Subscribe to the channel, or How to adjust sales through bloggers

Subscribe to the channel, or How to adjust sales through bloggers

How and who to attract to promote a certain product or service

Subscribe to the channel, or How to adjust sales through bloggers

“Press the bell icon and subscribe to my channel” is one of the most common requests on YouTube. Bloggers talk about different things and encourage viewers to choose a product or service based on their shared experience. Blogging has become an effective tool for promoting a particular product.

Tatiana Uryupova, head of AIR Brands, the strategic influencer marketing agency of the global ecosystem AIR Media-Tech, told Mind how and in what cases influencers should be used.

The coronavirus crisis has shaken the world and turned it upside down. The business landscape was urged to transform amid uncertainty, falling demand, and sheer stress. As a result, about 70% of brands have changed their strategy, advertising messages and customized campaigns in recent months, as per Admixer survey. Many have slashed budgets across all channels except social media.

However, optimizing and changing does not mean disappearing from the radar. According to historical research, the brands that do not reduce their advertising presence during a crisis period do succeed later. How can business address problems despite the global crisis?

Betting on work with influencers

An influencer in social networks is a user who has a large and loyal audience.

The niche has been growing at a fast pace: by 2020, investments in blogger interaction were estimated at $5 to $10 billion. Before the coronavirus crisis, 63% of marketers wanted to increase marketing budgets in the following 12 months, including influencer marketing. Although the new tool is far from being universally accepted: conservative markets still struggle to incorporate influencers into their marketing toolbox.
In places where the power of influencer marketing is already acknowledged, the results are quite impressive.

Thus, according to BPG Group survey, 72% of those surveyed in Dubai bought at least one product last year based on the advice of a blogger, and 57% of respondents visited the recommended location.

At the same time, during the quarantine, people were locked down with the company of their screens. Data from Alcon reveals that during the pandemic, 80% of people had a dramatic increase in the amount of screen time. Kantar estimates that media engagement is up 61% in contrast to pre-quarantine levels.

There are more interactions with bloggers, and emotional attachment to them has also grown: for many, favorite influencers have replaced socialization. Have brands leveraged the new opportunity? Not really.

How influencers shape the trade

According to Business Insider, the number of partnerships during lockdown fell abruptly during mid-February, sponsored posts accounted for 35% of all content on Instagram influencer accounts. In April, the same metric was 4%. As a result, accommodation prices fell by 15% to 25%, in some niches of the cost of advertising went down by 40%. The results are pretty clear –   business has regrouped under economic pressure. But this on the global scale.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, brands took a wait-and-see attitude and suspended campaigns only in the first months, but now they are actively returning to their previous activity level. At the same time, bloggers practically did not reduce prices for affiliate placements. But they have become much more loyal to brands that did not leave the advertising market at the height of the pandemic.

On the global arena, business also quickly came to its senses and returned to influencers. For example, the Guru Club company, which helps users get cashback in return for Instagram mentions, launched in the midst of the pandemic, and instantaneously acquired over 100 customers. The bloggers themselves have also regrouped: given the worldwide growth in online sales, they are more likely to build campaigns around affiliate programs.

Focusing on real metrics (such as sales) is a sign of industry maturation, which now not only generates coverage and media presence, but also directly helps to earn money. Ukraine has not yet embraced this trend, but it is worth watching: over time it will become our reality.

So far, mere marketing support is also important for brands. After all, in a crisis, even the largest companies rebuild their product lines, increasing efficiency. Influencers also provide the trust of the audience, as well as allow for boosting sales; some brands can increase revenue by 300% thanks to the correct selection of bloggers for a campaign. According to other statistics, each dollar spent on influencer marketing pays six times. But what is the right way to structure a campaign?

How to choose an influencer

Usually, to achieve maximum engagement, it is recommended to target not only large influencers, but also attract bloggers with a small target audience. The more of these in the campaign, the higher the reach, response rates and purchases. The main catch is you need to choose the right balance between celebs, macro bloggers, and micro influencers.

Assembling the magic formula is a task for the agency. 
While on the user's side influencer marketing might work smoothly, things are not that simple in terms of process organization. First you need to analyze the market and create a selection of bloggers suitable for an audience, TOV, content, work with competitors and other parameters (this could be hundreds of candidates).

Then you need to establish communication with each of them, formalize cooperation with documents, convey the goals and objectives of campaigns. Next thing – you monitor the implementation of obligations, analyze the effectiveness, formulate conclusions and recommendations for the future.

Absence of such analytic leads to the ineffective use of money. Unpredictability also adds complications: bloggers can disappear, forget or violate agreements. In such a case it is important to have a reliable partner.

The core value of influencer marketing is authenticity. Simply put, if advertising campaign consists of the same type of message, the audience will react much worse than using personalization. And here, creativity is not only desirable, but also critically important.

The larger the scale of the advertising campaign, the more difficult it is for a brand to competently conduct it on its own while maintaining an important balance between tough editing and, at times, unrestrained blogger creativity.

About the Ukrainian market

In Ukraine, the potential of influencer marketing is just beginning to unfold and showing good dynamics. As per Admixer poll, in the third quarter, 52% of companies must return ad budgets to pre-quarantine levels or even increase them.

Investing new funds must be effective and reasonable, and influencer marketing allows for this. Moreover, there are many undiscovered niches in Ukraine. For example, bloggers still rarely sign long-term contracts with brands, becoming their ambassadors; they tend to have one-time collaborations. But they are sometimes very creative. For example, GSK promoted the Corega line of denture care products with the help of influencers.

The product is aimed at an older audience that consumes mainly TV content, they are not easy to find on social networks. AIR Brands turned this challenge into a big idea for ​​the project and appealed to the younger generation to take care of their elders, especially given the quarantine time of the campaign. The story about caring for the audience resonated: the campaign received around 100,000 likes and about 1,000 saves. The total reach exceeded 1 million views.

While such cases are sporadic, each of them attracts attention – not only of the audience, but also of interested media. The companies that are not afraid to experiment with influencers today will gain an advantage over their competitors in the future.

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