Influencer Marketing Grows Up—What’s It Mean for Performance Marketing?
According to marketing insights company ClickZ, “Influencer marketing will become a $10 billion industry by 2020.” What’s more, ClickZ reports, “Marketers [84%] think that the measurement of ROI will be critical to the future success of influencer marketing.” Clearly, influencers are here to stay—and they need to be treated like a grown-up marketing channel in your partnership repertoire. But just what does that mean?
Performance Marketing = Deals, Coupons, Rewards, Loyalty Sites—and Influencers
Traditionally, performance marketing has been defined by the PMA as “marketing programs in which advertisers (a.k.a., ‘retailers’ or ‘merchants) pay marketing companies (a.k.a, ‘affiliates’ or ‘publishers’) when a specific action is completed, such as a sale, lead or click” from deals, coupons, rewards, or loyalty sites.
However, performance marketing programs have expanded their outlook to take a more holistic view, even merging with their business development team, and think of it as “partnership development.” Why? Because in the end, it is not the means—coupons, rewards, loyalty programs—that matters, but the ends: the value that partnerships deliver regardless of the partner type. Today, this includes influencers.
Beyond the Kardashians: Different Types of Influencers
Even globally, we are all familiar with big name celebrity influencers such as the Kardashians. But the variety of influencers goes well beyond big names. Here are a number of less-common types of media partners that can be tracked, managed and monitored by your partner program:
- Non-celebrity social Influencers
- Influencers on blogs and other content marketing channels
- Brand and local ambassadors
- Strategic revenue-generating partnerships
Some performance programs grow beyond their traditional affiliate roots to embrace other forms of paid marketing initiatives such as these. This is a natural, incremental evolution. But many partnership programs are doing something more revolutionary. They recognize the need to understand the interplay between their different types of partnerships (not just influencers and affiliates, but ALL types of partnerships) and consolidate them into a single umbrella, so they can measure the incremental value each brings to the table.
Though you may not be able to convince your largest influencers to move to a performance basis, you should be able to migrate many of your mega-influencers and micro-influencers into a value-based compensation scheme. Large celebrity influencers are generally more aligned with intangible branding and awareness goals, while micro-influencers are better for driving measurable awareness and engagement with their audience. (For more information about the different types of influencers, check out our eBook, Managing Different Types of Influencers.)
How to Integrate Influencer Marketing Into Performance Marketing
Whether you work with celebrities, macro-influencers, micro-influencers, or all of the various influencer types listed above, the fundamentals remain the same:
- Define your goals
- Align your influencers accordingly
- Track and monitor everything
Though you can’t micromanage your influencers’ content, you do need to be strict about measuring everything. You need to uniquely track how each influencer contributes to driving performance and what value they contribute to your business. There will be challenges—attribution for influencers may not always be straightforward because they tend to play a role higher up in the funnel—but it all needs to start with tracking everything as best as possible. How do you do this? Add influencers to your performance program.
Learn More About Managing Influencers as Performance Marketers
Impact’s comprehensive platform Radius expands your capacity for managing partners and affiliates. It heightens your efficiency every step of the way, beginning with contracting, then tracking true performance, and delivering payment. Radius is designed to be versatile, so you can adapt it to your particular constellation of partners. Plus, it also offers immediate and direct access to your data so you can track what’s working (or not), moment by moment.
To learn more about Radius and how it can help organize, optimize, and enhance your marketing program, contact us here or through your Impact representative.
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