Interview: Ross Quintana on How to Value and Measure Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a sector of marketing which is growing at the speed of light. No surprise here, since according to one of Tomson’s studies, influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method with 22% effectiveness. It beats tried-and-true methods like email or paid search which have nearly 12% effectiveness. Influencer marketing delivers ROI, making brands happy. How do you find, engage, and track an influencer’s effectiveness, then? Ross explains this step-by-step.
Why do brands need to run their influencer marketing on social? Is this a solution for businesses of all sizes?
The advantage of using social for influencer marketing is that you get direct access to the audience of the influencer. Since social is multimedia, you can create content in many formats. Also, you can easily research influencers on social media and even look into their audience, engagement, and influence to see if it would be a good fit for your target market. Oftentimes, small businesses think influencer marketing is for mid-size to large organizations, but small businesses have big advantages when leveraging influencer marketing. There are also different strategies for large and small-sized businesses. Large businesses that have large audiences may use it to influence sales directly or to reach into a certain market segment. Small businesses may use it to access an audience if they haven’t yet grown one, or for social proof. There are many ways you can leverage influencer marketing with strategic options for businesses of all sizes.
What tools and tactics do you use to measure results from influencer marketing?
Most tools for measuring success in influencer marketing are going to be the same as you would use to measure social media success. Native analytics and social analytics tools can help you track the target KPIs that correspond to your campaign and business goals. The key is to set good business-focused goals in the beginning so that you know what to measure and what is actually driving your business goals. There isn’t one size or one strategy fits all when it comes to influencer marketing or even social media marketing. Since both offer a wide variety of business benefits you need to be clear on what you want to get out of it so you can measure, manage, and strategize for the best ROI.
What is the best way to engage an influencer through social?
Influencer marketing works best the more targeted it is. You need to first be clear of your business goals that you hope to achieve. These goals will affect the influencers you target. You need to understand their brand, audience, and type of influence. If they are a natural fit for your business, it will be easier to create a relationship with them and also reach out to them about being an influencer for you. This will also ensure it is authentic when it comes time for them to promote your brand to their audience. I have said it many times that a good place to look first is your own customers. They have already bought your products so you start with authenticity, loyalty, and understanding of your brand. The cost for working with that influencer is going to be lower and the results greater than working with someone who has never bought your brand before. You can either reach out to them directly or develop a relationship first. To do that means finding out what they find important, learning about them, and sharing and promoting their content. Introducing them to your brand, products, or service is another great way to engage with them. If your research and targeting are done right, they should be a natural fit.
Don’t ask them to promote you without showing them how much you value them personally and financially. Understand they can make a large impact on your business and they have likely spent years in your space growing a targeted audience. I have been offered free trials of products and I often turn them down because if they want my time to check out their product, I expect, at a minimum, free and full long term access. Influencers are not interns and their time and influence are worth money and perks. The opportunity cost to them is what else they could be doing instead of checking out or promoting your brand. Make sure you approach them with respect and focus on how you can benefit them.
Do influencers really have an impact on our sales? How does cooperation with them help to grow our business?
Businesses already have influencers that are impacting their sales. They might not know who they are but within your current customers are people who actively promote your brand which leads to sales. The key is to find, empower, and reward them as well as find and create new brand advocates who will drive sales for your brand. When you do your research, know your customers, and target influencers properly, sales will be the natural progression of your efforts. If this isn’t happening you may need to re-evaluate your targeting. There are many opportunities to go beyond the initial bump your business will get when working with influencers. Cooperating and building mutually beneficial strategies with influencers can create a great source of revenues and outreach. Businesses shouldn’t think of it in the way they think of advertising. They should instead look at it as a new business unit or strategy. That is how you can get more out of your relationship with influencers. Make sure you look at how you can leverage your business to grow their influence, which will then recirculate back to you as a third party recommendation.
What is the most important part when it comes to growing our conversion funnel on social – and turn readers into leads?
Targeting is the most important aspect of conversion. Most people fail to do enough research so they end up trying to put more people in the funnel to increase conversions. It starts with understanding your customers deeper and then also understanding how your product or service adds value to them. When you understand their motivation and what identifies them as your target market, then you can find more of them and get them into your social media and convert them with your content. If you get this right and spend time fine-tuning this, you will be able to get more conversions with fewer prospects. This will enhance the results of paid media and reduce the costs of new customer acquisition. The bottom line is you need to find the people that your brand is a real fit for. If it isn’t working, you haven’t targeted the right people.
Ross Quintana is Founder of Social Magnets a marketing company that helps brands grow their online audience and authority. Ranked in Buzzsumo’s top 100 social media influencers and host of Social Magnets Live. Ross is a social influencer for products and brands who loves to engage and provide thought leadership in the business and marketing space.