Earlier this week we co-hosted a webinar with Bloglovin’ about influencer marketing and how to drive engagement with a performance-driven approach. Presenters Merove Heifetz (Director of Digital Strategy at Acceleration Partners) and Kamiu Lee (Head of Business Development & Strategy at Bloglovin) discussed:
- The future of influencer marketing
- How influencer marketing fits into the marketing funnel
- What brands and influencers want out of their partnerships with one another
- What brands should consider when launching an influencer marketing campaign
- Strategies marketers can take to vet influencers, track and elevate their performance
- How to track metrics at the top and bottom of the funnel
Once the webinar wrapped up, attendees submitted quite a few thought-provoking questions. We thought that you too might have these questions, so we’ve included them here along with AP and BL’s answers:
1. How big of a role does the FTC play in Influencer Marketing? In general, are influencers compliant?
AP: FTC does not and realistically cannot review all content developed via influencer marketing, however they do spot-check and, as with the case of Lord & Taylor, they can impart some heavy penalties. When guided, influencers are usually compliant. It’s important to set expectations up front with influencers around this to ensure that there aren’t any issues down the road when they post their content live.
BL: FTC has predominantly been focused on brands to ensure that proper disclosure is happening. As a platform, we also do our part in educating influencers on proper disclosure, but at the end of the day, they are heavily influenced by who is paying them — the marketers. So it is important that the marketer is well versed on what is OK and not OK with the FTC for each social platform.
2. What tips would you give to influencers if they want to work with large brands?
BL: Focus on creating amazing content and building a strong community around your own brand. From there, you can be organically showcasing/tagging brands that you truly love — brands always love to find influencers that have a real affinity to them. Secondly you should be a part of a network like Bloglovin’s where you can apply/be considered for opportunities as they come up.
3. How do you make a brand stand apart when trying to recruit influencers?
AP: A lot of influencers are in high-demand and have their editorial calendars booked out months in advance, particularly around holidays. It’s critical for brands to consider the incentives they’d like to offer for the right influencers and for the influencers’ readers, and also take an approach of building relationships with influencers far in advance of any critical holidays or promotional periods.
4. At what reach does an influencer no longer qualify as a micro-influencer?
BL: There is no hard and fast rule, but general rule of thumb we follow at Bloglovin’ is under 100K in following across all channels we categorize as Micro.
5. What is considered a normal time schedule? We usually report 2 weeks after last post – should we be doing 30 days instead?
AP: An influencer campaign timeline/schedule can vary from campaign-to-campaign depending on a brand’s goals, seasonality, the specific products/services being promoted, and many other potential factors (i.e. length of a sale, typical customer lifecycle for a brand, etc.).
We (AP) tend to run campaigns that are live for about 30 days and, of course, there is some time spent before that determining the campaign’s goals, influencer recruitment, logistics, content review, etc. and also after the 30 days to assess ROI, conduct payouts as needed, etc.
6. How much should I pay an influencer?
BL: Influencer pricing can vary widely. This article gives a great breakdown of the true costs of influencer marketing: “The Dollars & Cents of Influencer Marketing.”
7. How can you measure the Engagement Rate and is cost per engagement (CPE) a metric you would recommend tracking?
AP: We measure engagement rates by adding together all likes, comments, shares and page views divided by the total potential reach. We consider engagement rates between 1-3% to be good. We do also look at CPE for influencer campaigns as another measure of ROI. This also helps to determine compensation structures for future influencer campaigns.
8. Where can you find information on the percentage of a determined audience following the influencer? (regarding your example of the USA Fashion Influencer with an audience that was 40% Korean)
BL: We talk more about this topic, audience level data, as well are other key measurements in the following article “The Data & Measurement Behind Successful Influencer Marketing.”
9. Are you noticing any general trends with the type of campaigns that brands are executing with influencers (video, micro-influencers, etc.)?
BL: We are certainly seeing more programs leveraging large sets of micro-influencers, brands taking influencer content and incorporating in other parts of their marketing mix (eComm site, programmatic, paid social ads, etc.), strong interest in Instagram Stories and leveraging influencers that have the swipe up ability in Instagram. We are also seeing a heightened interest in pet influencers, as well as leveraging influencers beyond the brand’s direct vertical.
10. Can you tell more about attribution models? (i.e. first click, last click, time lapse)
AP: This is a very big question and there is no right answer in terms of what attribution model is right for a brand or influencer marketing campaign. These resources on attribution give a good overview of attribution models and what you need to know:
11. What is the best way to begin a dialogue with an influencer? How responsive are they on average? It seems that they are hard to find and/or they don’t respond to inquiries.
BL: For sure, engaging an influencer can be very time intensive and oftentimes you may not hear back. How we streamline this is to build into a platform a way to “RFP” the influencer base — eg. you can go out to the subset of influencers in our network, such as ‘bohemian style fashion influencers’ and present to all of them a brief that details what you are looking for. The ones that are interested will then apply to be a part of your program — this cuts down on the wasted time spent on outreach on various social platforms and makes it much more efficient for the marketer.
12. What are some of your biggest challenges working with influencers? For example, non payment after they didn’t perform to agreement?
AP: The biggest challenges we’ve encountered have typically related to misaligned expectations between the Brand and the Influencers. That’s why it’s important to make sure to get everything in writing and have both the Brand and each Influencer participating in a campaign to sign-off on the campaign goals, guidelines, requirements, compensation structure and process in order to make sure everyone’s on the same page. It’s very rare, but we have been in one or two situations where we had to remove an influencer from a campaign who didn’t fulfill their end of a campaign agreement.
BL: Agree with all of the above. We always say that it’s important to be thorough and careful in selecting the influencers you work with, communicating your high level vision and wants, and then trust in them to be able to tell your story to their audience. An overly controlled message usually kills the authenticity, delivers sub par performance, and a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.