This week. I had the privilege to attend and speak at the first conference focused on influencer marketing, Influencer Marketing Days  Having an early appreciation for this growing channel, I looked forward to honing my skills and sharing my knowledge. Throughout the conference, I had many “ah ha” moments and several affirmations that Robbins Interactive is heading in the right direction with its focus on influence marketing and affiliate marketing. Here are some of my key takeaways from this two-day conference.

Micro-Influencers Rule

Many people think of celebrities with regards to influencer marketing. However, the rise of the powerful small to medium size influencers is where the power and ROI resides. Every presentation mentioned the importance of working with the ‘power middle’ and micro influencers versus focusing efforts and budgets on mega-influencers. First here are the definitions of these new buzzwords.

Mega Influencers – often traditional celebrities like actors and actresses but also Internet born celebrities. Maintains a 1 million plus followers.

Power Middle  – the sweet spot for many brands, these influencers maintain 10,000+ followers. They typically work within larger niches such as parenting, health and fitness.

Micro Influencers = these powerful, smaller influencers average followers between 1000-9000. They are highly engaged with their manageable audience and typically passionate about a specific/smaller niche and topic. Instead of health, think paleo or vegan.

In my own campaigns, I noticed the trend of smaller, more niche influencers driving larger sales and engagement for my clients. It is both gratifying and comforting to have this observation confirmed again and again with real data and campaigns outside of my own. Here are the top reasons micro influencers should be your priority for 2017.

  • As more brands ramp up their influencer marketing efforts, the smaller numbers of mega-influencers will be tapped out. Working with micro influencers will be both more affordable and available.
  • Smaller influencers can manage and therefore engage with their followers more actively.
  • These influencers tend to be more knowledge therefore gaining greater credibility from the consumer.
  • Followers of these influencers are more likely to create their own conversations around the campaign, therefore building a closer relationship with the brand.

Preparation Is Key

Brands must prepare prior to initiating a campaign. Below are tasks that should be identified before any campaign or outreach begins.

Influencer Score Card – Rate the 5 Rs of an influencer – reach, resonance, relevance, reputation, and ROI potential.

Tracking Methods and Tools – Be prepared to have the correct tracking tools and instructions to insert those tools.

Campaign Assets and Direction – The campaign should be led by the brand but not micro managed. The brand needs to optimize the campaign for one objective, provide detailed assets and then let the influencer do what s/he does best…create engaging content. Be sure to have this campaign aligned with other brand initiatives.

 

52% of influencers cite ‘overly restrictive content guidelines’ as the biggest mistake brands make when working with influencers #influencerdays from Laura Smous of Tapinfluence

 

Data is King

While influencer marketers all understood that reach and views provide unreliable ROI, everyone agreed these numbers still need to be tracked. Why?

People in charge love big goofy numbers so reach is important. Via Chris Tradgett of Publisher Discovery 

However, the following metric and tools provide greater insight into the true value of influencers throughout the sales process

  • Traffic and behavior of referred traffic
  • Impact of influencer generated content – many brands are seeing increases of up to 30% conversion rates when influencer generated content is included in brand advertising
  • Revenue – technology can now provide tracking from online to offline as well as offline to online. One technology firm mentioned was Nelson Catalina
  • Technology – everyone wants to turn a picture into a Buy button, providing direct tracking

Real Time Video Killed The Static Marketing Queen

Thanks to Snapchat, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, the way consumers react with videos has forever been changed.  Live video is a strong and growing trend. Consumers spend three times as much time watching a live video versus a standard YouTube video.

Not Just For Business to Consumer Models

I was both surprised and delighted to see the business to business  model get significant attention at this conference. Having seen the success of Shopify’s influencer marketing campaign led by Bonnie D’Amico, I personally see the value of influencer marketing in this space. After all, transactions are Human to Human versus Business to Consumer or Business to Business.

There were many more valuable insights provided at this content dense conference. However, my intent is to write a post versus an eBook. If you would like more information on influencer marketing, please continue to follow my blog as well as the Influencer Marketing Days blog . I look forward to seeing you at the next conference in 2017!