When Brand Value Doesn’t Add Up
Breaking down the math of Influencer Relations
As the practice of Influencer Relations becomes even further ingrained into the marketing mix, the conversation around impressions increases. Brands large and small have accepted that influencer endorsement is an integral part of a campaign, but now tasked with the challenge to justify the spend opens up a Pandora’s Box of questions. What is a “good” impression rate for the value? What is the average engagement rate to prove traction? And more topically, what is the proof of conversion? Impressions are on the mind of the Influencers too. Do they need to grow followership to remain attractive to brands? Do rates always increase by numbers? What is the benchmark they need to achieve to collaborate effectively?
Impression numbers have always been part of the equation that drives budget decisions. With micro analytics that are available through influencer campaigns, the scrutiny of these numbers has become an intense focus. Some online influencer tools filter and suggest costing based on the math alone, without taking into consideration the qualitative features that only a human eye can identify. Looking at a comparative to magazine’s circulation numbers and broadcast viewership, these only provide an estimate of views versus the actual eyeballs that social influencer campaigns are judged on. Marketers’ perception of numbers has to remain grounded and campaign results should be reflective of the content and not simply the math.
Shine Influencers is a talent management firm, which both exclusive represents high-demand social talent and services brands and agencies directly to cast social talent for campaigns. Privy to both sides of the business, the trends are clear. The most in-demand social talent are not the ones with the most followers. In fact, the talent who are requested the most are those with a finite followership and strong brand. Their fees are based on a number of factors, including demand, not solely the numbers.
Gary Vaynerchuk, digital-media guru said it best, if you commoditize your numbers, you are never going to win. Anyone can amalgamate impressions to show an impressive number, but it is the quality of content and the impact of an influencer’s endorsement that really matters. Before the detailed analytics of influencer programs were available, awareness programs would be rolled out based on confidence in strategy and evaluated over the next quarter’s sales results. We need to blend the old with the new and start utilizing this channel for its consumer power, rather than simply dissecting the data in the moment.
Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward are the founders of Shine Influencers (www.shineinfluencers.com), a North American Talent Management and Influencer Relations agency. Shine both represents Influencers and works with brands and agencies to develop strategy and roll out Influencer campaigns.