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How Influencer Marketing is Effective for ROI
[caption id="attachment_205" align="alignleft" width="400"] Advertising ROI - playing the long game & what to expect[/caption] During the initial discussions about a contemplated influencer campaign one of the questions that any brand representative wants to know the answer to is "can you guarantee a return on investment?" Return on investment (or ROI) is essentially a way for the brand to measure the performance of the campaign to determine whether this type of advertising is effective for them. Whether you're working independently or with an agency, influencers should know this term and be ready with an answer addressing how they can help a brand achieve ROI, telling them why it makes sense to retain your services. Brian Hack of HackLab, LLC tells us that influencer marketing is effective performance marketing for ROI activities in terms of brand awareness/reach, asset creation and search engine optimization (SEO). "Organic influencer marketing can help raise brand awareness and reach in an "authentic" manner, i.e. 3rd party recommendation,  that can not be accomplished via brand publishing or paid advertising." He continues, "Influencer Marketers create a large repository of photography and videos that can be used by the brand in marketing materials and other digital initiatives. These assets are typically much more expensive to be created by the brand itself". In terms of SEO, Hack says that, "Blog and story placement linking back to a brand's website is very valuable. These links can be quite expensive in typical Search Engine Optimization campaign and are a natural by-product of influencer marketing." Influencers also have found that blog posts seem to be the top way to focus on long-term ROI & SEO investment. While most won't guarantee specific numbers there are some things that can be guaranteed... over time. One influencer that has proven this is Amber Edwards from Busy Creating Memories. She spends a lot of time focusing on SEO and keywords for long-term ROI, which can sometimes take at least 6 months to a year. She says, " I focus more on SEO, keywords, positioning well on Pinterest and email marketing - often these don't pay off right away in the first 2 weeks. Usually it takes a little time to get indexed and ranked, and then some time for the season of interest to cycle back. My content usually takes off about 3 months after content goes live." As an example she relates the following: "One post I did for Zaycon YEARS ago - consistently brings in over 16,000 views a month to this day. Since Zaycon went under - I've updated it for another company and it still continues to bring in 16K a month traffic - for one single post." Kim Delatorre from Shop with Me Mama agrees that blog posts are the way to go. She tells us that "If SEO'd correctly, your blog post can make it to the first page of Google which means huge traffic for not only our blog post but for the brand too. I have quite a few posts doing wonderfully on the first page of Google and the brand and I both benefit really, really well." [caption id="attachment_202" align="alignright" width="450"] Advertising ROI - playing the long game & what to expect[/caption] Measuring returns of social media advertising is often difficult because sometimes it is only seen quickly in passing. A high percentage of people that have seen product placement on blogs or social media aren't interacting with it in any way. But that doesn't mean it hasn't left a lasting impression. Longtime blogger Carleen Coulter from Beauty and Fashion Tech feels that brands could work the system to their advantage by using advertising on social media to gain both long-term and short-term ROI.  She wants brands to know, "In social, a brand would probably do better focusing on sponsored Facebook posts with targeted influencers in their niche and then paying to boost those posts to a targeted audience. I think click through rates and conversion rates are higher that way. With blog posts, the brand can ask for evergreen type content posts, plus boost a social share and get both some long term and short term ROI." A tip that CEO of Today's Business Tom Ottaiano wants to give to both brands and influencers is to not focus on numbers only, "Look into the best way to track your progress and just be transparent. When you partner the brands with the right influencers that will DELIVER on great content.. then were talking greater ROI's. At the end of the day it comes down to the product and the audience that product wants to hit, match that with an influencer that show similar demographics will always set you up for success. Sometimes the bigger the name truly the less of an ROI. Do more with less!" To sum it all up we advise both brands and influencers to approach influencer marketing with an open mind. If implemented smartly there is tremendous value that can also present veritable cost savings for content creation, social conversion, SEO and brand awareness.
*photo credits via Corinth Suarez & Domestic Blonde