You can’t be on social media these days without seeing #ad pop up on numerous posts from your favourite “influencers”. 

With it projected that brands are willing to spend up to $15 billion by 2022 the rise of influencer marketing cant be missed or ignored. 

When you throw into the mix the growth of time the average person is spending on social media vs TV if you’re a brand wanting to scale and not thinking of influencer marketing…you’re missing a trick.

*The estimate for daily time spent on social media for 2021 is over 3 hours a day vs TV which is just 54 mins

There are so many brands that have become household name who favour influencer marketing such as Gymshark and Glossier. Brands like these seem to have cracked the code with influencer marketing and are now reaping the rewards. 

At SV we’ve overseen 100s of influencer marketing campaigns that our clients have done. Some amazing and some bad. The point of this short blog is to steer you into the right direction with your influencer marketing, making sure you’re not falling into the common mistakes we see most brands make and are following the winning formulas in the world of influencer marketing. 

Trust & Authority

Firstly let’s simplify influencer marketing to what it really is…trust and authority. 

Let’s look at the stats, a whopping 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer when buying something. Ogilvy Cannes.

This means that trust is one of, if not the biggest influences when buying products. So how do brands get more trust in order to boost authority of their brand? Influencer marketing. It’s become the quickest way to boost trust and authority in order to make sales. 

Influencers vs People with influence 

There’s a big difference….vanity metrics have a huge part to play in this landscape. Followers, engagement etc. The ugly truth is that over 80% of influencers don’t work. Why? Because they’re not people of influence. 

Having a large following just isn’t enough, having likes just isn’t enough. These reasons alone doesn’t mean clicks or purchases. We’ve seen hundreds of influencers with millions of loyal followers fail. 

Why..? Because people are just there to watch not to buy.

The key difference is people with influence vs influencers. People with influence…they’re known for something, they drive trends, they have a skill set. The opposite…people who drive engagement by working with click banks (these are groups of pages/influencers with large followings that all agree to share each other’s content in a bid to drive engagement numbers).

The art is understanding how to seek performance data vs vanity data. Views and likes doesn’t mean revenue £$£$. There’s a whole list of tools and software to help you find great influencers here.

Post vs Strategy

The next place we see brands either hit a home run or fall short is the campaign with an influencer. The main mistake brands make is only doing one post/story with an influencer and not a campaign. 

Let us explain…

Doing one post with an influencer may make a small lift within your marketing success but in order for it to really take off you have to have all your pieces aligned. According to Whalar 2019 58% of people are more likely to feel positive towards an ad AFTER seeing an influencer post. 

This means that your influencer marketing plan has to fit into the master plan with multiple rounds of follow up not just one post. Furthermore, you need to be super targeted within the influencers you’re using and ideally use a mixture of macro and micro influencers to push the message.

We see it working like this:

INFLUENCER POST > CLICKS INTO PAGE > RETARGETING WITH INFLUENCER CONTENT > DRIVE SALES/ACQUISITION

There are many other tricks and tactics that can be used such as sharing ad accounts with  influencers (we highly recommend this), however we won’t go into detail on this today.

#Ad vs Not 

A blurred line within the Advertising Standards Authority which we must add the following is not advice…just our experience. 

The rise of having to put #ad on and sponsorship has definitely caused an effect within the power of influencer campaigns. Consumers are switching off more and more to them. Especially with sell out influencers who do multiple brand deals one after the other….remember what we said about influencers vs people with influence…

However, the brands that are killing it seem to have a strategy that works. Look at Gymshark as the prime example. A brand now worth over 100 million who’s marketing strategy from the get go has been influencer led campaigns. 

They salary all their influencers (athletes as they’re referred to) with the rule being to wear their product not necessarily promote it *when promoting it they do use #ad. This is causing their followers to become used to seeing the brand over and over with multiple athletes using their product. 

It’s leaving the brand front of mind and using the real power of people with influence (in this case athletes) to connect the brand with followers. In essence it’s a subtle way of selling backed with campaigns sprinkled here and there. 

The result > a world class brand with huge growth taking over a single market place. 

Remember all that influencer marketing is, is taking trust and authority and steering it towards a brand…a game that Gymshark are clearly winning. We take our hats off to them.