May 17, 2020
Long before we had influencer marketing, we had older siblings and cousins who showed us what we wanted to be, and what we wanted to do. They were the original influencing factors. For Bradley Hoos from the Outloud Group, it was his cousins in particular. We followed them, he says, because they trusted us. And today, successful influencers are the ones who have gained similar trust from their followers.
Trust is not the only thing that makes influencers powerful. The other reason why reputable brands work with these people is that they can tell a story. You can tell a story in a compelling and understandable way, especially as consumers are increasingly reluctant to be sold “to”. So the key to a successful influencer relationship is to give them the space and the autonomy to tell this story the way they can best do it.
While #SMWONEHoos addressed this issue, outlining the main barriers to influencer marketing and best practices for success, ways to better understand and scale your company's influencer efforts, and his predictions for the future of influencer measurement and what You can do to prepare yourself.
Here are the key findings and insights:
- Influencers do not need scripts or instructions on brand voting
- We all need to be able to do more when it comes to measurements
- Think of influencer marketing as the "magic johnson" of your marketing mix
Static = Safe, Live = Legendary
If we choose influencers based on their ability to tell an engaging story, we should allow them to do so in a format that captures that quality. Static posts on Instagram, which were once the standard for influencer content, have given way to video content. While this has raised the heart rate of more than a few brands that see the potential loss of control the video could offer, Hoos argues that it's worth the risk. "We are looking for good partnership prospects (…) and really get to know them" and believe that any brand that works with an influencer should do the same. After all, their followers made them valuable to us because of their trust; shouldn't we offer the same?
Hoos believes video-on-demand (like an Instagram video post) is one way to do this, but there are significantly more ways to let influencers use their talents to live or stream video. A typical example: the burgeoning world of sport. It is no longer a niche interest, but the right place for generation Z men and younger millennials. As a reference, the last streams of the League of Legends attracted more viewers than the NBA final, the World Series final or the Stanley Cup final. "If you are a brand trying to reach a Gen Z man, this is the right time," he confirmed.
Full hopper growth for pit lift
Mandy Cudahy, Director of Content Marketing at Grubhub, attended the session via a recorded video. The challenge for her team in integrating influencer marketing into their strategy was to find ways to reach potential customers across the funnel. By allowing your chosen influencers, their "Why Grubhub?" Authentic to share. The content they shared on Twitch live streams brought them the lowest cost per click and lowest cost per acquisition the company had ever seen.
Hoos was happy to share this as confirmation of the idea that influencers don't need our scripts or instructions on branding. They are much more powerful as trademark attorneys and can use their authentic voices – the voices their followers know and appreciate about them – to sing the praises of your product or service.
The meaning – and magic of measurement
"It's 2020 and we all need to be able to do more when it comes to measurement," says Hoos of the impact influencer marketing can have on the bottom line. He admits that this can be more difficult than simpler forms of marketing, but is also not naive about the range that this can have. Regarding "atrributable" and "unassignable" purchases, he cites a study carried out by The Outloud Group, which found that for every attributable purchase made by an affiliate link or influencer post, there were between three and four classified as "unassignable" could actually be attributed to the influence of the influencer.
For this reason, he sees influencer marketing as the "magic Johnson" of your marketing mix. Not only is it powerful in itself, it also makes everyone around it – email marketing, paid social networks, blogs, TV spots, etc. – stronger. And if you have Magic Johnson on your team, why wouldn't you start him?
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