After an eight week hiatus, #G2Fireside Twitter Chat is back and better than ever.
Beautifully redesigned branding full of sleek graphics and animations kicked off our return, alongside a strategic new strategy and an impressive roster of very special guests.
This week’s topic of choice is influencer marketing, and our diverse group of participants joined the conversation by discussing tips, best practices, and thoughtful opinions on the subject matter.
We asked eight questions:
#G2Fireside: Influencer Marketing
I had the privilege to lead this week’s Twitter Chat on influencer marketing and was joined by my colleague Stephanie Graham and our very special guest Cathy McPhillips! Cathy is the VP of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute, so we were all very excited to hear her take on the subject matter.
The three of us enjoyed answering each question and engaging with the participants. Let’s now dive into the insights and learn what everyone had to say about influencer marketing.
We started with the basics for the first question. Influencer marketing can spark quite the debate when discussing its value, so we were interested to learn where our participants stand.
A1 #G2Fireside— Christian Lowery (@clowerycontent) October 10, 2019
Influencers speed up the Law of Diffusion.
Customers typically in the “late majority” or “laggards” can become early adapters simply because someone they trust tried the product/service for them. pic.twitter.com/DWEN3XaWLd
G2’s Amy Lecza argued that influencer marketing has many benefits:
A1: Increased brand awareness, showcasing your product/service to a new (and hopefully engaged!) audience, but most of all - building a mutually beneficial relationship with an influencer for future campaigns, too. Your audience notices this! #G2Fireside— Amy Lecza (@amylecza) October 10, 2019
A1— Victor Immanuel Oloo (@ImmanuelOloo) October 10, 2019
Influencers create user-generated content about a brand that can then be used on your the brand platforms. They also have an active audience that listens to them so a brand can easily tap into it#G2Fireside
A1 #G2Fireside An influencer with a good fit will lend their personality to the brand and vice versa. Qualities that people hadn't associated with the brand before could emerge, more often than not that they're approachable and "just like us".— Cristina Maria (@Cristin47632668) October 10, 2019
Cathy McPhillips shared her great insight:
A1a: Influencers extend the reach of your message, and more importantly, are able to convey to their followers how your product or service impacts their lives - something that you, as the business, just can't do. #G2Fireside— Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips) October 10, 2019
Next, we wanted to know how our audience uses influencer marketing and where they have found the most success.
G2’s Derek Doeing speaks to the immense popularity that Instagram has:
A2: I think @instagram has proven itself to be the place for influencer marketing. I know there's been a number of times where someone I've followed shares a product that I have purchased on their IG recommendation #g2fireside— Derek @ G2 (@DerekDoeingG2) October 10, 2019
In terms of social media - there's no clear winner. Different social networks will work depending on the brand and audience. However, when scaling influencer marketing, using an end-to-end solution like @ZINECO_Official is great to keep all your influencer activities organised.— Jordie Black 🚀 (@jordieiam) October 10, 2019
A2: It depends on your niche. Twitter is a great platform for influencer partnerships in business, marketing, and tech, for example. Whereas IG is great for health, beauty, travel, etc. #G2Fireside— Tamara 🎃 (@itstamaragt) October 10, 2019
The next question was all about what to look for when choosing the perfect influencers to work with.
A3: Quality. You don't want someone who's overdoing it. Find someone who's as excited about your niche as your brand is - not influencers who will take ANY campaign or product for compensation. That's not the authentic relationship your customers want to see. #G2Fireside— Julia Rose (@Missjflar) October 10, 2019
Christian Lowery chimed back in and spoke about the importance of engagement!
A3 #G2Fireside— Christian Lowery (@clowerycontent) October 10, 2019
I look for conversation.
Are they responding to comments?
Are they asking for feedback?
Are they igniting passion?
Tons of likes and many followers are just smoke and mirrors if the conversations aren't there.
G2’s Lauren Pope shared how important brand alignment is:
A3: The brand alignment has to be there. Customers are smart enough to sniff out a self-serving promo when they see one. The best partnerships are the ones a customer don't even realize are paid for in the first place. They're that natural! #G2Fireside #Influencers— Lauren @ G2 (@G2Lauren) October 10, 2019
A3: One thing brands need to look out for when evaluating influencers is red flags - SO many brands have made missteps by not doing their research on what influencers have posted in the past. 😱 #G2Fireside— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) October 10, 2019
Cathy McPhillips shared the importance of respect:
A3a: Are they respected by our audience & their peers? What's their online persona/presence? Do we want them representing our brand, and do we want our event messages around their other messages? Do they have the voice we're looking for? #G2Fireside— Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips) October 10, 2019
Next up, we wanted to know the best ways to source top influencer talent.
A4: How about approaching someone who's already your follower? Think micro-influencer, if that's what you're looking for. They know what you do + are your fan. Wouldn't take much time onboarding them.— Sharanya (@sharanyamanola) October 10, 2019
Of course, there are tools that make your search easy.#G2Fireside
G2’s Research Specialist, Stephanie Graham shared some important statistics on the matter:
A4b. We’ve seen steady growth in the #InfluencerMarketing category on @g2dotcom, with traffic ⬆️35% since last year. These tools help brands discover & reach out to influencers, manage influencer marketing programs & measure results ⬇️ https://t.co/UoyD8oJODW #G2Fireside— stephanie graham (@grahamcrackers) October 10, 2019
Julia Rose spoke up about doing your homework on competitors:
A4: Do your homework - research competitors. See who follows them and engages with them the most, then see who those followers follow. Make the connections that make sense, and go from there. A little awareness creates a world of possibilities for brands! #G2Fireside— Julia Rose (@Missjflar) October 10, 2019
I wanted to share my past experiences on the matter as well:
A4: If you’re looking for larger influencers, then working with an agency is probably your best bet to help source and manage them. If you prefer micro-influencers, platforms like @aspireIQ are fantastic! You can be very hands-on with each influencer this way! #G2Fireside— Hannah Tow (@hannah_tow) October 10, 2019
This next question on how best to compensate influencers triggered a great conversation.
Cristina Maria stated her opinion matter of factly. Influencers should be compensated with money:
A5 #G2Fireside: Compensation for influencers. It's a job, at the end of the day. But always have a means to track return on investment so that you know exactly how many customers they're sending your way. This is why discount codes are great for brands and for the consumer.— Cristina Maria (@Cristin47632668) October 10, 2019
Jordie Black wasn’t sure if there is a right answer for all and that working within your budget is best:
#G2Fireside There are so many ways to work with influencers: one-off payment, gifting, affiliate, brand ambassadors, event attendance. All can work well with the right strategy behind it. Ask: "what's our budget?" then: "How can we make the most impact with the budget we have?"— Jordie Black 🚀 (@jordieiam) October 10, 2019
The influencer marketing company, ZINE reminds us that there are so many important factors that go into making the decision:
G2’s Derek Doeing brings up great points about the importance of monetary compensation:
A5: monetary compensation is extremely important for it to feel like a true partnership I believe. but also ensuring the relationship isn't just a one-off post through discounts and exclusive tests of new products. Influencers should also be your biggest fans #g2fireside— Derek @ G2 (@DerekDoeingG2) October 10, 2019
Cathy McPhillips thinks that no matter what you decide to do, your plan must be decided in advance:
A5b: I would say that compensation should be planned in advance, in writing, and should be in line with the value each influencer is bringing. It's definitely not a one-size-fits-all program. #G2Fireside— Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips) October 10, 2019
It’s now time to talk about success. The next question is all about ROI.
Sharanya Manola has a short and simple answer to this question that Cathy McPhillips loved:
Exactly! Don’t overthink the measurement. Go back to your objectives. And set up the metrics ahead of time that you want to track. #G2Fireside— Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips) October 10, 2019
Consultant, VishnuPriya Mishra has a few answers to the question:
A6: Listing in order of priority: Increase in Brand awareness and engagement rate, Increase in share of voice, and then perhaps follower count and leads #G2FiresideChat— VishnuPriya Mishra 💫⭐️💙 (@vpmishra01) October 10, 2019
Christian Lowery argued about the importance of sales:
A6 #G2Fireside— Christian Lowery (@clowerycontent) October 10, 2019
Sales. Sales. Sales.
Even if your immediate goal is awareness or leads, those are meant to lead to sales.
Make sure you track the campaign to future sales. I.e. did a 10% increase in leads generate a 10% increase in sales months later?
Stephanie Graham reminded us all of certain tools that help track ROI:
A6. It depends on the original goal of the campaign: awareness measured by views/reach, engagement measured by clicks/likes, and sales measured by… well, sales! Tools like @aspireIQ @Influencer_DB and @traackr help brands analyze & measure ROI on influencer campaigns #G2Fireside— stephanie graham (@grahamcrackers) October 10, 2019
Cathy McPhillips reminds us how important the metrics are:
A6a: Looking at metrics: Did they fulfill our ask? By providing trackable URLs and linking to Adobe Analytics, not only can we see engagement metrics, we can also see conversions. #G2Fireside— Cathy McPhillips (@cmcphillips) October 10, 2019
The next question asks about the trust influencers have with their followers. We wanted to know if consumers trust influencers?
Julia Rose brings up a great point. She says consumers are very smart, so don't underestimate them:
A7: Consumers are smart - they see through what's not authentic. It's hard to "craft" something that is organic and natural. I think the best way nowadays is to pair with an influencer that has the same values as your co. You want a shared mission. That's authentic! #G2Fireside— Julia Rose (@Missjflar) October 10, 2019
G2’s Mara Cavello says she has a hard time with trust even if it’s with those she has been following forever:
Jordie Black makes a great point about micro-influencer and why they are gaining popularity:
I think as influence marketing becomes more mainstream, consumers are quick to spot when something is a clear fake-endorsement.— Jordie Black 🚀 (@jordieiam) October 10, 2019
This probably correlates with the rise we're seeing in micro influencers who have a much closer connection to their audience. #G2Fireside
A7) It depends on the influencer...— Tony Christensen (@tonydoesads) October 10, 2019
- Some influencers obviously take any deal thrown at them, which hurts their credibility and brand, while others ensure to ONLY promote products that they can stand by.
- Sometimes the consumer can see this, sometimes they can't.#G2Fireside
Our final question of this week’s Twitter chat asked the audience for their favorite influencer marketing campaigns they’ve seen.
Here’s what impressed everyone:
Jordie Black loves Gymshark:
A8. @Diageo_News partnership w/@Nick_Offerman on the brand’s 44-min Yule Log video is everything that’s great about influencer marketing. Aside from that, I ❤️ what beauty brands like @glossier & @oVertoneColor are doing with micro-influencers. #G2Fireside https://t.co/OJWc5ErDvT— stephanie graham (@grahamcrackers) October 10, 2019
And who could forget the Fyre Festival Campaign? Tony Christensen thought it was particularly brilliant:
A8: Can I say the Fyre Festival campaign? haha— Tony Christensen (@tonydoesads) October 10, 2019
In terms of raising awareness and execution, it was brilliant!
The influencers, the mystery with the orange squares, the content...
Although, we all know how that ended. 😭#G2Fireside pic.twitter.com/F1FhtM2JTG
That’s the latest on influencer marketing!
Join in on the conversation every other Thursday!
On behalf of the entire G2 Content Marketing team, thank you to every single person who joined our #G2Fireside Twitter Chat on influencer marketing.
If you loved this discussion, you definitely won’t want to miss out on our next one all about design and branding! It will be hosted by G2’s very own Daniella Alscher on October 24th. We can’t wait to chat with you again!