As we proceed further into the information age, it’s becoming less and less popular to just “go with your gut.” We see it everywhere. In sports, scouts and coaches are constantly using data to help them evaluate players and determine match-ups. In government, politicians are collecting and using information about voters to help them write policy and win campaigns. And in business, everyone is using data to understand customer behavior and be more effective at reaching target audiences.
The same is true in marketing, and it’s especially true in influencer marketing. You must have data to support your claims about a campaign. This will not only make it easier to convince management that influencer marketing is the right move, but it will also help ensure your efforts produce results.
Since influencer marketing is still somewhat new, many marketers are approaching it with a trial and error mentality. While this intuition is always going to be a part of it, influencer marketing is much more scientific. It’s important to look for and use data to help you make decisions about your campaign. Here are ways that data will help you make the right choices in influencer marketing.
Filtering Out the Fakes
Because influencer marketing can be rather profitable for the influencer, it should come as no surprise that there are impostors out there looking to make a quick buck. You may look at an influencer and see they have hundreds if not thousands of followers who appear to match your target demographic. And when this happens, you may get the urge to reach out to this person to see if a collaboration could work.
However, you need to be careful. These “followers” could be fake, meaning they are nothing more than bots pretending to be people. They only exist to make the influencer look good so that you’ll give him or her money to “promote” your brand, which they will be unable to do.
Looking at statistics for engagement and traffic will help you determine if the influencer you are looking at is authentic. Real influencers with real followers will have decent click through rates that lead to traffic as well as time on the site behind it. And they should also have a good deal of shares and comments, as these are hard to reliably fake. But to be really sure, you’ll want to spend some time reading the content of these comments, as this will tell you for sure if they’ve been written by a real person or a computer.
Key to the success of your influencer campaign will be making sure that your audience aligns well with that of the influencer. The person you’re working with may be able to tell you more or less who their audience is, but it’s always a good idea to verify with numbers.
Asking for demographic as well as traffic stats will help you determine if this influencer is right for you. They should be able to demonstrate decent pull with a reasonable group of people who you would define as your target audience. This way when a campaign does get underway, it will have a far greater chance of success.
Influencers should be able to provide you with this information, and if they can’t, this might be a red flag that they won’t be able to deliver on what they’ve promised you.
The Numbers Game
In the end, marketing is essentially a numbers game. Once you do the qualitative part, i.e. determining your target audience, the content that will resonate with them and the channels they receive it from, success is a matter of making sure the greatest number of people possible are exposed to your messaging.
You’ll never be able to convert 100 percent of those you reach into customers. People are too different and are exposed to too many things. But if you can find out where and how to reach the right people, your next job is to try and reach as many of them as possible.
This is why influencer marketing needs to be treated as a science. Once you determine the type of influencers that would work and the type of people you’re targeting, you need to work to maximize your contact with these groups. And the only way to be sure you’re doing this is with data. Tracking influencer reach, impressions of their content and the number of followers they have/gain over time will help you choose the right people and give you a better chance at making your campaign a success.
It’s an Experiment
While data can certainly help reduce the possibility of failure, there are always unknowns. However, by making use of the data that’s available to you, it’s easier to succeed. But remember: everything is still an experiment. Keep data on your own campaigns to help you identify areas where you can improve. The tools at WOW Influence can help you learn more about influencers and their reach, but a lot will depend on your approach and attention to detail in the planning stages of your influencer campaign.