We get the question all the time: where does influencer marketing fall in the marketing funnel? Though influencer marketing is a tried and true top-of-funnel strategy, this answer is insufficient. Our recommendation to all brands that want an effective influencer marketing strategy is to incorporate it into your entire marketing funnel. If you’re not seeing the ROI you want from your programs, let this blog guide you through the best ways to utilize influencer marketing in your marketing funnel or customer journey.
At the very top of the funnel, we have the awareness stage. Whatever your brand goals may be, ensuring that your consumers are at the bare minimum aware of your brand and the promotions you put forth is a cornerstone for any influencer program. If you think of the funnel like a story, your awareness stage is your hook, the shiny object that’s going to lead your consumer down the customer journey you’ve orchestrated.
In our experience, the best strategies to drive awareness are utilizing short-form video or live streaming and distribution of said content on Instagram or TikTok. Many brands make the mistake of not differentiating top-of-the-funnel awareness driving content from other content that belongs further down the funnel. Our advice: hold your horses! The goals of this content should be to garner as many impressions and engagements as possible to cut through the other social media noise. Don’t be nervous when there isn’t an instant massive influx of conversions as that isn’t the goal quite yet and your prospective consumer has only just entered your funnel.
Congratulations! You’ve got an audience now in your awareness stage and your brand occupies a small bit of space in the consumer’s brain. In the interest stage, your audience has made the decision that whatever content they saw is relevant to them. Unfortunately, there’s still a way to go as consumers in the awareness stage can easily leave your funnel.
Your next action to move that consumer along is two-pronged: the double-tap and learn. The double-tap is exactly what it sounds like: you tap your consumer again with more awareness driving content on Instagram or TikTok to try and secure their spot on the customer journey. Now that you have a better understanding of who your audience is, you want to learn even more about them. Conducting research on your creators and consumers can provide the intelligence you need to keep them engaged on their journey, innovate products and strategies, and identify future industry trends.
In an age where the consumer holds all the power to purchase, your consideration stage should accommodate everything they want to know about your product or service. Moving past the interest stage, your prospective consumer will begin to conduct thorough research.
Your goal at this point is to stand above your immediate competitors. You can display your brand and product differentiators through content with more depth. Examples of this would be Pinterest Pins, YouTube videos, and blogs that can highlight aspects of your brand and product that weren’t the “shiny object” that drove initial awareness. These supplemental features add additional value to your product in the consumer’s eyes and can sway their attention toward your brand over others.
Intent and Evaluation
The quintessential goal of influencer marketing is to establish trust with the consumer. As your consumer has now considered the various product options available to them, they have the intention of purchasing. One of the best ways to ensure that your product can be trusted is via reviews and review syndication.
Reviews are a significant determinant of purchase intent because like all of us, we want to know the experience others have had with a product. Having strong reviews is just as important as making those reviews easy to find. Whether on your website or digital retailers, syndicating reviews across your channels will build trust with your consumers and lead to positive consumer evaluations and conversions.
At the bottom of the funnel is the purchase stage. Losing consumers here is disappointing for any business, so your best course of action holds similar themes to the aforementioned stages — make it easy for your audience to buy. Your goal in this stage is ultimately to drive sales — by providing affiliate links and promo codes, your brand can lower consumer hesitation on price and further entice them to click that final purchase button.
As touched on above, a common misconception in influencer marketing is that it does not yield a high ROI. Contrary to this, Mavrck has helped brands achieve their ROI goals by utilizing specific strategies for each stage in their marketing funnel. In the same way you wouldn’t eat soup with a fork, top-of-funnel content does not immediately lead to conversions and reviews don’t garner impressions. If you want a high-performing influencer program, create a customer journey that is easy and informative for your audience and they are sure to follow you all the way to the bottom of your funnel.
For an easy way to visualize this, check out our Building an Influencer Strategy For the Full Marketing Funnel Infographic