If you’re a brand marketer, you may have heard the opinion, “There is no ROI in Influencer Marketing.” or “Influencer Marketing is just for the top of the funnel.” As a man of many metaphors, I have one to posit. Imagine you’re an aspiring soccer player, dreaming of making it to the big leagues. Except in every game you get called offsides, kick the ball in your own goal, foul out with red cards, and yet you wonder why you haven’t seen success. In an obvious sense, you don’t know the rules. The only reason brands continue to say they don’t see ROI in influencer marketing is because, like our soccer player, they lack an understanding of the rules of a successful influencer program. This blog will provide you with the strategies you need to finally debunk the myth of no ROI in influencer marketing and make it to the big leagues.
The Right Influencers
As there is a key for every lock, there is a correct influencer persona to utilize for any goal that you have. Many brands make the mistake of desiring a certain KPI and activating influencers whose specific strengths don’t necessarily align with achieving that goal. If your goal is to drive awareness, Macro- and micro-influencers should be your top priority. If conversions are what you seek, activating advocates and referrers will provide a cost-effective way to drive clicks. Brands find more success when they partner with creators or consumers and capitalize on the unique value they can contribute to your funnel. Below you will find a broad outline of each persona Mavrck can leverage for brands to activate their full spectrum of influence and make the most of their influencer programs.
Macro-Influencers: Bloggers, creators, journalists, and other subject-matter experts (SME) who have large spheres of influence on their specific niche. They earn their living influencing audiences through the content they create. Typically, macro-influencers have between 500,000-1,000,000 followers.
Micro-Influencers: Have a side hustle creating content, and aspire to become a macro-influencer. Micro-influencers are great for brands who are scaling their influencer programs, or even still testing out influencer marketing. Everyday consumers who have relevant influence and typically have between 10,000-50,000 followers.
Advocates: Consumers and employees who don’t produce content often, but will do so for brands they are passionate about, but with less quality.
Referrers: Share if the incentive is right, but will put in limited effort (think copy and paste a link).
Loyalists: Love your brand and purchase regularly; will leave reviews and share feedback but may rarely share on social. Both loyalists and referrers may be incentivized by discount codes, product samples or loyalty points.
How Influencer Marketing Impacts the Entire Funnel
On the other side of the coin, the content that you distribute should have the same level of intention for each phase in your funnel. While in many cases, these varying forms of social proof have the ability to influence other phases, the best course of action for marketers is to use the right tool for the right job. If you want to see high ROI from your programs, incorporate the following content strategies into your funnel and begin building an integrated influencer marketing funnel.
Live Streaming & Shortform Video: Generate awareness & impressions or views via short-form video platforms like TikTok, plus live engagement via live streams
Instagram: Drive awareness or views & engagements; use IGC to promote your brand; drive clicks via links in bio/Stories & shoppable content
Surveys: Conduct creator & consumer research on your target audience and/or product feedback, innovation, industry trends, etc.
*Note: Instagram is also an effective channel in the Interest phase of your funnel.
Blogs: Drive clicks (and ultimately conversions); generate awareness or impressions; create long-form evergreen blog content for SEO.
YouTube: Drive clicks (and ultimately conversions); generate awareness or impressions; create long-form evergreen video content for SEO.
Pinterest: Drive conversions or sales, generate website traffic, or produce evergreen content that consumers can discover via search.
Intent & Evaluation:
Reviews: Increase e-commerce conversions & conversion value, along with brand lift & trust via reviews through intent & evaluation stages
*Note: Pinterest is also an effective channel in the intent & evaluation phase of your funnel
Paid Media, Affiliate Links & Promo Codes: Drive sales through coupon codes and tracking links to prove ROI; allow list IGC to run paid ads & drive purchases
Examples of Brands Achieving High ROI
Rosefield’s ROI (Case Study: How Rosefield’s Influencer Marketing Strategy Drove 167% ROAS Across 7 Global Markets)
Through its Mavrck partnership, Rosefield gained 70,000 new ambassadors, grew sales by 400%, and ultimately achieved 167% ROI.
Express’s ROI (Case Study: How Express Ambassadors Drove 168% ROI in Online and In-Store Sales)
By partnering with Mavrck, Express’ ambassador program grew by 11x, the engagement rate averaged 5.7% (crushing the 3% goal), and it scored an impressive 168% return on investment (ROI).
Eyeconic’s ROI (Case Study: How Eyeconic Launched a Referral Program to Increase Brand Awareness and Site Traffic)
Eyeconic and Mavrck were able to greatly increase awareness and top-of-the-funnel traffic resulting in 58.5% click-through rates on promotions shared, $206 average value per conversion, and a stunning 4.56x ROI, doubling the original benchmark set by Eyeconic.
To learn more about how these brands were able to achieve these results check out our The ROI Files: 3 Influencer Marketing Case Studies with High Return on Investment resource!
Though this information cannot guarantee ROI, if you are not properly leveraging these strategies in your influencer marketing activities, these could be the reasons you’re not achieving your desired results. This blog was made to be an example for those who don’t believe in influencer ROI that it is possible and probable when done correctly. If before reading this you had previously adhered to the myth, hopefully, this shifted your understanding. If you had already believed in the power of influencer marketing prior to reading, feel free to use this as collateral for future conversations with those who have a lesser understanding of how you can achieve ROI in influencer marketing.