Last month, an article was published on AdWeek about the worth of influencers’ social posts. It focused largely on female celebrities, mentioning that the top six influencers currently are Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. These six women were deemed the top influencers by D’Marie Analytics, a social measurement company, which also found Gomez to be the most influential, with individual social posts worth up to $550,000 each. That’s right. One 140-character tweet or one Instagram selfie from Gomez could cost a brand a whopping $550,000.
Where did the $550,000 figure come from? Frank Spadafora, CEO of D’Marie Analytics describes the methodology: “This valuation is based on D’Marie’s algorithm which measures 56 metrics including followers, post frequency, engagement, quality of post, click-thru and potential to create sales conversions from her social content.”
Applying 56 metrics to the figure seems like sound reasoning. That’s a lot of data! But is it the right data?
We’re curious how much weight was placed on follower count. If it’s heavily weighted, then it makes sense that the six celebs would be considered top influencers. After all, someone with an extremely high follower count definitely has the reach to claim influence. However, a high follower count does not necessarily mean more engagement or more click thrus. In fact, the more trust and authenticity that is shown to an audience, the more potential there is for sales conversion. It could be argued that big name celebrities, whom regular people don’t always view with trust and authenticity, don’t necessarily increase the likelihood of sales conversions.
And are celebrity followers qualified leads? A 25-year-old fan of Selena Gomez is a very different potential sale than a 55-year-old married male. They shouldn’t hold the same weight as a potential buyer, so it seems like potential to create sales becomes a murky metric.
Defining the Value of An Influencer
In our platform, the top default influencers are the same celebrities that D’Marie Analytics found to be the most influential – big name actors, famous singers and reality celebrities with massive amounts of followers. However, we rarely consider those people the most influential for a client’s brand. Instead, we dive into keyword searches and segmented audiences to more narrowly define the brand influencers.
When defining influencers, reach is only one way of applying value to them. Relevance is another factor. Is the influencer discussing topics that pertain to your brand? You want influencers who already have authentic influence in a specific field. A security admin is going to be much more relevant than Selena Gomez for a cybersecurity company. Resonance is another factor to determining influencer value. How much of what the influencer is posting is resonating with his or her followers? Relevance and resonance are closely tied together, both more qualitative metrics than follower count, and they usually matter even more than reach when determining the value of an influencer.
Who is Uniquely Influential to Your Brand?
It’s inarguable that the six women mentioned in AdWeek have influence, but are they the most influential? It’s quite a stretch to apply that blanket statement across all brands. For a large consumer company with broad targeting and loads of Marketing money, like Pepsi or Target, Gomez and Beyonce may deliver some value. But what about specialized brands targeting more specific demographics? Or smaller brands with little marketing budget? Or regional brands? In those cases, celebrities with large follower counts are not the most influential.
Many brands, even large, global brands, are discovering that micro and mid-level influencers deliver as much if not more value than the celebrity macro-influencer. Many consumers’ buying habits are driven more by ‘real’ people- those micro and mid-level influencers- than celebrities who lead very different lives. The average person wants to hear recommendations and discover new products from people who they can relate to on a more personal level.
Take Nikon’s recent campaign featuring Kordale and Kaleb Lewis, for example. Instead of choosing a Kardashian or Beyonce or Bieber, the camera company decided to work with two dads who received increased online exposure after posting a photo to Instagram showing them combing their daughters’ hair and getting ready for their days. Utilizing these dads as influencers offered Nikon the ability for real people to talk about capturing moments from their family’s life on camera, much more powerful and relatable than a celeb influencer.
Another example of a brand succeeding through working with micro influencers is Christian Paul Watches. Rather than working with big name, global celebrities like other watch companies have done, such as Citizen with Eli Manning, Tag Heuer with Tom Brady, and Breitling with David Beckham and John Travolta, Christian Paul chose to collaborate with a mix of mid-level and micro Instagrammers. This approach enabled the brand to increase awareness and engagement with a number of diverse demographic groups online.
Find the Right Influencers for Effective Influencer Marketing
To discover the influencers who are ‘most influential’ to your brand, assess not only follower counts, but also the content coming from those influencers, the types of audiences they have, and how the audiences respond to the influencer content. You will find that some of the most influential people for your brand likely won’t be celebrities, but people you may not have ever heard of. Yet, those mid-level and micro influencers will be able to help your brand most effectively boost awareness, engagement, or sales. Through an effective influencer program, some of the authenticity and trust they’ve created with their followers can be transferred to your brand.
After another impressive feature push from the Mattr developers this week, we thought it was an ideal time to share some of our most exciting platform updates over the last month (all suggested by YOU) in more detail. Here’s the latest:
On the ‘Navigation Bar’, you will now notice a new tab called ‘Social Search’. This feature allows you to search live across social networks to identify influencers outside of our influencer pool. Although we currently have over 22 million influencers, you may sometimes come across certain content or topics that need more hashing out to identify more influencers. Or, someone new to a social network has grown their audience very quickly and has a high relevance score for content around your brand, and therefore, needs to be added as an influencer.
Anybody we’ve missed that you would like to add to the pool, simply click the favorite button and they are in.
Filter by Sentiment
A search feature that we briefly removed, and realized we needed back! You can once again filter by sentiment to keep track of how positive, negative or neutral influencers tend to be regarding a certain search term. This is helpful to track content and influencers for your own brand or your competitors.
Thanks for all of the feedback regarding new features — it’s what motivates us to improve each week!
(Originally posted in Noobpreneur)
Influencer marketing is like hosting a dinner party. You invite the coolest people you know, bring out your best china, make them feel special, and hope they go home and tell their friends about how tender your scallops were.
Influencers are the people a brand desperately needs to hang out with. They have active followings on social media, and they’re on the front line of their audience’s trends and attitudes. By connecting with these powerful people, you can position your brand on the cutting edge of all things innovative and desirable.
So, why don’t you invite these influencers to connect as soon as possible? Seventy-six percent of marketers are already using influencers when they launch their products, but you can set yourself apart by gaining their expertise and reach in the earlier stages of product development.
However, just like any dinner party, you need to be welcoming, generous, and patient. Above all, you need to know how to communicate with your special guests. Here are six tips for involving your influencers in the product development stage:
1. Use social media to befriend them
Influencers are social media butterflies, so this is often the best way to reach them. Explore LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and identify influential people who you think would be interested in your new product, including those you already have relationships with.
People with large followings and active profiles will likely be able to provide valuable feedback about your product through their connections. Think about reach, relevance, and resonance. If you can get all three from an influencer relationship, it should be a go.
2. Think mutual
You should never approach influencers without considering what you can offer them in return. Once that mutually beneficial relationship is established, influencers will become excited to be associated with your brand. As a result, they’ll be willing to go the extra mile.
Make sure you’re clear about the rewards they’ll receive. A careful combination of tangible rewards (like free products and financial compensation) and intangible rewards (like the notoriety of being connected to something really cool) will motivate your influencers the most.
3. Clarify your goals
Influencers will get excited about working with you if they understand and appreciate what you’re trying to achieve. Present them with the challenge of your product development process and the effect that your campaign could have on that. On a practical level, knowing your goals for the product will help them produce the right content for their audience and collect the right kind of feedback for your team.
For example, restaurant and retail grocer line Lyfe Kitchen recently teamed up with DKC to build an influencer marketing campaign. The company wanted to expand into new supermarkets and increase word-of-mouth advertising through social media. By communicating its goals to its influencers, the retailer grew its distribution from 400 to 1,400 stores.
4. Be a gracious host
Working with influencers can take a lot of work. They’re usually busy people – often with strong personalities – so remember to be patient, lighthearted, and open. As the gracious host, you want to make your guests feel special. So, create rewards that are tailored to them. Host an event in their honor. Name one of your products after them. Get creative.
5. Create a team
Weber Shandwick’s “Got Chocolate Milk?” campaign initiated a sales increase that just kept snowballing. Why? Because the agency invited influencers like popular athletes and fitness experts to get involved in the fun challenge of turning chocolate milk into a serious sports product. The challenge ignited these influencers’ competitive side, and Weber Shandwick succeeded by involving influencers with a team-like mentality.
6. Build real, ongoing relationships
Product development is just the first era of your product’s life, and there are many stages down the line in which influencer marketing will come in handy. Creating an ongoing and natural relationship is key. Don’t schedule monthly meetings with your influencers. Instead, reach out when you have an exciting moment with the product or have an idea you think they’d love.
By forming genuine relationships and sharing your excitement with your influencers, you can develop your product with a team of the coolest people around and boost your brand immeasurably. Then, anyone who’s anyone will want to come to your brand’s party.
It’s well-known that sports fans are some of the most dedicated, passionate, and — dare we say — shameless fans out there. Any group of people with members who will make a pitcher want to cry or pay $8,000 for used dentures deserves the honor of being called the most passionate, don’t you think?
While these fans are already extremely invested in their favorite teams and athletes in real life, they’re becoming more and more passionate online, too. Research indicates that social media users are most active during sporting events, and 45 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds follow sports teams or athletes online. They engage with and look up to influencers within the sporting world — both journalists and players alike — to inform their brand relationships and purchases.
That being said, sporting events are perhaps the perfect opportunity for marketers to reach their core audience and create buzz around new products and events through popular and influential fans or celebrities. But be careful: The average fan’s fanaticism also translates into suspicion toward branded content. And if you’re disingenuous or choose the wrong sports figure endorser, they won’t think twice before kicking your brand to the curb.
Influence vs. Popularity in Sports Marketing
Influence is one of the hottest trends in social media marketing. But its effectiveness isn’t a simple equation of content or crowds, and fortunately, it isn’t a popularity game, either. The number of followers someone has on Twitter or Facebook isn’t indicative of his influence over the public in general or a particular group. You can put your checkbook away — you don’t have to hire one of the top 10 influencers in the sports business to see results.
Instead, you must connect your content with lesser-known pockets of influence (think micro- to mid-level folks) to actually spread your ideas. To do that, you need to identify and connect with the right influencers for your target audience. Here’s how:
1.) Search for relevance, reach, and resonance. The best fit for your fan base will be the influencer who hits three important criteria: relevance, reach, and resonance. That means this influencer talks the most about your industry, has the most followers listening and being influenced by what he says, and inspires the most discussion around published posts.
These could well be the more popular macro influencers (celebrities, for instance) with loads of followers, but more than likely, you will discover lesser-known influencers who can do just as well or better when it comes to convincing their audience to take note of your brand.
- A snapshot of ‘car racing’ influencers- including those mid-level and micro influencers who aren’t as well-known as celebrities.
2.) Nurture an authentic relationship. When you’ve identified an influencer with the relevance, reach, and resonance you’re looking for, it’s time to foster a genuine relationship. Build trust by promoting the influencer’s companies, books, and brands. Engage with the person on social media to see whether the water is warm. Then, make contact about partnering for a particular campaign or promotion. If you nurture the relationship in the right way, you might not have to ask for anything, and he’ll organically promote your brand on his own (but not before a lot of hard work on your end).
Budweiser pulled off this kind of campaign when it sent two soccer fan influencers to a World Cup match to join the celebration and snap pictures for Instagram. The influencers created a real-life experience for every single one of their Instagram followers (and they had a lot!), generating great exposure for the beer brand.
3.) Look outside your core vertical. Sports fans are complex and have many competing interests and tastes. An interest in Formula 1 might easily lead to an interest in NASCAR, or an interest in rock climbing might cross over into CrossFit. If you try to permanently segment your audience into one vertical, you might inadvertently limit your potential.
For example, the F1 core vertical is car racing. However, the F1 marketing team could look beyond the car vertical and explore other types of racing, such as MotoGP. You could also identify fans who are obsessed with the bands that will be playing during the F1 weekend and offer them a meet-and-greet with the band members, along with front-row seats to the concert. There are many influencers in many verticals. As a marketer, it’s your job to find and nurture them.
4.) Choose your metrics carefully. Rather than taking your social media metrics at face value, do a little digging. Compare tallies of followers and “likes” with more business-related metrics and objectives. Are you getting more blog followers or web traffic since you launched your influencer campaign? Are more people downloading your videos? Is sentiment up or down? Companies like ours are developing algorithms to help standardize social influence by gauging individual social activity and reactions, rather than just likes and follows.
Influencers build excitement and, most importantly, action in people who have not yet been convinced of how great your brand might be, and there’s great potential to yield amazing brand benefits. Simply align your marketing efforts with the most targeted, authentic influencers possible to earn the biggest bang for your marketing buck.