question is: How can video games stand out from the copious competition today?

Many games are turning to influencer marketing to increase launch awareness, product buzz, digital fans and sales. These game brands partner with influencers who have a large gaming following online, and ask them to promote their game, review it or play it live. YouTube has emerged as the social platform of choice for these gamers because of the ability to share stories and authentic content through video.

Ann Hamilton, brand representative at video game publishing company Ubisoft, said of their YouTube-focused marketing strategy: “YouTube is an amazing channel for the video game industry. It allows us to share our video content with our consumers directly… It has been a great tool at building communities for each of our games.”

In fact, a recent study found that “90 percent of gamers turn to YouTube at least weekly for a gaming advice, while 64 percent of gamers download games after seeing them on YouTube.” Video game brands can reach their target audience on the platform more effectively with the help of YouTube influencers.

At the height of YouTube gaming influencer fame is “PewDiePie.” Known for his “Let’s Play” commentary and video game experiences, PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) has more than 42 million YouTube followers. What began as a simple YouTube channel featuring commentary while playing video games is now a full-fledged influencer business raking in millions. Along with writing a book and starring in a video game, Kjellberg has worked with major brands such as the Walt Disney Co.

The success story of PewDiePie, however, also comes with a cautionary tale. He was recently at the center of controversy when he posted videos with anti-Semitic messages. Situations such as this are troublesome because they often reflect back on brands the influencers work with – reinforcing the importance of guidelines and trust in influencer marketing partnerships. It’s vital to apply these best practices to your gaming campaigns for the best results.

Along with video game brands, every company in every industry should use caution when choosing to align with a celebrity or high-profile individual. Influencer marketing is always evolving, and brands have to stay on top of industry content and digital media in order to make an authentic splash and impact future success.

To learn more about different influencer marketing strategies for video game brands, contact the Find Your Influence team today.

 

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How Influencer Marketing Is Changing The TV Landscape

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By Courtney Moser

 

Consumers ages 13-24 are 2.5 times more likely to watch internet videos than TV.

Video-streaming services have overtaken live programming as the viewing method of choice.

Do we need to keep citing alarming statistics or is the picture clear enough? The TV industry is changing – from trending topics and viewers to advertising methods. Traditional ads and commercials just aren’t as effective as they used to be in the midst of the digital era.

That’s where influencer marketing comes in. To better promote TV shows and networks today, it makes sense to meet your consumers where they are – online. In 2016, 78 percent of Americans had a social media profile, and in 2018, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to pass two billion. There are millions of blogs on the internet, and even more blog readers.

Influencer marketing makes the most of this extraordinary digital age to reach consumers on blogs and social media through advanced word-of-mouth marketing. Brands partner with specific influencers – who have an engaged following that aligns with their target audience – to share cultivated messages, branded content or product promotions. Trust in traditional advertising is down, but up when it comes to influencer marketing: 92 percent of consumers say they trust earned media and recommendations over all other forms of ads. TV shows can take advantage of this influencer credibility to increase awareness, buzz and viewership.

Comedy TV show Kevin Can Wait, for example, turned to influencer marketing to promote awareness for its time slot change and drive new viewers. They identified lifestyle bloggers who had seen the family-focused comedy before, and asked each of them to write one original blog post about why they’re fans and how they relate to the show or characters. A few of the creative blog topics that resulted include:

o   My favorite TV snack and Kevin Can Wait

o   Sometimes it’s just good to laugh #KevinCanWaitAt8

o   Relate to the dreaded motherhood + balance dilemma?

The blogging influencers then shared their content across social media channels using the campaign hashtag #KevinCanWaitAt8. As a second follow-up to this campaign, the show asked a larger number of social media influencers to post three times on their social networks about the show. Ten targeted blog posts and hundreds of social posts achieved more than 252 million impressions, with a total campaign value of $3 million. These combined efforts led to 57,169 clicks to the Kevin Can Wait website – increasing awareness and interest.

Although influencer marketing may not be the go-to advertising method for TV shows yet, Kevin Can Wait’s success demonstrates that it has the power to be. Using influencer marketing, shows can reach their current audience along with a wide range of potential viewers to truly make a lasting impact.

Curious about how to get started? Contact the Find Your Influence team today to learn more.

 

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The 150% Rule Of Influencer Marketing Budgets

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Will you accept this rose?”

This catchphrase is undeniably recognizable after more than twenty seasons of The Bachelor. But how does it relate to influencer marketing?

It all starts with matchmakers – of the love and business variety. The producers on The Bachelor choose 25 interested women who meet certain criteria to vie for the attention of the infamous bachelor. The Find Your Influence (FYI) team, on the other hand, chooses a number of influencers in their network who match brand-specific criteria (this varies depending on strategy and goals). From there, the brand has to decide which influencers they want to send offers to for campaign participation.

Just as the bachelor on TV hands out roses to the women he likes best, these brands send out invitations to influencers who match their criteria and reach their target audience. Because it’s a two-sided relationship (no thank you, unrequited love!), an invitation doesn’t automatically mean it’s a match. Some influencers may not be interested in the campaign topic, or may not respond in time for the start date, etc. To make up for this – and ensure that brands partner with influencers who truly care – the FYI team recommends sending out invitations to 150% of your campaign budget.

The 150% rule for influencer marketing budgets empowers brands with partnership choices. The influencers who accept quickly are more likely committed, engaged and easier to work with. If enough relevant influencers respond to your brand invite right away, you can shut off your campaign when you hit 100% of your budget goals in the FYI platform. Or, you can decide to up your budget as positive responses continue to roll in.

“The 150% rule offers brands more flexibility,” FYI CEO Jamie Reardon says. “It can open your campaign up to more success and increased influencer relationships in the future.”

Along with the above benefits, the rule also ensures you aren’t waiting on a few influencers and delaying the campaign. In business – and in love – you want to be with (work with) people who want to be with you. This mutual respect results in enthusiasm and authenticity.

As this Forbes articles says: “Influencer marketing works best when the influencer matches the brand, is in tune with the message, has control of the format, loves the content and knows whom he or she is working with.”

So, how many roses will you be doling out for your next campaign? Make sure your budget accounts for all of the possibilities!

To learn more about influencer marketing campaign strategies, read our blog.

 

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The Value Of Brand Ambassadors Vs. “One And Done” Customers

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By Courtney Moser

 

“True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

This quote from marketer Jay Baer illustrates a major difference between long-term brand ambassadors or advocates and one-time customers. Are you driving action or just awareness? What about your influencers? The key lies in your brand objectives and campaign strategy. Determining your intentions for an influencer marketing campaign will set the stage for everything that follows.

If you’re focused on pushing a specific product through a short-term campaign, for example, you’re likely to end up increasing awareness with one-time customers. But if you enter into a campaign with the idea that you’re building a relationship with influencers and connecting with future customers, you’re more likely to gain brand ambassadors and see long-term results down the road.

In fact, a recent study found that building brand ambassadors is the most effective influencer marketing strategy. Why? It takes us back to the basics of influencer marketing: the reason that its thriving over more traditional ads and methods. Effective influencers have an ongoing relationship with brands they admire and purchase from personally – increasing authenticity and trust with consumers (and ideally, future brand ambassadors!).

Influencer marketing isn’t just about selling products or services right now, it’s about increasing brand awareness, brand affinity and intent to purchase in the future. And this is done by way of meaningful connections with influencers and consumers (with mutually beneficial value) through quality content and genuine engagement.

“At its core, influencer marketing is the latest iteration of word-of-mouth marketing. You like something, you tell two people, they tell two people and so on,” said Find Your Influence founder Jamie Reardon.

The best influencers drive action – they spur their readers and followers to do something, rather than just listen. These actions vary, from following the brand online to clicking to their website to making a purchase to recommending the brand to more people. That wealth of possibilities illustrates the power of influencer marketing: Ultimately, the influencers you work with will become brand advocates or ambassadors, and inspire consumers to become them as well.

How can you help your influencers drive action? It goes back to your brand objectives and campaign strategy – make sure you’re giving them value and content worth sharing. And of course, choose the right influencers to represent your brand. Partnering with influencers you admire and trust – who bring something fresh to your brand – will make a long-term relationship easier.

“Businesses turn influencers into ‘brand advocates’ by providing them with personalized experiences that motivate them to share positive brand impressions with others,” as said in this MediaPost article.

By now, it should be clear why we recommend working with influencers who can deliver long-term results and inspire consumers to become brand advocates – instead of just “one and done” customers. After all, who doesn’t want long-lasting success?

If you have more questions about influencer marketing campaigns and strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Find Your Influence team here.

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