While the concept of influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s footprint in the land of digital marketing has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years – so much so that there’s now an actual conference around it.
The first annual Influencer Marketing Days (IMD) conference was held in New York this past week and I had the pleasure of being one of the attendees.
As one would expect, the who, what, when, where and how of influencer marketing was the focal point of Influencer Marketing Days, with presentations ranging from “How to win influencers and influence customers” and “Leveraging the evolution of content in ecommerce marketing” to “Influencer outreach, onboarding, activation and motivation” and “How to Turn your Influencer Partners into Revenue-Generating Publishers.”
In addition to these influencer-focused topics, there were a few other attention-getting subjects that got people buzzing, including:
Attribution was definitely a hot topic at IMD. Like never before, advertisers are under pressure to navigate the rather labyrinthine-like process of placing marketing value and credit where it is due.
Through their word-of-mouth marketing tactics, influencers help brands strengthen and grow their awareness and brand affinity, efforts that typically fall into the top of funnel marketing bucket. However, many advertisers are placing a higher value on bottom funnel marketing tactics – the “closers,” if you will. This is especially true in the affiliate marketing model, which is essentially the same thing as influencer marketing, it’s just a more trackable, otpimizable and cost-effective form of it.
How to define success in influencer marketing was another hot topic. Increasingly, companies are moving their success needle to point toward performance (measurable traffic and incremental sales) over engagement and reach.
What this means for “traditional” influencer marketing (where an influencer gets paid a large chunk for their promotions) remains to be seen. While it may be headed for a cool down, it’s unlikely that it’ll go away completely.
Shifts in Online Buying
One thing discussed at IMD was how buyers are moving away from buying a product directly from a merchant’s site to buying wherever and whenever they discover a product or service that interests them. The anticipated benefits of this shift are:
- Tracking will become easier across platforms and channels.
- More advertisers will be connecting an influencer’s posts (blog, video, social, etc.) to actual sales.
- The focus will move to “micro-influencers” who tend to have less reach but more engagement with their audience.
- Budgets will shift to focus more on influencer-type marketing models.
- Visual content will shift from staged photo shoots to more emotional, authentic, “in the moment” images.
If you missed Influencer Marketing Days this year, it’s definitely one to add to your conference calendar for 2017. In the meantime, you can check out IMD’s blog and read about some of the topics that were discussed at this year’s conference.
To learn more about how to leverage influencer marketing by integrating performance marketing into the mix and compensate influencers using a cost per acquisition (CPA) model, reach out to our performance marketing team.