The trend to move marketing services in house isn't a new one. As we move into an increasingly digital, performance-based world, brands have been eager to save costs and increase speed by moving their marketing in house. Of course, influencer marketing is no exception and we continue to see brands go back and forth between bringing it in house, realizing the difficulty and true costs, outsourcing it again, then growing fearful over not owning the data and relationships and bringing it back in house again. It's quite the cycle to observe!
Why is it so difficult for brands to be successful when they pull influencer marketing in-house? It comes down to the data, or lack thereof, which in turn makes influencer marketing much more costly and difficult for in-house teams than the brand could have ever imagined. Here's a quick breakdown of the data most in-house influencer teams are missing and why it's costing them, big time.
Historical Influencer Performance Data
Brands lacking a sophisticated tech stack that gives them access to historical performance data are at risk of choosing influencers to partner with who might just be a huge waste of time and money. At a bare minimum, the three data points every brand should consider when choosing influencers to partner with include:
- Engagement Rate (and whether it's different on sponsored vs. non-sponsored content)
- Avg. Cost per Engagement (CPE)
- Saturation Rate (Learn more about Saturation Rate and why it matters)
At Carusele, we're able to take this a step further than even the most advanced influencer database by leveraging our iStack algorithm for analyzing influencer performance. It let's us surface influencers who not only delivered on the metrics above, but delivered on each campaign's specific objectives most efficiently. We can even look at influencers across client verticals to surface influencers who drove high conversion rates in the baby category, for example.
Need help finding influencers who deliver efficient results for brands?
What Should an Influencer Charge?
A cautionary tale for in-house influencer teams. We've repeatedly seen clients pay 3-5x MORE than we do and receive fewer deliverables from the same influencers. Why? Believe it or not, as a brand you have less power when it comes to negotiations than we do. What's more, brands often lack the knowledge of going rates and data to support opening bids when they pitch influencers themselves. Not only do you need to know what an influencer has charged in the past but knowing what their competitors are charging will help you know if you're getting a good deal or not.
We can't magically give you access to that data. It's data we invest in heavily to ensure we're getting the best deals for our clients. But we can give you at least a bit of guidance on how to set your opening bid to an influencer and determine if the rate they want to charge is worth it to your brand.
Continued Reading: How Much Should I Pay an Influencer?
Influencer Audience Insights
First off, if you're still selecting influencers based on whether they look like your target audience and not whether they actually reach your target audience, you're doing it wrong. Carusele uses the ABC's of influencer selection to determine the exact right influencers for our clients. "A" stands for audience fit and it's the first criteria we look at. In-house teams often can't get this data without relying on self-reporting from influencers via media kits that, let's face it, are designed to sell. Not only is that data you can't trust but it's data you have to collect manually and that sounds hard!
Our opted-in network let's us pull audience insights directly via the APIs for more than 60,000 social influencers and cut that data based on audience demographics, location, interests, education level, and more.
Calculating Influencer Organic Reach
This is another metric most in-house teams can't get because it doesn't make sense for them to pay for expensive tech stacks that get them access to post-level organic reach data from influencers. As a result, like many of the more traditional approaches in the influencer industry, we're seeing in-house influencer teams severely inflating the actual results of their campaigns.
If you do find yourself in the boat where an expensive influencer tool doesn't make sense (like most brands) feel free to plug your campaign data into our free Influencer Reach Calculator to estimate the real reach your campaign had.
Engaged Audience ProfilesTM
When a campaign is over, do you have any insights on the people who engaged with your influencer content? If not, you're missing another key data point that most in-house teams aren't getting. Carusele's Engaged Audience ProfileTM offers brands a look at the subset of their target audience who responded most favorably to campaign messages. We also use this data in real-time to build out custom audiences for both re-targeting and look-a-like target sets, which have proven a valuable addition to our clients, often converting 2x better than traditionally built, interest and affinity-based audiences.
Curious how we can put our data to work for your brand?
Let's start the conversation!