Whilst influencer marketing seems like the next big thing, marketers who do not do their homework may run the risk of running their own campaigns and ROIS into the ground.
When Singapore’s Ministry of Finance decided to promote their Budget 2018 campaign through young influencers on social media, they thought that the glitz and glam would do the trick. Far from it, the campaign backfired as the subject of serious financial planning did not quite fit in a curated Instagram feed showcasing holiday weekend trips, staycays, food splurges, and parties.
Clara Low, marketing manager, Quorier, said that the topic of long-term financial planning was not taken seriously in Singapore because young people are not attracted to the idea of being associated with a government initiative. Whilst influencer marketing seems like the next big thing, Low said that marketers who do not do their homework may run the risk of running their own campaigns and ROIS into the ground.
Marketers have been quick to jump in on the bandwagon called influencer marketing, as it has proven to create not only brand awareness, but also brand resonance, brand loyalty, and brand advocacy among target markets. Compared to physical store visits and traditional advertising through radio and TV, influencer marketing is the most cost-effective customer acquisition channel today.
Relevance, reach and resonance
Despite the financial planning blunder, the Singapore government was able to pull off their environmental campaign called #Climateactionsg. Benny Chow, project marketing manager, Firefly Photography Pte Ltd, said that the campaign engaged many micro-influencers to spread the message of environmental awareness and government budget, generating a lot of buzz and resulting in greater exposure through mainstream media.
Cat Williams, founder and CEO, Humanisation, said that influencers can be valuable if a firm has a clear goal in mind. As influencer marketing becomes more popular, influencers are also growing to be less transactional and more towards building-long term relationships with brands. To ensure that brands maximise the benefits of influencer marketing, Low said that marketers must keep in mind three things: relevance, reach, and resonance.
For an influencer to be relevant, their personality, tone of voice, style, advocates, interests, and possibly even their worldviews should be aligned with one’s brand. She said that it is unthinkable for @Pewdiedie to be flexing a skincare ad on his social media.
Chow emphasised that brands must be careful not to use influencers just because they have a huge social reach, as the lack of knowledge in a particular field may result in devastating consequences like media backlash.
“Marketers need to dive deeper into the numbers and understand that having a big following count doesn’t equal to influence and conversions. Dig through the comment sections, analyse the reactions and engagements, investigate if the followers are authentic and are not bots or paid followers. Also, do keep an eye out for sponsorship saturation - the last thing you want is an influencer to be labeled a sell-out and for viewers to be bombarded with sponsored ads,” Low added.
In terms of resonance, marketers may benefit more from leading trendsetters, decision-makers and tastemakers who do not necessarily have the largest followings. For instance, Circles.life successfully promoted “20GB for
$20” by secretly engaging Singaporean duo Youtiao666 to vandalise a “competitor’s” out-of-home assets while challenging Singapore’s police to catch them on social media. Low said that this unique idea became viral in Singapore, increasing website traffic by up to 250x within just 24 hours. Furthermore, some of these influencers could be VS influencers who create content on what’s trending. Low said that marketers can often distinguish VS influencers through extremely diverse topics of sponsored ‘conversation’, from a tech review in one post to a commentary on the World Cup in another.
Influencer marketing can indeed be influential, even on a brand’s ROI. Chow said that analytics is key, and the use of tools such as Social Baker is extremely important. Low added that marketers should avoid focusing on surface metrics such as likes and comments.
“Employ the use of Google and Facebook Analytics and build up a list of tracking key indicators such as website traffic, leads, and conversions directed from the respective influencer. Simple methods like UTM parameters (short text codes pegged to URLS to track) are a good starting point in providing data,” she added.
to ensure that brands maximise the benefits of influencer marketing, marketers must keep in mind three things: relevance, reach, and resonance.
Circles.life successfully promoted “20GB for $20” by secretly engaging Singaporean duo Youtiao666