When we think of social media ROI, we tend to only measure value by numbers. So much attention is given to number of followers, reach, impressions and likes; but while these markers are very important, there’s a much broader story that can be told, particularly on social networks like Instagram where photos create an opportunity to paint a much bigger brand picture.
Sure, Instagram has some limitations in what campaign parameters can be measured — engagement rates act as the major metric — and this can raise the question of what a brand really gains from influencer marketing. However, Instagram, now one of the top three social networks with over 300 million users, gives brands an opportunity to tap into the influence of Instagram power users and leverage their existing follower relationships in order to reach a broad audience.
Why is this important? Well, today’s fast moving social media culture creates a challenge for brands to engage consumers on social networks as feeds are overflowing and polluted with constant updates, making it easy for your brand message to slip by unnoticed.
What some brands don’t realize is that there’s value in a deeper level of influencer marketing where results are more than just stats that can be recorded on a report- this type of brand marketing is about creating familiarity, establishing trust and building relationships.
Influencer marketing requires informed goal-setting in order to fully measure the outcome. Here are the main returns your brand can expect from working with influencers:
1. Targeted Content
Instagrammers have a following that are loyal to their interests so by choosing an influencer to evangelize your brand, your product or service has a better chance at being exposed to your target audience through content that is relevant to those who see it.
Through a variety of Instagram influencers that are well suited to your brand, your message can be spread in many visual forms, each tailored to the audience it is intended for and reaching them in a natural and unobtrusive way.
2. Brand Trust
Actions are difficult to track on Instagram however, according to a Nielsen report, trust and action often go hand in hand. The report highlights how word-of-mouth marketing spurs on actions, showing that peer recommendations are more credible than other forms of advertising.
Although consumer trust in traditional advertising is declining, people are looking to social media to influence purchase decisions. If your brand is associated with a popular Instagrammer, it gives you credibility in the community.
3. Brand Image & Community Building
When it comes to social media marketing, brands not only have to play the game, they have to play it right. When an influencer creates content for your brand, you know that it will fit the Instagram style and resonate well with the community, in turn building your brand image.
An influencer campaign can also help to grow the community of your own Instagram account, generating a following with which you share your own content and engage on a consistent basis.
A perfect example of an Instagram campaign that got it right is the Mercedes Benz “Take the Wheel” campaign. The CLA model was aimed at a new consumer group, who typically wouldn’t see Mercedes Benz as a part of their lifestyle so, to redefine their brand image and target a younger audience, Mercedes set five influential Instagrammers on the case,
The campaign ultimately earned roughly 87 million impressions and 2 million Instagram likes.
During the month of the campaign, visits to the Mercedes website hit an all-time high, reaching a younger target audience with the lowest average visitor age in the brand’s history.
When the CLA launched two months later, it broke sales records and by working with influencers, the brand was able to closely tie itself to its brand mantra: “It’s not how far or fast you go, it’s who follows you.”
This article originally appeared in appeared in Adrants.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community