For years Influencer Marketing was considered a channel for building brand awareness via metrics like engagement, sentiment, reach and follower count.
Today, these metrics aren’t really indicative of success and are a limiting way to approach a successful creator strategy. That’s not to say engagement and reach aren’t important, they absolutely are, but today the savviest of marketers are leveraging their most engaging creator partnerships to drive real business outcomes throughout the entire marketing funnel.
So, what’s changed?
Influencer Marketing has evolved exponentially into an entirely new category - Creator Marketing.
Brands are now building diverse creator communities, generating higher-quality content, and connecting with (and converting) more customers across more platforms & channels, with more sophisticated tools and better tracking.
But first, let’s bust some common myths about Influencer and Creator Marketing.
Influencer and Creator Marketing myths
1. INFLUENCER MARKETING ONLY WORKS FOR CERTAIN BRANDS AND INDUSTRIES
At TRIBE, we've seen all kinds of brands run thousands of successful influencer campaigns. It's limiting to assume success is only possible for certain industries when we've seen everything from not-for-profits to Universities and recycling brought to life with creators.
In fact, over 83% of marketers believe working with creators is effective, 71% of those have increased their use, and 23% intend to spend over 40% of their entire budget on influencer marketing. These numbers are expected to increase as Creator Marketing continues to evolve, bringing more opportunities for success for all brands, of all sizes.
The key to success for any brand?
Clear goals and objectives. Think outcome > output.
Defined creative strategies.
The right creators to bring it to life.
Amplifying and repurposing content to achieve specific goals.
An always-on approach to measuring and optimising performance.
2. INFLUENCER MARKETING IS EXPENSIVE WITH A LOW ROI
On average, brands make $5.78 in revenue for every $1 invested in Influencer Marketing, with some seeing as much as $18. Better still, 51% of marketers attribute creators to helping them acquire better customers.
Brands who are amplifying the same UGC in their paid media, or re-purposing it across their other channels are reaching and converting more customers, driving tangible business outcomes and increasing their ROI.
Those who are doing this most successfully have one thing in common. They’re not just looking at top-of-funnel metrics, they’re cleverly integrating their Creator Marketing strategy through the whole marketing funnel.
3. INFLUENCER MARKETING IS ALL ABOUT HARD-TO-MEASURE VANITY METRICS
While great for top-of-funnel awareness, an effective Creator Marketing strategy can actively drive action through the middle and bottom funnels and generate tangible (and trackable) business outcomes. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Let's talk about 'vanity metrics'. Thanks to TikTok (and the changes Meta has made because of TikTok) metrics like engagement and reach no longer mean what they used to.
Engagement, for example, is no longer measured by likes and comments from an influencer's own audience because that's only the beginning of who you can reach. Engagement rates are far more accurate against overall impressions.
Impressions and engagement go hand-in-hand and creators are experts at knowing how to get their content seen, and they know not all engagements are created equal.
A ‘like’ or ‘comment’ indicates enjoyment and the TikTok and Instagram algorithms like that. But, they love a ‘save’ or ‘share’ because they indicate the content is so good it’s worth coming back to or sharing, so the algorithm will increase its reach.
4 ways to go from TOFU to BOFU with Creator Marketing
1. COMBINE STORYTELLING WITH CLEAR CALL-TO-ACTIONS
Creators are the storytellers of modern-day marketing.
They connect with your customers in ways your brand simply can’t. A community of diverse creators with unique voices speaking about what your products mean to them is even more powerful when their stories are cleverly aligned with a clear business goal.
This is what takes you from awareness to consideration to conversion.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean feeding creators a sales script full of ‘Buy Nows’. It means having a clear goal for your campaign and briefing your creator community to help you achieve that goal - in their own way.
For example, Fujifilm’s Christmas campaign could have featured stunning lifestyle content showing the photographs their camera takes. A pretty simple and effective way to gain some awareness.
Instead, Fujifilm thought beyond awareness and towards consideration goals and middle and bottom-of-funnel objectives. They briefed creators to shoot content tied to an overall message of ‘why’ their camera is a great gift.
Because each creator told their unique story the ‘end product’ being promoted is no longer photographs, it's memories. They were able to connect emotionally and still showcase key features and add call-to-actions & education on how and where to purchase the product.
2. FUEL YOUR PAID MEDIA WITH TOP-PERFORMING CREATOR CONTENT
You’re probably thinking it’s all well and good to have more direct messaging, but how do you measure and attribute certain creators to bringing in results? By having clear goals brands can generate the exact content they need to fuel their paid ads where targeting, tracking, optimisation and attribution tools are now at their disposal.
Whether running brand ads or boosting Creator Ads, an organic Creator Campaign serves as a platform to collaborate with a variety of creators and discover the content most likely to perform, based on organic results, and run a multi-variate test.
For example, you might boost 10 of the top-performing organic posts with a moderate budget to gauge what content drives the most click-through. Then, place a heavier budget on the top 3-5, ensuring you’re spending on the content you know is driving towards your goals.
3. DEVELOP LONG-TERM CREATOR PARTNERSHIPS
63% of TikTok users say they would purchase from a brand after two exposures to branded content. Consistency is key in any marketing channel, and Creator Marketing is no different.
Because creators are expert storytellers, working with a smaller community of creators long-term is an excellent way to transition potential customers through the funnel.
A consistent message told via a variety of stories across a period of time increases trust, relatability, product knowledge and brand recall.
4. JOIN THE SOCIAL COMMERCE BOOM WITH CREATORS
Social commerce and creators are a match made in heaven.
It combines the authentic content customers are drawn to with the ease of purchasing products directly via social platforms. It’s no wonder TikTok has been investing heavily in its TikTok Shopping feature.
On Instagram, 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts every month. These users see content featuring a product and can seamlessly navigate towards the checkout and purchase with fewer friction points.
This means that brands who deliver their content across the full range of Instagram’s shoppable formats experience greater reach and in turn, higher revenue.
The secret to measuring Creator and Influencer Marketing in 2024
Marketers have never had so many tools to measure their Creator Marketing performance.
We can now:
✅ Measure website traffic with Google Analytics by providing a unique UTM code to each campaign.
✅ Track leads with the advancements in lead generation software.
✅ Attribute sales directly with eCommerce platforms by equipping creators with unique discount codes.
✅ Run high-performing paid ad campaigns with a greater variety of creative Premium UGC
✅ Access first-party, real-time performance metrics via advanced Creator Marketing platforms like TRIBE.
These tools are designed to make your campaigns more successful. But, the real secret? Having access to industry experts who can help define your goals and strategy, find the right creators to deliver the content, and analyse performance is the game-changer.
This is why we developed TRIBE Plus. Our industry-leading technology is now supercharged by a fully managed service that takes a strategic approach to delivering Creator Marketing that delivers outcomes, not just outputs.
Hit the button below to discover TRIBE Plus, or get in touch with our team who are ready to elevate your Creator Marketing in 2024.