The Disconnect Between Influencers and Their Audiences

The Disconnect Between Influencers and Their Audiences

Take a look at the influencers you follow on Instagram. If you are a mom, do you follow other moms? If you are into cooking do you follow recipe developers? Do the influencers you follow reflect who you are? Or do you follow those with totally different lives than you? Maybe you live in the midwest and you follow travel bloggers based in Dubai. Or maybe you are single and living in the south, but follow mom bloggers in NYC.

No matter what your interests are, I can guarantee there are influencers out there talking about them. The interests may be broad, such as beauty or cooking, or as niche as sports betting in the Northeast. But, no matter what the topic may be chances are there is probably an influencer out there sharing about it and they have a loyal and interested following too! However, one of the greatest guilty pleasures of social media is our chance to follow the lives of those very different from us. I call these the “aspirational follows.” Aspirational follows sound harmless, but they are an important aspect for brands looking to invest in influencer marketing to keep in mind.

Why We See the Break in Connection

Sure, often when you find an influencer, data will show their followers to be very similar with the same interests, similar ages, and close in location. However, what’s a little less expected but frequently true is that the audiences aren’t as similar as one would think. There’s a disconnect between influencers and their audiences – meaning an influencer’s audience doesn’t exactly mirror the influencer’s demographics and psychographics. This gap between the influencer and those who follow them, unfortunately, can mean partners may be reaching far fewer of the target audience than you hoped you would. This is something we talked about in a past blog when it came to light that people follow travel bloggers only to enjoy the beautiful imagery and daydream about world travels, not to book an immediate trip to Mykonos.

For example, take Jay Alvarrez, a hugely popular travel blogger who is sought out by many brands. He is a male, in his mid-twenties, traveling the globe, driving a G-Wagon, and jumping out of airplanes. But does his audience reflect that same lifestyle? According to our data, they don’t. In fact, travel isn’t even the number one interest of his audience. It’s fashion and beauty, which may be due to the fact that the majority of his audience are females under the age of 23.

This goes for location as well. Another example would be Sarah Anderson, a Denver based family blogger. Naturally, a Denver based brand would love to work with such a big influencer local to the city, especially since it can be hard to find influencers who aren’t based in LA or NYC. But how much of her audience could even relate to a Denver based brand? Or how many could shop at a retailer specific to Denver? When you take a look at her audience location you see the top cities are New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Only about 3% or 1.5k followers are in that Denver market.

How to Benefit From this Disconnect

This disconnect isn’t always a bad thing. In fact these differences can often open up your influencer search and you can begin to leverage influencers you wouldn’t otherwise think were right for you. An example of this would be influencer Blair Flynn. She herself is a not a mother. However, over 38,000 of her followers are. If you want to reach moms, you don’t only have to look at mom bloggers. Believe it or not, they are following other people.

Resolution – How To Be Sure

The most important thing you can do to avoid these situations and to ensure you are reaching the right audience is to analyze audience data rather than only the influencer data. Find a platform, like Mattr, that can provide that for you. Like influencer fraud (which is a whole other monster), this disconnect is a real concern. Never assume an influencer and their audience are one in the same. If there is one thing we’ve learned in the industry, it’s that you cannot simply look to an influencer and know they are right without researching their followers too.

How to Minimize the Disconnect When You Don’t Have Audience Data

A simple way to try and avoid these situations is to consider going micro…or even nano. Micro and nano-influencers are those with a mere 1k-5k or so followers. While this isn’t always the case, often the bigger an influencer gets, the more disconnect we see between them and their followers. As macro influencers grow, their audiences begin to show more diversity–locations broaden, as do interests and ages. When an influencer is first starting out and is still considered “micro,” their audience tends to reflect them a lot more. They start hyperlocal (which means their followers are in the same city), and typically share the same interests, age, and lifestyles. But of course there are pros and cons to using micros (read more here).

No matter if you go big or go small, by analyzing audience  data you’ll be able to calculate exactly how many of your target consumers you’re reaching and vastly open the pool of influencers available to pitch your brand.

 

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

How Shopper Marketers Are Using Tech for Holiday 2018

How Shopper Marketers Are Using Tech for Holiday 2018

Have you ever walked into a store and the products you need or love are all there and right where they should be? The color palette, sounds, and lighting of the store are like opening the door into a home with the heady scent of mulled wine. Product displays captivate and compel you to stop, look, and touch, so you linger and think about the products longer. You buy more, and feel wonderful about it.

It’s nearly magical, and it’s just for you.

How does this happen? A big part of it is the Shopper marketer, the Ravenclaw House of the marketing world. Their job: gather consumer insights for the retailer and their brands then develop an integrated and targeted marketing approach.

The Shopper marketer’s journey begins with the consumer’s first thought of the product, which is why social Influencers have entered Shopper marketing’s Great Hall. And they’ve been racking up some impressive points for the Shopper marketing House.

Want some up to date intelligence going into this holiday season? Instead of waiting until January to post our findings, we’ll share some valuable trends going into your busiest season. There is one totally eyebrow raising development, however, and Shopper marketers are responding with the dexterity worthy of their most educated House.

What’s Driving The Trends?

Influencer marketing has made some big leaps in technology, first riding the crazy commercialization hippogriff of the Internet, then the advent of Social, then Cloud. Each leap ahead was more momentous than the last. But of the three innovations, Cloud services like Amazon Web Services have really put the rum in the eggnog, allowing companies like Mattr to process and store NASA-like amounts of data cost effectively and speedier than you can do the swish and flick.

The three top trends we’ve seen develop from technology innovations are audience data, performance pricing, and conversion links. The unexpected trend had nothing to do with technology, interestingly, but has had a pivotal impact on the industry this year.

The Three “Ls” of Influencer Audiences

It’s the proverbial slap to the forehead, right? Sure the influencer’s demos are important but you’re trying to reach their audience, which is especially key in Shopper marketing as so many programs are geographically focused. Because of this new availability of on-demand supercomputers, the more technically savvy providers of Influencer data started directing their insights to influencer audiences around 2015. Think it: data for a few thousand influencers could fit on a spreadsheet. Next, multiply those few thousand influencers by ten, fifty, or five hundred thousand audience members each. Now keep the data fresh periodically.

Of course the most valuable audience insight is also the most logical – location – and we saw less than 40% of Shopper marketers asking for it in 2017. These campaigns focused on regions or states and rarely dipped into cities. As we scoured thousands of influencers in our pool as well as made new influencer discoveries, we determined the “most you could hope for” proportions of audience. These numbers are for the high mid-level influencer – a micro or macro would be at opposite ends of the graph.

Don’t be disappointed by these results! If you leverage ten influencers with 200k followers each and have aligned the audience on other factors like interests, values, etc., you’d be getting 600k optimally qualified impressions. And with audience alignment comes better engagement rates, so you’ll have thousands of optimally qualified engagements and conversions.

Flat Rates Are For Flat Earthers

The second innovation enabled for 2017 was even more rarely asked for: performance based pricing. This means you are charged for engagements such as likes, loves, shares, clicks or video views vs the historical flat rate/influencer reach. This lag is understandable, as pricing model innovation can lag technology sometimes by decades. Just look at how you’re paying to watch TV shows now compared to five years ago (and how many cable subscribers remain).

The ability to automate the tracking of clicks from social platforms like Facebook or Instagram are mostly unwilling to cooperate. This has been a constant battle since the start of the decade but with the heavy resigned-to-its-fate sigh of a giant mountain troll felled by a couple of determined kids working together, we now have sustainable solutions. This is critical for scaling Influencer marketing, as we’re seeing campaigns with enough posts that manually checking is cost inefficient.

Bit.ly Me

Lastly, conversion. As we pointed out in this article, we’re seeing more campaigns measured by engagement than impressions, a business model change also recently enabled by technical innovations. Shopper marketing is far more than digital coupons, of course, but many campaigns rely on them. So adding a shortened link to influencer posts is a smart complement of leverage.

For 2017, adding a link to download a coupon as part of a separate digital offering was a nice-to-have. In fact, we usually had to prompt clients to leverage it. And yet, combined with the aligned audience data, these conversion links in the influencer profiles were astonishingly effective.

————

2018 to Date

As we moved through the first and second quarters of 2018, the trends for these three model innovations continued at a steady pace. But by the third quarter, the trends accelerated as word spread quickly throughout our agency partners.

It was like opening a crinkly roll of crispy Thin Mints – once clients got word of audience geolocation they couldn’t stop. Nearly 65% of our campaigns were reliant on audience location in 2018, up from 40% in 2017. In one case, we were targeting neighborhoods of Manhattan and New Jersey for a national high-end grocery chain. These hyper-local influencers are the most expensive to find and qualify, so expect those premiums if you ask for them. Another learning you should be aware of: influencers have audiences in multiple states and cities. So if you find enough scale in an influencer’s number two or three cities, you can achieve your qualified engagement numbers.

The performance-based pricing model is now firmly entrenched in the newer providers. If your provider is not offering a performance pricing model, demand it. This is 2018! You can binge the entire new season of The Great British Baking Show in one night, for crying out loud! Providers can definitely charge you by the click, like, or share. Make them or take your business elsewhere.

Probably based on the surprising results we had last year, conversion links are also “de rigueur” for each campaign. We’re seeing 3-7% engaged conversion, which is substantial enough to raise eyebrows. But be aware that links work better with some influencers than others. Some important learnings: specify how long an influencer is required to have that link active in their profile via contract and monitor it. It may sound obvious, but the longer the time in the profile, the more clicks you’ll get – although as time goes by they can be less relevant or qualified, since the link is usually a shortened link with no brand identifying information.

Now take the extra step! Take a look at your provider’s audience insights to be sure the influencer’s audiences are receptive to promotions– otherwise, you may be promoting your coupon to consumers who won’t take the time to click the coupon link. When you have a gross audience size of two or three million, for example, one or two extra percentage points is a worthy gain.

Last, and something that probably caught a lot of us by surprise, influencer budgets for Shopper campaigns are increasing dramatically. Shifting, to be more accurate. Enterprises like P&G and Unilever are pulling dollars away from traditional advertising to digital, and open-sourcing their agencies. Kind of like having Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

The House Cup Winners

With P&G and Unilever open-sourcing their vendors, agencies are scrambling to stand out and compete. But Shopper marketers have been swift to embrace innovations like conversion links, engagement qualified by location, interests, and values. The results have been above expectations–just what you’d expect from the brightest witches and wizards of the marketing world.

 

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

10 Influencers for Health Brands

10 Influencers for Health Brands

Fall is here and the winter holiday season is right around the corner which may mean healthy living will start to take a backseat for many consumers as focus is turned to holiday cooking, entertaining and celebrating. But, just like consumers shouldn’t forget about healthy living until New Years … neither should the companies that market to them.  Influencer marketing is a great way to connect with your target consumers all year long, even during your off season. In fact, the off-season may be a good time to brand out and try new types of influencers, different kinds of content and make sure you’re not getting lost in the frenzy of New Year health posts that are sure to ensue in a couple of months.

To help nutrition and health brands get started with trying something new in their off-season, we’ve put together a quick guide on all the different kinds of influencers that should be considered. Luckily, there is so much more than just “health” influencers out there. In fact, there are so many possibilities for health and wellness brands when working with influencers, it can be hard to know where to start. Maybe you’re a health brand for children, specializing in healthy food choices that kids want to eat. Maybe you strive to reach the elite fitness gurus out there or you just want to reach the busy target that barely has time for working out. Whatever your brand may focus on, below are just a few of the different kinds of influencers to help you decide which is the right fit for you.

Fitness –

This may seem like an obvious one, but fitness influencers are some of the best to use when promoting your health brand, especially if you find the perfect one that really believes in you and could potentially turn into a brand ambassador all year round. Most of these influencers are professionals in this field so their audience trusts their opinion when it comes to nutrition and exercise. Below, are some of our favorite fitness influencers.

 

 

Elainne Alexander

Elainne is a fitness blogger based out of New York City with a reach of over 133k followers. Although she often posts about lifestyle and travel, her main focus is exercise and staying in shape. She even co-founded her own fitness channel called FitWithBAE.

 

 

 

Sarah Dussault – sarahfit

Sarah is a full time health and fitness blogger based in Boston. A certified trainer, she focuses on motivating her audience and teaching them how to live a healthier lifestyle. She is also a mother and has dedicated posts on how to stay fit even during pregnancy. Her fitness videos are also extremely popular on YouTube where they have garnered over 230 million views.

 

 

Moms –

Mommy bloggers have some of the most loyal followings out there. And it’s easy to see why; they showcase brands they use for themselves and for their own children and therefore audiences trust them. There are tons of mom bloggers out there that focus specifically on how to raise their children with a healthier lifestyle which includes more nutritious foods and healthier products to keep around the house.  

 

Sarah Anderson

Sarah is a mom and lifestyle blogger based in the city of Denver. You can find anything on her page from style to travel, but one of her main focuses are her children. She posts often about the products she feels most confident using for them as well has healthy eating tips for her two young girls.

 

 

 

Ellen Fisher

With over half a million followers on Instagram, Ellen has become one of the biggest mom bloggers on the platform. Based in beautiful Hawaii, her and her family of 5 show followers how to live a more holistic lifestyle. From living more naturally to a being a completely vegan family, you’ll feel healthier just looking at her page!

 

College –

A lot of health blogs these days come from college/millennial influencers. College influencers have proven to have a big voice on social media. Many millennials in college or going into college turn to these influencers for advice, and that includes the very real struggle to stay healthy in when moving away from home. They know college and young adulthood is a hard but important time to keep up with health. They show their followers how they do it.

 

Kruti Shah – cultivatewithkruti

Kruti is a Florida based recipe developer working on getting her masters in Occupational Therapy. She posts easy and healthy meals almost everyday on her channel. But Kruti is more than just a food blogger, she also talks about yoga, travel, and skin care and gets real about mental health and the importance of self care.

 

 

 

Winnie Liong – winniesbalance_

Winnie is an LA based food blogger, dietetic intern and future RD. She dedicates her page to showing her audience how to live a balanced lifestyle and proves that you can have all types of foods in a healthy diet. Along with her recipes, on her blog, you can also find fitness and nutrition tips.

 

 

Foodies –

Honestly, sometimes it can be more of a challenge to find recipe developers nowadays that don’t focus on healthy and clean eating than ones that do. There are tons of food bloggers out there that talk on all sorts of healthy eating whether it’s big meals for the family, quick and simple eats throughout the day, or how to eat Whole30 or vegan. These influencers dedicate their lives on how to be healthier and are trusted influencers to leverage when wanting to reach your audience with your health brand.

 

Peyton – choosingbalance

Peyton is a food blogger who has gained a huge audience from her delicious and healthy (and beautiful) recipes! Her main focus is nutritious eating, but she also throws in lifestyle posts, including her love for running and how she balances her life while staying healthy.

 

 

 

 

Wendy & Jess – foodheavenshow

Everything to do with nutrition and wellness, you can find on this page. Wendy and & Jess are not only best friends, but recipe developers, registered dietitians, and certified diabetes educators. Their blog covers everything you’d want to know about living a healthier life. They also have a podcast where they dive deep into health and wellness where they discuss everything from eating habits to stress to yoga.

 

Lifestyle –

One great thing about lifestyle influencers is the diversity of their followers. Since most lifestyle influencers focus on so many different aspects of life, they tend to have a huge audience that ranges in interests, location, age, and gender. Although it isn’t their main focus, many big lifestyle influencers do discuss health and fitness, even if it’s just sporadically. But they have a loyal audience that is listening and hearing their suggestions.

 

Kristin Johns

Kristin is a huge macro influencer both on Instagram and on YouTube. She focuses on everything from beauty, fashion, home decor, cooking, marriage, being a dog mom, and everything in between. She’s even started her own company, KristinMadeIncShe’s also extremely open and honest with her audience about things like anxiety and her faith which has gained her a loyal and dedicated following. Kristin also gets real about health and talks in her videos about healthy skincare, her fitness routine, and what she eats in a day.

 

 

Nita Mann – nextwithnita

This law school grad turned influencer has gained over 222k followers and it’s not hard to see why. Her feed has fashion, travel, beauty, food. She also runs her own blog where you can find posts about staying in shape, her favorite workout gear, healthy eating habits, as well as managing healthy hair and skin.

Conclusion –

There are millions of profiles out there and thousands of them are discussing health in one way or another. It can be hard to know which type of influencer is right for YOUR specific health brand. Remember, being a health brand, you have the benefit of having a large target market. Even if they don’t seem like the obvious choice, you never really know who your target is following until you do more research. Healthy eating, fitness, being a mom, skincare, even mental health, there are influencers that specialize in it all and want to recommend your product to their followers. So get out there on your off-season, try something new and reap the rewards of keeping your brand front and center to consumers all year long.

 

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

Which Type of Influencer Solution is Right For You?

Which Type of Influencer Solution is Right For You?

As Influencer Marketing enters its second decade in the modern world of marketing, the confusing fragmentation of providers is lifting. This means more clarity for you when it’s time to either dip your toes in the water or, if you’ve been doing it a while, fully insource the capability. But navigating the waters is still challenging: exactly what does Company X offer? Will they do the whole thing, or only parts of a campaign? Does it require a subscription to use Company Y’s platform?

Who does what?

There is no shortage of influencer marketing companies out there. Whether they describe themselves as tech companies, agencies, platforms, marketplaces, or solutions, they are all working to help connect brands and influencers in one way or another. Some are simply tech platforms that allow you to go into their pool of influencers and search yourself, while some search for you but once they find the influencer you’re on your own. Then there are the white glove services which are providers that do the searching, engaging, and activating for you. These different types of providers have their pros and cons. Choosing the right one will depend on what type of campaign you are looking for, your company’s experience with influencer campaigns, and how much bandwidth and budget you have. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which type of influencer provider is right for you.

DIY

A do-it-yourself type solution can mean a couple different things. It may simply be a tech platform where you gain access and search through their influencers, or perhaps the company finds influencers for you, but you carry out the campaign on your own. Many companies see a lot of pros in running these campaigns themselves. One of the biggest is the fact that the control is still in their hands. When brands are new to influencer marketing a lot of times they fear not having complete control over the outcome of the campaign and allowing a third party to take care of it. Hanging on to that control means no middleman between you and the influencer, which could mean less room for misunderstandings. Another benefit to this DIY approach is cost. When you do not have to pay a vendor for what you can do yourself, it will of course be a lot cheaper.

Not having that third party can mean a lot of cons as well. There is always a lot of friction and uncertainty in influencer campaigns because you’re often depending on people who have a full time job such as an accountant, personal trainer, stay-at-home mom or whatever. Especially if you are new to the game, you may come to crossroads and have to make decisions that could cost you engagement in the long run. One of the biggest downfalls to running a campaign yourself is the time and stress it can cause you. Searching, engaging, and activating influencers can be a long process, and a stressful one at that. On the surface level, influencer marketing seems very simple. There are millions and millions of social profiles out there, so of course it’s easy to find the right person for you, right? Just do a Google search for Denver based mom influencers or New Jersey based food influencers. But don’t forget that on top of that you need to make sure their audience is a certain age, and they have the right location, and they create good content, plus their psychographics need to align, their engagement has to be high, and their credibility with likes and impressions needs to be authentic. Even after all of that, are they going to be interested in working on your campaign? Are they complicated to work with? Too expensive? Do they have the availability? There is so much more that goes into these searches that isn’t realized. Searches like that cannot simply be automated or all found in one platform. Lastly, most DIY platforms require an annual subscription. And if that platform’s list of influencers is static, you’re going to see the same influencers appear each time you search for “moms, finance, New York.”

These providers do work well for certain brands and certain campaigns. Those who may be more experienced in influencer marketing may have the experience and time that doesn’t require a third party. On the other hand, maybe you are so new to influencer marketing that you want to run a small test campaign. If you are running a small and/or short campaign with micro influencers, it can be a low cost way to step into the world of influencer marketing.

White Glove Service

White Glove, or Full Service providers, are those that choose the influencers, engage, activate, and carry out the campaign for you. If the provider is heavy on the tech behind the selection of influencers and offers you a log-in at real time stats during the campaign, we’d call them a “Full Service Platform”. There are many pros to going with a full service solution. Perhaps the biggest one is having the stress of influencer campaigns lifted off of you. There is a lot more that goes into a campaign beyond choosing the right influencer. After the influencers are chosen, contracts have to be written up based on the guidelines of the brand, the FTC, and any partnership guidelines the influencer may have. And no matter what, keep in mind, that there is still the possibility of mistakes in the campaign. Perhaps the influencer created a post without #ad. Or content was sent a day late. These mishaps can happen often, even with the most experienced influencers. Most brands may not have time to troubleshoot and worry about these tiny, or sometimes big, bumps in the road or worse may not even notice them until they become large problems. We talked last week, when discussing Facebook’s new influencer platform, that the human-ness of influencer marketing means the possibility for mistakes. Working with humans has its pros, such as authenticity and engagement, but humans are only, well, human, and working with them also means anticipating the possibilities for errors along the way. It is extremely rare to go through an influencer campaign without one single mishap. When you engage a truly skilled influencer service, you shouldn’t even know when anything goes wrong because your service provider has the time and experience to quickly fix any issues that may pop up in a campaign.

The most obvious con to having white glove service is the cost. To have all of this work done by a third party it is going to be more expensive. It’s up to you to decide if the extra engagement and time saved are worth the cost. One of the most common reasons brands are hesitant to go with agencies is their fear of giving up control. Many brands see the product or service as their baby and they are protective of the way it is marketed, which is understandable. They want to have say over the entire look and feel over the campaign, when, how, and what is shown. However, a good full service company will still allow you to have say. Find a platform that works with you and allows you to give approvals on dates, influencers, content, etc. Try and think of this approach as more of a collaboration between you and the company.

White Glove Service is for many brands and companies. It can be extremely beneficial to companies that are new to influencer marketing and have little prior experience. It can also be for bigger and more experienced companies too – ones that might have a huge campaign that they do not have time to run completely alone. This is especially important if that campaign is going to include lots of influencers, niche targets, or long running partnerships anything that may be out of norm.

Insourcing

Another option is bringing influencer marketing in house which many enterprises are moving towards. This can be a long process and it’s important to understand every aspect before deciding if this is right for you or not. Insourcing is for brands and companies truly committed to influencer marketing and thinking about it long term (next 3-5 years). There are many things to consider such as: You may need to create an entire department with many employees. You may need to work with other departments like the brand teams, marketing, and IT to make the new team efficient and effective. But, the upside is that the cost savings can be immense for a large enterprise with multiple brands – into the millions of dollars per year. You can check out our White Paper on Insourcing which gives you details about this process here.

Conclusion

There are lots of options in influencer marketing when it comes to choosing which partner is right for you. Take into consideration what your campaign needs, where you’re at with influencer marketing, and what your budget is. Each option has its benefits and setbacks; think about what you can afford to do on your own or if it’s worth outsourcing to obtain your goal. Once you know influencer marketing is something you want a long term relationship with, then you can think about insourcing and becoming an internal agency yourself.

 

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

Facebook’s Influencer Platform: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Facebook’s Influencer Platform: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Ok, let’s start with one ugly: the name. It’s called the “Brand Collabs Manager,” which sounds like something Gina would say on Brooklyn 99, only it’s not funny.

Anyway, Facebook is apparently running out of ad inventory and, along with the top consumer brands in the world, looking to influencer-creators to appeal to all consumers, and especially younger ones. The tool is the other side of the influencer marketing contract and is essentially a search engine for influencers. Smart. But as with everything new, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager – A search engine for influencers

The Good

Facebook is to be commended for producing this search tool, which in itself should be the biggest Good and trump all the Bads and the Uglies. We can only imagine and hope that Instagram, Facebook’s higher achieving younger sibling, will follow.

Good #1 Audience Data

Facebook understands audience alignment and, with the rollout of their tool, are out to change how you think about influencers. Since influencers hit the mainstream decades ago, PR agencies have picked influencers based on their interests- travel, cooking, etc. About five or so years, ago, influencer marketing providers (like Mattr) have used audience data to select influencers but it’s still not mainstream. So that’s Good #1.

Good #2 Data Data

They have tons of data about you, as you know by now, and data that’s not generally available to other providers. Just as with an ad campaign, we’ll be able to search for influencer audiences by the following filters:

Top countries where they’re popular
Interests
Gender
Education history
Relationship status
Life events
Home ownership status
Home type

If you haven’t used a current generation influencer provider you’ll love the access to this data, which you and/or your provider will use to match to your consumer targets. And although they don’t list age range, I’d suspect that’s in mix. But there are some big gaps that will hopefully get filled in the product plan.

The Bad

Although you’ll think these baddies are worthy of an ugly, we think they’ll eventually be available. Brands and agencies used to the capabilities of current generation providers like Mattr will ask for these data sets and features and there’s no apparent reason Facebook won’t provide them.

Bad #1 No City Data

Brick and mortar retailers use influencers to launch store openings or for coupon promotions. These brands rely on hyperlocal data – cities and sometimes even neighborhoods. Mattr had a project just last year where we needed to find influencers in the Harlem section of Manhattan.

Bad #2 No Content Draft Review

Brands worth their salt want to review, edit, and approve influencer content before posting. In exactly 100% of the campaigns we’ve managed the past several years, posts needed editing. Brand names not labeled or tagged correctly, typos, and the copy or image or video ill-suited to the campaign theme. This is a feature companies like Mattr have had for some time and Facebook could do a good job of it.

Bad #3 Compliance

Compliance is a newish box to check for influencer providers, especially as highly regulated industries like financial services and pharmaceuticals move budget into influencer campaigns. Failure to disclose “material connection” to the brand (i.e., #ad or #sponsored) could be very simple for Facebook to implement as part of their service, including the disclosure in a sort of sponsored post wizard framework. Ensuring the influencer keeps it in the post after going live is another feature necessary to ensure compliance. In our experience if a provider cannot prove that they will monitor the post for its duration that provider will not get the business. Speaking of post-posting monitoring, ensuring the post stays live for the contracted amount of time may as well be stirred into the now bubbling product plan pot.

The Bads are all addressable by Facebook, and we’d expect they’ll get right on it as soon as they’re asked by savvy brands and agencies.

The Ugly

We can expect these uglies will remain unaddressed for the foreseeable future primarily because of business model conflicts. This is a business school way of saying, “they’ll lose revenue if they do them.”

Ugly #1: Fraudulent Followers

Like compliance, experienced brand teams ask how a provider knows if an influencer’s audience has been organically grown or bought. How common is this? Mattr sifts through its influencer platform each week, sniffing out the baddies who buy followers. The percentage is not in the double digits, but high enough that it’s worth the double-check. Is it easy to do, you ask? We did it as a test and wrote about it here. Running these algorithms is a heavy resource hog, but Facebook can afford it. They will be reluctant to kill off fake accounts, however, unless threatened by the government.

Ugly #2: Detecting Influencer “Clubs”

Although related to Ugly #1, these are legitimate clusters of influencers recruited to like each others’ posts. This is actually fairly sophisticated and requires even more resources to detect. Could Facebook do it? You bet. Will they? No way.

Overall..It’s Good!

Of course the biggest ask by brands is activation. And frankly, it’s why companies like Mattr will always exist. Recruiting, contracting, and managing influencers will always be the heavy lifting in any campaign. There’s a good reason programmatic influencer services haven’t (yet) succeeded: brands will always want control over the content. The “human-ness” of influencer campaigns is what makes them authentic and special. But that human-ness comes with the price of working with humans, who are prone to error and sometimes willing to deceive or otherwise not comply with their contracts.

How to Make Your Influencer Campaign Not Be #Basic

How to Make Your Influencer Campaign Not Be #Basic

School is back in session, fall is in the air, and people are getting back into their everyday routines. For marketers, the summer slump is finally over, and although influencer marketing should never be taking a summer vacay, many brands have saved their big influencer campaigns for arguably the most important quarter of the year. Autumn brings many opportunities to get back into the game: comfort foods, football, the start of holiday preparations. Since influencer marketing is no longer a new idea for brands, having the same old influencer plan or simply rerunning last year’s campaign is not good enough. If you want your brand to cut through the social noise and make an impact, you have to step up your influencer game and as many influencers would put it … stop being #basic. Here’s how to make your influencer campaign not so #basic.

Don’t Fall into the Same Routine

It makes sense that once you find success in a campaign that you’d want to use the same techniques as before. Many brands see how well a campaign does and then do their best to replicate that plan in order to get that same engagement each time. But audiences are intuitive, and many people notice when an ad seems to be calculated or repeated. The best part of having a social media campaign is knowing that social media is ALWAYS on, and your audience is always there, even during your “off season.” This gives you the opportunity to mix up your campaign details, strategy and timeline.

Instead of a seasonal campaign, a lot of brands are starting to try year long campaigns to gain data on their engagement during every season. Having a campaign run throughout the year also gives you the chance to leverage brand ambassadors instead of just one time influencers. Brand ambassadors are influencers that you have a long standing relationship with and who can post often about your product. And even on social repetition is key to really building brand recognition and driving action. This can also mean letting go of some control when it comes to posting dates. No one knows the audience better than the influencer – they’ve managed to build such a great following for a reason – so sometimes letting them have input on when to post can be your best bet for the highest engagement. Especially since the more control the influencer has, the more authentic their posts appear.

Trying a year long campaign is not the only way to mix up your influencer plan. You can also try starting your campaign earlier in the year, you never know what insights you can gain until you try new things, so do something different!

Try New Mediums (Yes, there are more social platforms than Instagram)

There is no doubt that Instagram is the front runner when it comes to influencer marketing. You can find every type of influencer, it’s simple content to approve, and it’s an easy medium to track and gain insights from. But, just because Instagram is the norm doesn’t mean it’s for you. At the very least you should not limit yourself to only one medium. You should choose platforms based on where your audience is. Also be aware that certain types of content do better on different mediums. Videos on Instagram tend to get lower engagement than images, however videos on Facebook can potentially be shared and viewed millions of times. And don’t underestimate the power of Pinterest or YouTube. The audience there may be niche but they are mighty.

If your audience is primarily on Instagram, you still have the chance to branch out with content. Instagram Live and Instagram Stories provide opportunities to try new things and see what works. Even the start of IGTV will potentially be a game changer with long form videos in influencer marketing.

Branch Out with Your Influencers

The influencers you choose also provide a chance to shake things up in your campaign. The influencer’s audience is just as important, if not more so, than the influencer themself. For instance, an influencer may be a millennial mom on the west coast but maybe a lot of her audience is located in the east coast. Or, perhaps you are a food brand that usually leverages foodie accounts, but instead you could try a mom influencer posting a meal for her family that night. The size of your influencer can also vary. If you always use one or two macro influencers, try using many micro or mid level influencers, or vice versa.

Call to Actions

You hear over and over that engagement is key. And it’s true, engagement is one of the most important parts of your influencer campaign. But what good is that engagement if it’s not going to turn into anything? Having a call-to-action for influencers and their audience is a way to gather data beyond the post. Maybe you are running a new promotion or a coupon for the product, so have your influencer talk about that in the post and lead their followers to a clickable link. Using a bitly link for your destination is a easy way to keep track of clicks as well as see where they are coming from and on which days. It’s also important to learn where to put this link to find the most success. Try different places with each campaign. Maybe the link is in the influencer’s bio for 24 hours, maybe they leave it on their website for a week, or maybe they post it in an Instagram story as a swipe up link. Runnings tests will help you learn what works best for your product and your influencers.

Conclusion:

There are many ways to mix up you influencer campaign. We are now in the sweet spot of influencer marketing, where the game is new enough that there aren’t set/hard and fast rules – you make your own rules and decide what’s best for you. But,  it’s not so new that you have to play it safe and do the same old #basic things you’ve done before. Cheers to trying something new!

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.