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Measuring influencer ROI in a post-COVID world

Hey! Did you hear the news? COVID has claimed it’s latest victim. According to the experts, the global pandemic is the death knell for influencer marketing.

It might make me a good headline but the reality is nothing could be further from the truth.

Influencer marketing is more important than ever right now.

According to Business Insider: 

“the biggest reason why the influencer industry will endure is simple: consumer demand is strong — in fact, stronger than ever.”

In times of uncertainty, we tend to turn to the familiar. Influencers speak for consumers and, in turn, consumers turn to influencers for guidance, reassurance, help, inspiration, and everything in between.

Influencers have the ability and power to put a human face on a brand. They are masters of their communities, they have reach, and they’re able to create content out of nothing. Where influencers lead, consumers will follow. If anything, COVID has strengthened the role of the influencer rather than diminishing it.

As this article from TalkingInfluence says: “Influencers have the unique ability to humanize a brand and create conversation, appeal and demand for products in the context of real-life. This has become especially important as followers seek normality, assurance and guidance from those they trust during uncertain times. Given many have spent years developing communities that intimately know and trust them, influencers have appeal for the ways they connect with and communicate to niches based on regions, age and socioeconomics that require specialized, relevant messaging to resonate.”

Influencer impact and ROI

Let’s take a step back and look at the context – the rise of influencer marketing has been astronomical. In 2017, the influencer marketing industry was estimated to be worth $2 billion yet, by 2020, this figure is set to rise to $10 billion.

It’s a serious business and it’s not difficult to see why. More than 50% of women say they have made purchases based on influencer posts on Facebook or Instagram while 70% of Millennials trust influencers and their peers more than they do celebrity endorsements.

The premise of influencer marketing is simple – as a brand, you engage with an influencer, usually someone with followers matching  your target audience and demographic, who then, in turn, will promote your product to their audience in order to drive sales and increase brand awareness.

Other benefits include, driving more traffic to your website, improving your social following, creating content for you, and helping you generate a buzz around your business or a particular product.

However, while a recent study found there’s a $6.50 return for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, it’s been particularly hard for retailers to measure the impact of influencers directly on sales. With the market growing and there being an increasing number of influencers to choose from, forward-thinking retailers are looking for effective ways to measure the return on their influencer marketing spend and want to know which influencers drive the most sales – both online and offline.

Tracking influencer sales

This problem was something we saw with a number of different clients. As such, we’ve developed an extension to our POS system that enables sales originating from influencers to be tracked.

Each influencer is given a unique code they can spread to their followers. These followers can then redeem the code, either online or in store, to trigger a discount. As the retailer, you can see, in real-time, how different influencers perform. This includes seeing who the influencer is, how many times the code has been redeemed, what the order value was, what the discount was and what value of additional sales were made.

Influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down – if anything it’s growing to become even more important in a post-COVID world. It’s going to be more important than ever to measure how successful it is for you and your stores.

If influencer marketing plays a key role in your overall marketing strategy you should absolutely prioritise tracking its effectiveness. If you’d like to find out more about our Influencer Extension and how we can help, we’d love to talk to you.

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