It’s no secret that influencers play a huge part when it comes to a brand’s success. But how does influencer marketing work and how do we measure its success?
Influencer marketing is highly relevant in today’s marketing standards. Influencers are the first ones who grab a product and do a review and make it viral. They control a considerable size of community and influence an even wider audience as well. Measuring their activity is possible but defining metrics for their influence is another story. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the specifics.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is an individual on social media with a cult following based on loyalty and authority. Followers of an influencer tend to rely on the said influencer’s opinions and suggestions as a result.
In short, an influencer is an individual on social media whose followers are based on trust and authority which can be utilised to gain a wider reach.
But the truth is, we’re just hitting the surface.
Everything comes down to context
Influencers are very different in terms of reach if we keep in mind the context. Doing Influencer outreach is important. First, you need to define your campaign goals and objectives which will set the context where you communicate. If your target group is a small niche, traditional influencer metrics like the number of followers won’t count as much as if you target a mass market community. So the first step is to define your context.
Active influencer is gold
It is important to know how active the Influencer is regardless of context. There are passive influencers who are not very active on social but followed by key community members. Also, there are others who do not make use of partnerships in marketing campaigns. You need to look for those who are happy to share their views online very often and also want to cooperate with others.
Measuring influencers need some careful preparation. Overall, there are some areas where you want to push your metrics, these are:
The context of being an influencer is the first step to go. Where are they most active? What social media platforms do they frequent? You need to determine what and which to measure on. You also need to take a look at the community they have. What are the main topics? What is the tone of voice? Before reviewing a product or campaigning a brand, are there any talks beforehand?
Measuring reach can be tricky. Overall, once you have the context defined, you can determine how much reach you can gain through an influencer. If it’s a mass community, you can expect high figures but if you have a niche, expect loyal but lower visitors. Measuring reach is straightforward; you need to keep an eye on the number of followers and traffic that they generate.
It comes down to authority and activity. If your influencers are active and have a bridge of trust with their community, expect higher engagements. Context can determine the type of engagements, but hands down shares are the most important as it makes your brand or content more viral.
Coherence is a soft metric but looks for the topics the influencers share. Some influencers are active on different topics as they have a view on each. The narrower the content you have, the more coherent view you can get from the Influencer. If someone’s posting about laptop reviews only, expect to have a consistent tone of voice and a solid community. But if someone is a lifestyle blogger, expect a more diverse opinion on your brand after the campaign.
There are connectors, who actually recommend people or brands to people. They are suitable for generating sales leads, but don’t expect hands-down bright reviews.
There are the helpers, who solve issues for their communities and share the views. Expect to be tested by them and only engage with these type of influencers if you have a solid content or product.
And there are the sales people, who do a review and pitch sales to their followers. Expect a more solid sales pitch but the engagements might lag behind the previous two.
Overall, it is a great thing to reach out to influencers to get an evaluation or further boost in your product or service. But do the heavy work and prepare for anything. Preliminary strategic thinking is your friend in this. Don’t forget to add your KPIs before actually pushing your influencer campaign live.
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SnapChat is a fast growing platform that is not eclipsed by giants such as Facebook. It’s an emerging platform which has caught the interest of Millennials and marketers alike.
SnapChat drives 6 billion daily video views – all from mobile devices. That is a massive number. To
compare it, Facebook has 8 billion daily video views, and YouTube has 4 billion. SnapChat’s traffic comes only from mobile, which makes it super unique. It is not for teens only – three-quarters of US users are above 18 and more and more people joining the platform above 25 as well. According to Ecommerceworld, it is the 4th largest social network now behind Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the highest growing platform in 2016. Importance is not an issue anymore rather than how to determine the success of the content we put up on SnapChat.
Having fun with influencers
Not just for teens anymore
SnapChat’s launch was widely welcomed and used by those in their teens. Now the picture is more lively and diverse than that. Most of the users on SnapChat are people above 18 and there’s an increasing number of users who are above 25 as well. It is the quintessential app for millennials.
Traditional options to advertise
Of course, like all other social networks, SnapChat offers the opportunity to place ads on users feeds. You can create easy Snap Ads, much like the same as you do in Instagram, YouTube or any other interactive social media platforms. Snap Ads will appear on users feed as a 10 seconds limited snap video. You can also utilise SnapChat’s unique features like SnapChat Live Stories and Snap Lenses but these are either only usable with a live offline event, or they are very costly.
The way-to-go approach
SnapChat shines the best when brands advertise with influencers. Usually, a brand sponsors an influencer with product placement or any endorsement, leveraging their community. But SnapChat has more to offer with SnapChat Takeovers. In this, a highly respected SnapChat influencer with a huge community base, takes over a brands SnapChat account to do, well, like anything. The Takeover lasts a couple of hours or even a day. The influencer encourages their user base to follow the Takeover and get to know more about the brand.
The most important metrics to measure performance
SnapChat became popular due to its privacy features. Because of the nature of this feature, the measurement is challenging to say at least. It is hard to measure something that encourages the secrecy of the users. However, there are some key insights you can get directly from the SnapChat platform.
First, you want to know how many users viewed your snaps. That is the most important metric for you, though it is pretty straight-forward and baseline. You will know pretty much strictly the exact number of users you reach with your snaps. You will also know how many users watched the full story of your SnapChat Stories.
Second, you want to know how loyal your followers and how engaging the content you create. SnapChat has limited options to measure direct engagements but taking a screenshot of a snap is a good indicator as a user will download your snap for reuse.
SnapChat is the fastest growing social network
SnapChat will be the fastest growing social network in 2017 and will play a significant role in the social media marketing ecosystem. With this tremendous growth, SnapChat will also evolve. Now, it is a playful platform that everyone should try and experiment with, but in time, it will become an entirely professional network that can be used by any businesses. This will also come with extensive metrics and analytics systems.
Facebook LIVE and other live streaming platforms are getting increasingly important. But how do we measure their performance?
This year has been big for some new trends. We had a rise on virtual reality; we have experienced augmented reality, but nothing had more impact than the take-on of our Facebook Timeline by live coverage videos. Live streaming is here, and it is huge. Livestream videos on social networks are one of the most valuable new additions to the media coverage and it is getting increasingly popular among marketers as well. The central question remains, however: how do we measure their impact?
Customers want transparency
The harsh beauty of reality
There is no doubt that live stream video is one of the hottest trends in the communication and marketing business. It is no coincidence how Facebook and YouTube monetized the platform capabilities of once stand-alone products like Periscope and other live streaming services. The key question is not of the importance but of why it is so much important.
One answer to that is a transparent reality. Customers don’t want well-manicured pre-scripted marketing content anymore; they want full access to the brand and live stream videos can get them there. Livestream video is a transparent window for a brand. Livestream lets users step inside to another reality, in our case, a brand’s. Of course, it is risky to let others in and live stream as its name states: live. And live is precarious to have, full of potential flaws and mistakes. But it is a risk worth taking.
Have a goal and don’t be afraid to miss it
Creating live video is so much different than having a regular video for marketing purposes. While a typical video has a script or a story, ultimately it wouldn’t be different than any other pre-scripted content. A live video, however, cannot be fully scripted.
With having a goal in mind, you can clearly minimise the number of mistakes. Start with a strategic intent: what is the purpose of your live feed? Think about the purpose and try to stick to it, map out the possible journey of your live event. Much like preparing for an offline networking event, where you plan out your goal of the event, the people you want to meet and share your thoughts with.
Like any other event and like any other human interactions, nothing will be perfect. Don’t stress out; mistakes happen, and that is why live streams are fantastic because they are non-scripted and allowed to have errors. This is exactly why customers prefer these compared to pre-scripted content.
If you do it, do it like a pro
Promote the live event online, before actually going live. Promotions can and should be pre-scripted and strategically planned. Announce the exact time and date when you’re about to go live and the actual transparent purpose of your event.
Go live for at least 5 minutes but not more than 30 minutes. If a live event is interesting, users tend to watch it more than a traditional video. Also, users might jump on and off from a live stream, allow them space to re-join. Also, it is useful to create a recap of what has happened from time-to-time.
Create a title and add relevant features. People want to know what they are watching, where the live stream takes place, what the main topic is and who the speakers of the event are.
Keep in mind that live stream a video is much more cost effective than an average video. You don’t need a professional video editor or a possible animator and designer to produce one. All you need is a good internet connection and a good camera that can shoot in HD and nothing more.
Another good option is to repurpose your live stream video. Once you finish recording and streaming, save the video and embed to your other digital channels as an added value content. It is personal; it was live once, and customers still connect to your business through that video.
Measure it properly
Thankfully Facebook and YouTube offer a massive amount of insights on your viewers if you do a Livestream video. There are three different areas you want to know and investigate, and there are different metrics that can give you the answer on each platform, but they are the same.
First, you want to know how many viewers you had. The total number of unique views of the video is interesting, but you also want to know how many users saw the video once it was live and once it was finished. It gives you an actual reach of users. Facebook also have a People Reached metrics which gives you the exact figure on how many users saw your live video as a notification on their News Feed.
Second, you want to know when and how much they have watched. Peak live views, average % of total views can help you get there. You will know how many users watched the full live stream – they are your most loyal customers – and how many users watched during X minutes.
Third, you need to know what the reactions are. Every video can be commented, shared and engaged live and also after it finishes. The number of shares, comments, reactions will give you the exact amount of engagements you had for your video.
Share your story live
Don’t be afraid to share your company’s story live and benefit from the transparency that customers want. Live stream videos will be a massive thing for 2017 digital marketing, and the platforms will continue to improve.
Instagram is often viewed as a complimentary social media channel where you need to take your hands on, only after mastering Facebook. While this is, somewhat, true; it is also the reason why most small businesses just skip this channel entirely; labelling this as not important. Also measuring Instagram is harder as it needs tailored tools and attention from your analytics team. These misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Instagram is a fantastic tool for everyone as it can drive sales and generate leads and measuring success on this channel is straight-forward and easy.
Why You Need Instagram Marketing
It’s not just for those who sell visually attractive products.
The common misconception about Instagram marketing is that it is for those who have visually attractive products. Instagram is beneficial for those who sell products that can be attractive on a photo on Instagram as their Instagram channel can serve as a product catalogue or lookbook. But it’s certainly not just for them.
Instagram can showcase your company’s culture. A good photo of a unique desk of your employees, an office picture, pictures about corporate retreats and after-work hours can be engaging, and it can humanise your company. It can attract job prospects as the visual images make your organisation more human, more intimate and more attractive. Instagram can also showcase your company’s good will, charity events, fundraising or just a regular Christmas party. It can show your merchandise, or it can reflect the exact location where your office is based. Any personal touches on Instagram can help your company to distinct itself from other ‘faceless’ and ‘pictureless’ companies.
Instagram is still quiet and engaging
Remember when everyone opened up a Facebook business page and within months, Facebook got flooded with branded content? Well, it is certainly not true for Instagram – at least, not yet. According to Selfstartr, only 36% of marketers use Instagram for campaigns, compared to the 93% of marketers who use Facebook. Instagram is also more engaging than Facebook. Instagram accounts enjoy at least 4% engagement from their total followers according to Forrester. On Facebook, this engagement is less than 0.1%.
Instagram is still a less busy platform compared to other channels so it is easier to get the word out. Your account can grow organically when you are using the right hashtags. If you want to throw in some paid boost, Instagram is fully synched up with Facebook adverts. It costs less to maintain an excellent paid advertising campaign as it has less competition.
How to Create a Content Strategy for Instagram
Create your goals and talking points
Once you have decided on Instagram marketing, you need to set your goals. You can have multiple ones as well but make sure that your Instagram marketing goals are in-line with your business goals. It can be anything from showcasing your products, your company culture, to creating a community around stories, branded infomercial and entertaining content or just pure sales supporting contest-focused channel. Once you have your goal, set your talking points. These points will be your topics that you will stick to and share. It can be anything from product demos, customer stories, meet our team, funny stuff in the office or anything connected to an actual campaign.
Create your Instagram playbook
Once you have everything set, create a playbook for further use to help the content production team to produce awesome content. The playbook will detail the frequency of posting, the content calendar and as Instagram is a visual channel, you also need a style guide that describes the fonts, colour palette, filters and captions you constantly use to make your channel consistent.
Hashtags are one of the primary drives for finding content on Instagram, so you also need to setup your hashtags that you will use on your photos. Make sure you will stick to popular hashtags and a branded hashtag that will reflect your campaign or your brand. TrackMaven research shows that posts with more than 11 hashtags tend to get more engagements. But beware of flooding your posts with hashtags, choose the best ones and most relevant to your content.
How to Measure Success on Instagram
Set the right tools for tracking
Measuring success on Instagram is straight-forward and easy. However, as Instagram activity is not integrated with any well-known tools like Google Analytics, you need to look for tailored tools for Instagram or social media measurement. You can stick to manual tracking or default Instagram metrics provided by Instagram itself, or you can go with tools that help you post and track your Instagram account’s activity. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout, HubSpot can offer you not just great content production and scheduling tools but also a reliable tracking option. For smaller accounts, you can also stick to desktop-based solutions like Webstagram or IconoSquare.
Know what to measure
Instagram is an easy-to-understand tool where you have only a handful of metrics that you need to measure. But it is important to understand the meaning of each metrics.
Number of comments received
Instagram users can comment on posts. The number of posts you receive on your content shows how engaging your content is. Obviously getting likes for your comment is vital, it makes your content stand out and noticed, but real active engagement only happens when a user comments on your post. TrackMaven’s report shows that brands have only around 19 likes per content per 1000 followers but just only 0.5 comments. Commenting, therefore, is the best indicator to decide whether your content is engaging or not.
Using hashtags is the main way to categorise, therefore find new content on Instagram. Check for the most popular and most engaging hashtags that receive high engagement on average and don’t afraid to use them if they are relevant to your content. Popular hashtags can also show you what to post.
If you are a coffee shop and are posting only photos of table napkins, you might want to check that #cafe #coffee #espresso hashtags are more popular, and you can’t go wrong with it.
Number of followers
This works as the most important metric that defines your reach. The higher number of followers you have, the bigger your audience is, and the wider your content reach is. Ideally, the follower numbers are growing day-to-day organically if you use the right techniques. This is a retrospective metric so make sure you look at it by over time; there is no point tracking and reporting it day-by-day. Focus on monthly gains or even wider timeframes to see the growing trend.
Referring traffic from Instagram
On your Instagram profile, you can set URL-s up. Integrate Instagram UTM parameters to your Google Analytics or any other website traffic measurement tool you use to track the referring traffic from Instagram you receive. It is highly recommended to set up this tracking if you are doing a one-off campaign, for example, a promotion or contest through Instagram.
On reporting, we would advise reporting the Instagram performance monthly to see the trends in your activities.