(Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored, and my participation to this study was not remunerated or compensated in any time. I’m just sharing it for your information.)
A study by Augure PR Communications & Marketing (France)
Earlier this year, I was approached by the PR communications and digital marketing firm Augure, in France, to participate in a study on the marketing of influence. This comprehensive study, conducted among nearly 650 marketing professionals and communications in the world, has helped focus the main challenges facing businesses and organizations with marketing influence in social media.
What is particularly interesting about this study is that it covered three specific markets in Europe; the French market (France and Belgium), the English market (UK) and the Hispanic market (Spain). Obviously, some results differ depending on the language and type of participating companies. It’s also interesting to compare the results across markets. 39% of respondents are in Spanish speaking markets, 32% in French-speaking markets and 29% in English-speaking markets or other countries. For example, in the English market, where the influence of the market is more mature, 71% said that their main concern is to assess the performance of stocks with influencers, while for Spanish-speaking markets (67%) and French (62%) the biggest challenge is to identify the influencers who can have a positive impact on brand communications. There is also a distinction established between agencies and businesses; 58% of agencies believe that the biggest marketing challenge is to demonstrate influence customer equity returns with bloggers and influencers, while for 66% of business professionals, the main challenge is to identify the influencers its sector.
In an article published in February, Arnaud Roy, who directed all three studies, summarizes the combined results, identifying three major challenges facing businesses and organizations that adopt the marketing influence in their campaigns:
61%: identify relevant influencers for their brands and their campaigns
56%: attract attention and develop lasting relationships with influencers,
44%: measuring and evaluating the ROI of marketing campaigns of influence,
How to identify relevant influencers for its campaign
In his article, he directly addresses the question, and quotes me in a few places in the study: “I think there are macro-influencers (celebrities, experts, journalists, celebrities), and micro-influencers (employees, employees, customers ambassadors). To simplify, there are those who are already well established, and those who are revealed through social media in their community. But it must always reduce everything to a notion of context: we are influential in certain topics given. “
The results of the study reveal that only 9% of respondents believe that a high Klout score is an indicator of influence. And when asked what that identifies influencers, nearly 80% (79%) put its ability to mobilize opinions and receive feedback (echo or resonance) at the top of lists, 73% emphasize its potential audience and the size of the community (exposure or reach), and 62% prioritize the level of conversation and discussion on a given topic (share of voice or relevance).
However, the importance of Klout differs from one market to another. In Spain, 10% of respondents take account of the score of a social influencer, while in France only 5% of respondents consider the importance of social capital. The gap is seen when comparing marketing agencies (3%) and those responsible for communications and public relations (15%). In this sense, the study shows that “social score” ultimately has little significance against the engagement and conversation.
Further, there are also key indicators used by companies and organizations to measure the effectiveness of the action influencers in their campaigns. The numbers will come out in the same direction:
– 65% calculate the grades obtained on blogs and social networks
– 51% favor the sharing of content across social networks
– 42% first aim incoming traffic on their site or their social platforms
– 31% still prioritize the number of business opportunities generated
How to develop a lasting relationship with influencers
Before undertaking and develop a sustainable business relationship with influencers, we must know which channel to use to interact with them, and how to attract their attention. You have to understand the motivations of influencers and establish good relationship with the campaign. 56% of English respondents put this aspect among their primary concern, while in France it is more than 66%.
In this regard, the study of Augure Communications & Marketing gives some interesting ideas:
– 66% of respondents prefer email
– 57% use Twitter
– 52% comment on blogs influencers
– 38% are on LinkedIn
– 29% turn to Facebook
– 11% participate in forums
– 6% use Google +
In the UK market, over 80% of respondents rely primarily on email in their campaign with influencers. Several respondents also believe that the approach one-to-one and in-person meetings are the preferred channel to engage with influencers. The study also shows that influencers are more receptive to anything that allows them to improve the quality of their contents and that the offsets have few:
– 31%: help with content creation
– 28%: the sharing of proprietary information and quality content
– 16%: compensation
– 12%: invitations to events and privileges
– 9%: the beta test new products
– 4%: other miscellaneous compensation (gifts and samples)
On this issue, Arnaud Roy also added my comments, “There has to be some consistency between the profile of the influencer and the demand for the brand. Personally, as I never will speak in favor of a product or a topic I do not know, he must establish some convergence between the interests of the brand and mine. “
How to evaluate the ROI of an activity with influencers
Finally, the study of Augure Communications & Marketing also highlights some very interesting data from the study on the concern attached by (again and again …) agencies and marketers return on investment. Initially, he reveals why companies turn to influencers:
– 76% for the launch of a new product or a new brand
– 57% for the promotion and dissemination of content
– 50% for the organization of events and webinars
– 44% for crisis management
– 22% for corporate communications
46% of respondents decide they send press releases to influencers. A trend that has seen even more in France with 50% of respondents, but less so in Spain where only 30% admit to sending press influencers. Only 22% believe that it is effective to engage influencers in corporate communications.
In their communications products, respondents feel they can get the best results from their campaigns with influencers in three main areas, and as such, these are the areas of focus:
– 55% in event organization
– 31% with product testing
– 17% for samples and gifts
Meanwhile, businesses seem to rely too much on the impact of influencers in their networks to amplify their message: 44% say even collaborate regularly with various influencers to write and co-creation of content. A more common practice in France, where 56% of respondents regularly collaborate with influencers for writing blogs, interviews and co-created content.
However, if respondents report that the return on investment remains one of their top three concerns, the study demonstrates Augure Communications & Marketing along with almost 70% (69%) of those who have made the shift to indicate satisfaction with their activities with influencers, while the results go to 80% for those for whom it has been over two years. Business priorities, therefore, continue to evolve.
To sum it up, the study of Augure Communications & Marketing shows that marketing science of influence in social media continues to evolve into maturity, and that marketers and companies increasingly integrate the notions of influence in their campaigns. They are now a clearer distinction between influencers and ambassadors. Social score is no longer as important to them than the appropriateness of interventions and co-creation of content. Sustainable and profitable relationships with influencers and ambassadors take over on the return on investment.
(Source and infographics: Augure Communications & Marketing)