Influencer marketing has heavily evolved over the past 15 years from a blogging tactic into a full full blown digital marketing strategy. It's also one of the the most popular forms of digital marketing in the space, with brands investing over $2B on influencer alone in 2019.
But influencer marketing strategies have to adapt depending on the objective. In the following post, we're specifically going to focus on how to set up your campaigns with shopper marketing in mind, starting with defining success all the way to every marketers biggest challenge with influencer, measurement.
Setting Up Your Influencer Campaign with Shopper Marketing In Mind
Step one is to carefully consider how you'll define the success of your program. As a shopper marketer, your endgame is obviously to drive sales at a particular retailer, but being able to determine if your influencer campaign contributed to sales isn't always easy. That's why we recommend taking a step back and looking at your campaign messaging to help determine if you should be optimizing your campaign for awareness or for sales.
Optimize for Awareness if Your Campaign Focuses On
- A Product Launch
- New Retail Placement
- Re-branding / New Packaging
- A Seasonal Event (such as a holiday).
Optimize for Conversions/Sales if Your Campaign Focuses On
- A Compelling Offer
- A Reason to "Buy Now"
- A Basket Building Message
Finding the Right Influencers
Identifying the right influencers for your campaign is always a challenge, but when you need those influencers to focus on a specific retailer, there are unique consideration to take into account.
Whether your retailer doesn't have a large, national footprint, or you're running a regional specific campaign, this can pose an interesting challenge for influencer selection. Many marketers only focus on the idea that an influencer has to live within the location they're targeting, but even more important than that, you need to ensure their audience over-indexes for that location as well.
Layering In Paid Media
When you're focusing on a specific region, paid media will ensure that your content reaches the right audience. If you rely on the influencers organic reach alone, you're wasting resources.
Why? Take the following example into consideration. Say you want to target Houston, which alone makes up about 2% of the US population. Of the 6 influencers we looked at who live in Houston, the influencers averaged having 20% of their audience also live in Houston. This means on average 80% of the audience doesn't live in Houston and the campaign content is wasted on them. If you add in a layer of paid media, you know that all of the audiences you boost the content to live within the region you're focused on.
Fit for the Retailer
Another key factor to consider when selecting your influencers is ensuring they're a fit for the retailer. Authenticity is the key to successful influencer marketing, and if audiences don't think an influencer would realistically shop at your location, then your content isn't going to be influential.
Optimizing Influencer Content
There's more to influencer content then looking visually appealing, especially if you're trying to drive audiences to go in-store. Take these tips into consideration when handing out influencer assignments.
Visualizing the Path-to-Purchase
Getting your audiences to go in-store is one thing, but what happens when they have no idea where your product is in the store? By sending your influencers in-store to capture content, it puts a direct spotlight on where your product lives inside that retail location.
Featuring the Retailer in CTAs
Influencer copy is just as important as the content. Make sure that when you're drawing up contracts and brainstorming messaging with influencers that you ask them to highlight the retailer in their copy so that they stand out. This is especially important if the product you're selling is available at competitor locations and you want audiences to specifically buy from you.
Create a Sense of Urgency
If you really want to push sales, limit the window in which your product is available or your discount is available. This incentivizes audiences to take action sooner than later so that they don't miss out on the special offer.
We previously mentioned that paid media is an important part of your shopper marketing influencer strategy because it ensures you're targeting people in the right geographic areas. But if you're a national retailer who isn't concerned about location, don't discredit your amplification plan. You'll still want to keep this piece of your strategy intact because network targeting gives you the ability to target audiences who have a higher propensity to shop at your desired retail location.
Finally, measurement. Measuring the success of influencer marketing is still the number one issue marketers deal with. Below are four different metrics we recommend utilizing to help measure the success of your shopper campaign.
- Ad Recall Rate: Best for measuring the effectiveness of an awareness program, Ad Recall Rate is a metric reported by Facebook on certain types of ads run via Business Manager. Ad Recall Rate is the estimated percent of your exposed audience who would answer “Yes” to “Do you recall seeing an ad from [brand] in the last two days?”. According to Nielsen, Ad Recall is the metric that best correlates with ad effectiveness in terms of brand awareness and consideration. As we mentioned in previous posts, impressions and engagement do not.
- Correlation Analysis: Daily sales compared to impression delivery; Correlations typically need to be run on a delay (Day 1 of impression delivery correlated to Day 7 sales, for example). The delay should be in line with a typical sales cycle for your product.
- Benchmark Comparison: Sales in the campaign period compared to a period where as many other variables as possible are eliminated
- Coupon Redemptions: Exclusive offer promoted only via influencers; Keep in mind not all shoppers use coupons. An attribution calculation may want to take into account what percent of your buyers typically use a coupon and scale up results to reflect people who simply aren’t coupon users.
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