Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant and an influencer marketing expert, featured in numerous publications including Forbes, Huffington Post and Inc., who has been helping brands for almost two decades with their marketing initiatives. Today, he is sharing with us his insight on the impact of leveraging influencers to boost brands’ return on social media investment, and the best practices to measure influencer marketing ROI.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Shane: “I’ve been a digital marketing consultant for over 18 years by helping businesses grow their online footprint. Which drives traffic, and I help them convert that traffic into sales.
I’ve committed a good amount of time and resources to mentoring young startups and guiding novice entrepreneurs through training and my speaking engagements. On a more personal note, I’m also a runner and I log about 10 miles a day on my FitBit to help keep a good work-life balance.”
As a digital marketing expert, do you have any tips for brands to implement influencer marketing to boost their social media ROI?
Shane: “The most important tip is to maintain authenticity by working with relevant influencers, preferably ones who are already fans of your brand. It’s crucial that you provide influencers with creative freedom so they can promote your brand in their own voice, which will be more authentic.
Authenticity is crucial because it’s the main reason why influencer marketing is so successful. With people losing trust in advertising, they turn to real people (i.e. influencers) for product recommendations and reviews. So if you have to make influencer marketing work for you, focus on this first and you’re set.”
What do you think are some of the most important metrics when calculating influencer marketing’s impact on social ROI, and how can brands measure these metrics?
Shane: “There are several metrics that can be used for measuring the impact of influencer marketing on social ROI. These metrics may differ for different brands based on their specific goals or KPIs (key performance indicators).
However, some of the most important ones are campaign reach, social media impressions, engagement rate, click-through rate and sales.”
Determining the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns is one of the biggest challenges for brands. Do you have any tips for brands to make influencer marketing ROI more measurable?
Shane: “There are three important steps to make influencer marketing ROI more measurable. First, brands need to define their goals clearly. What do they wish to achieve through the campaign?
Second, brands should identify what metrics are important for measuring their campaign. Which metrics are relevant to their goals?
Finally, they need to invest in a comprehensive influencer marketing tool that comes with campaign tracking features.”
When running influencer marketing campaigns, do you think certain social media platforms generate better results in terms of ROI and conversions?
Shane: “It really depends on your products or services but I’ve found that Instagram seems to be a favourite platform for influencers and brands alike.
In the past influencers have been able to engage their followers much more effectively through the platform. Plus, Instagram is adapting its features to accommodate influencer marketing (such as introducing the new sponsored post tag) and we are doing some tests now to see how this will affect influencer marketing campaigns moving forward.”
Many brands sponsor the influencers’ content they partner up with to boost conversions. What is your view on this? What do you think is a reasonable percentage to invest in boosting up influencer’s content compared to the total campaign investment?
Shane: “I think it’s a good idea to ensure that even more people are exposed to the content, helping the brand in successfully raising brand awareness.
Since Instagram has changed their algorithm, it very important to squeeze as much juice out of the lemon as possible. You need to do FB ads, create custom audiences, and remarket on all of your campaigns. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on this, in fact, you can do it effectively by spending hundreds to see what moves the needle the most.”
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