Influencers are a hot topic for retailers these days, but 84% of marketers feel that proving their ROI is a challenge. Hannah Tyrrell uses her experience with M&S to show how you can think differently about influencer value to extract and maximise ROI.
Why do brands like M&S work with influencers? The most common reason cited by marketers (according to PerformanceIn) is brand promotion, but many marketers still struggle with identifying the right influencers and defining success. The key to a successful awareness campaign is to look beyond reach. Look instead to reaching the right audience, with the most relevant message; ensuring you’re measuring results on a cost-per basis, to fairly benchmark the value of awareness against cost.
Choosing influencers who align with your current or target audience helps to build relevancy, which helps brands like M&S to drive consideration. For example, if you trade in counter-seasonal markets – like a UK retailer trading in Australia – a local influencer provides a great opportunity to engage with a local audience and make product offering more locally relevant.
Influencer content is also a cheaper method of creating market-appropriate assets: and with the added benefit of third-party endorsement, it’s set to replace stock images and professional shoots. This means that you’re able to extract further value from your investment, which you can use throughout all marketing. Take the example of newsletters, where the use of influencer content saw a 33% increase in click-to-open rate and a 22% increase in sales, vs M&S brand content.
If raising your brand awareness is your goal, reaching the right influencer audience can offer a great opportunity for retailers to raise their profile. Hannah argues brands need to stop trying to prove sales ROI and instead focus on extracting and maximising the value of their content to drive conversion onsite and in higher-converting marketing channels.