Your company is opting for an influencer marketing approach. But there are several questions confronting your teams. Should they choose a macro influencer or a micro influencer? What if the influencer endorses a competing brand in the near future? These are only two of the several issues confronting influencer engagement.
At TedX BandraSalon hosted at the Godrej headquarters in Mumbai, Sowmya Iyer of DViO spoke about these dilemmas confronting marketers and ways and means to surpass them. She said that a detailed study of digital influencer led marketing campaigns over the last few years had revealed some trends.
First, a macro influencer saw a drop in the rate of engagement, while those brands preferring a micro influencer saw higher rates of engagement.
For every influencer who had under 20,000 followers, the engagement rate was as high as 7.5 per cent. It dropped to five per cent when the influencer had a following in the range of 20,000 to 40,000. The engagement rate was only 2.7 per cent when influencers had a following of anywhere between 40,000 to 1,00,000 and the engagement rate went down further when it goes beyond 1,00,000.
"Deep dive into the data further and you get the picture," she told the audience.
She added that micro influencers make an effort to engage with fans and have one-to-one conversations and followers. "The macro influencer has a larger audience to address and they have to be relevant to that audience as well," she said.
However there was a rider: It's wrong to make a sweeping statement that macro does not work and only micro does drive engagement.
"There is a decline in trust on what people see in digital today. How does one get around it? People see through inauthenticity very quickly," she said.
Iyer said that a practical guide to influencer marketing would be in viewing it not as content versus reach, but through the lens of authenticity.
She emphasised that authenticity matters whether you have a successful campaign or not and said that there were several levels to measure authenticity.
At the basic level, the authenticity was at a bare minimum.
Level two: The authenticity of a campaign goes up several notches, when you are able to map the audience that the influencer has on his list.
Level three: It goes higher when influencer matches the ethos of the brand, and they create content that adds value to the followers.
Level four: Brands co-create content with the influencer and the amplification brands can build is
if influencers or fans are advocating the brand irrespective of whether the brand is talking or engaging wih them or not.
Level five: The brand becomes a part of the community, then it’s the epitome of influencer marketing.
Some examples: Zara co-created fashion with influencers and even used them as models in its catalogue to create the impression of accessible fashion. Red Bull brought in talent in the form of Parkour athletes who did not have enough reach, but the brand uses its reach and amplification with Parkour athletes to take the level of engagement to another level.