Hailed as the holy grail of content marketing, influencer marketing continues be the subject of pursuit for many marketers with only a few who can claim to have mastered the craft.
Here at Candid, we have been helping our clients separate true influencers from the noise since 2012. Our approach and methodology is rooted on tangible insights that actually matter to marketers. As we continue to perfect our techniques into 2017 and beyond, here are 5 key lessons we have learned so far that shapes our focus:
- Influencer marketing is hands down the fastest growing marketing channel in 2017. According eMarketer, 84% of marketers will launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months. With major players planning to spend at least 10% more compared to previous year.
- Beyond brand advocacy, 67% marketers are looking to use influencers to generate tangible leads, conversions and product discovery according to Top Rank Marketing. As the techniques matures and enters the mainstream, its increasingly important that businesses see incremental revenue results that correlate with their social campaigns.
- A survey by Linqia found that tracking ROI continues to be the number one challenge for marketers in 2017. In this day and age of relentless automation, where surface level metrics like followers and likes can be easily bought, there is tremendous value in deeper insights into content quality and true follow through engagement as a performance measure. This is precisely why the balance of advertising dollars is shifting away from TV to digital where the impact and ensuing transaction can be unmistakably tracked.
- Omni channel approach to influencer marketing is key to brand success. With 57% of marketers saying influencer marketing will be integrated across all marketing activities in the next 3 years according to Top Rank Marketing. Typically, we see marketing teams owning influencer marketing but relying on the PR team to manage relationships and the agency partners to execute. Smooth and well integrated cross team management is still lacking.
- Comprehensive third-party platforms and tools play a pivotal part in the success of influencer marketing campaigns. According to Linqia, in 2017 more than 64% of marketers will leverage "turn-key" services when executing their influencer marketing programs while 25% will make it work using a manual process involving email and spreadsheets for outreach and management.