Rethinking Influencer Marketing ROI

June 07, 2023 • Sabrina Chapman, Senior Director, Social

We see influencer marketing continue to rise as one of the most powerful tools for businesses to connect, impact, and convert their target audiences. Analysts anticipate a 29% year-over-year growth to 21.1 billion dollars spent on influencer marketing in 2023. However, one elephant never seems to leave the room: ROI.

Shortly following Instagram's launch in 2010, brands saw an A+B=C sales process. An influencer with a devoted following (A) could simply post a photo with a product (B) resulting in a flood of orders (C). Fast forward thirteen years, the game has changed and so has our evaluation of ROI. At Allied, we guide our clients to better understand ROI in today's marketing landscape and maximize the results of their campaigns.

Focus on Shares and Saves As Purchase Consideration

Not only do Instagram and TikTok algorithms favor content that is shared and saved contributing to higher visibility, but the fans' actual action is a vital metric to measure purchase consideration. When a fan saves an influencer's post about a brand, it's a strong indication that they want to revisit it to explore the client further, learn more and consider purchasing. When a fan shares content, it's an indication that the client's offering has resonated with them so strongly that they are compelled to share the client's offer with others.

For example, Allied activated a foodie influencer to drive awareness of a new food menu at an NYC attraction. Their visual-first post showed irresistible savory foods and views and was shared 2,500 times and saved 787 times. Although we do not know exactly what was said when it was shared or what a fan was thinking when saving, one can envision a fan sharing this post with a friend through DMs saying "Let's check this out!" or a fan saving to remember to make a reservation for a night out.

Reach and Impressions' Role in The Rule of 7

Industry-wide, a common ROI complaint is the reach and impressions were phenomenal, but the influencer only sold X amount of products or tickets. At Allied, we take into consideration the rule of 7, a principle that customers need to see your brand at least 7 times before they commit to a purchase decision.

Whether it's the first time a customer is seeing a brand or the seventh, influencer marketing impressions count in the target audience's journey down the sales funnel. Three in ten adult social media users have purchased something after seeing an influencer or content creator post about it on social media. In terms of when the conversion occurs: 11% bought immediately, 44% bought later online, and 21% bought later in a physical store. So just because a fan isn't buying immediately and directly from the influencer's link or promo code doesn't mean they are not purchasing later after further consideration and brand impressions.

Leveraging Influencers in Multi-channel Marketing to Amplify ROI

Content creators' likeness and style on the impact of consumer perceptions is undeniably important; 69% of consumers trust influencers over information coming directly from a brand. Though 'standard' influencer marketing tactics, where an influencer presents the product to their fans on their own channel, are effective, the opportunities to leverage this content in multi-channel marketing are key to Allied's approach in amplifying our clients' ROI.

To tap into consumer trust, Allied activates our integrated marketing team to utilize influencers' content in marketing channels beyond the influencers' own. At Allied, we recommend influencer marketing as a meaningful component of full-service marketing campaigns to truly leverage influencer content for optimum ROI results.

Want to learn more about our integrated approach to influencer activation? Get in touch.

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