What We Are Learning re “Performance” Influencers, Part II

By: Mary Ann Bautista

Following up on our post in the Fall of 2021, What we are Learning re “Performance” Influencers, we want to address the takeaways with responses and remedies that concern D2C e-commerce marketers.

Takeaways from our recent conversations:

1. A general acknowledgment that social media influencers fill the “salesperson” gap that exists for online stores versus brick-and-mortar retail.

Response: This is true and is particularly valid during the “great resignation” of 2021! Not only are substantial numbers of consumer transactions occurring online, but in retail, it is nearly impossible to hire and keep educated, knowledgeable salespeople on staff at a cost the business can afford. Additionally, the idea that written content will work to answer questions and drive sales, falls flat. Consumers will not work that hard to do business with you. They want a quick and easy video that answers their problems and questions. That is something that influencers do very well.

2. Concern re the attribution of impact for content that does not directly link to their site. In other words, it is difficult to read the results for actual impact beyond reported likes, shares, and comments. Did this effort really hit our bottom line to drive sales?

Response: It is true that tracking across multiple social media platforms is challenging, with every platform offering various options. However, we use a tech that pixels and tracks most influencer content with dashboard accessible reports. There are a few exceptions in the social media landscape where tracking is particularly difficult, for example, TikTok and in-feed IG, but there are workarounds for those as well! Social media sales are largely trackable!

3. A general feeling that social media influencers provide a branding play versus any direct marketing benefit. Often the content of a social media influencer is removed from their feed within 72 hours. It is a noticeably short play!

Response: True in the past, but with the aforementioned tracking, this is no longer a concern. With our solution, the advertiser owns the content indefinitely. And the influencer content lives on the advertiser’s site allowing for repurposing across an almost endless array of marketing efforts. Finally, the content drives a rich SEO result. You no longer must rely exclusively upon the influencer’s initial audience reach to receive sales benefits.

4. Concern re the contents of posts that may not be fully vetted before they go live on the social media influencers’ channels. What if the influencer goes rogue and posts something that the advertiser does not want or like?

Response: No one wants a disaster on their hands, and we avoid that by fully vetting influencers, making our behavior criteria contractually clear to the influencer upfront. AND most importantly we do not allow any content to be posted until it has been thoroughly reviewed.

5. Overall social media influencers are a time-suck. It takes a dedicated person to manage the execution of these programs. Really, it is a massive cat herding exercise and we’re not sure it’s worth the advertisers’ time and resources, given the internal labor costs.

Response: It is true that it takes a lot of time and a very well-orchestrated system to work with influencers. The workflow is constant, but it can bear terrific results. It is a simple labor equation. Do you have the internal labor force at a price that works? We do!

In today’s tech-savvy world there are answers, remedies and workarounds that make “Performance” Influencers marketing not only important but a necessary part of the marketing mix for D2C e-commerce direct marketers. What are your takeaways from your experience with social media influencers? Have you found other methods or solutions to some of the above concerns? Are you tempted to try the media, but are hesitant? Reach out and let’s talk about “Performance” Influencers!