Have you ever found yourself, your team, or your marketing department iterating on different marketing strategies for days, weeks, or even months? And then boom! You finally find the bright and shiny idea that hits the sweet spot! But then the moment you start to scale it, the effectiveness of your marketing efforts come to a complete standstill?
Yeah, it’s every marketer’s most relatable nightmare.
The one thing that has become clear in marketing and advertising is that consumers respond to novelty — something that inevitably fades.
Here’s a little more context behind that statement.
Do you click on banner ads?
When banner ads were first introduced in 1994 by HotWired, they saw a 78% clickthrough rate on average. Fast forward to 2011, when Facebook launched banner ads on its platform, the company saw a minuscule average clickthroughs rate of 0.05%. That’s a stunning 1500x difference.
The same story is seen in the realm of email marketing. Consumers are being exposed to more and more of the same thing and less original content, contributing to a significant lack of engagement. The numbers prove it. According to eMarketer, email clickthrough rates across the globe fell from 14% in 2007 to 11.2% in 2009. Since then, the curve has declined even further, with an average clickthrough rate today registering at just 2.3% across all industries.
While many factors have contributed to this decline, Andrew Chen, who is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, says it is only natural. As new marketing channels get launched, their performance tends to decay over time, resulting in shitty clickthroughs.
Influencers = shitty clickthroughs
The same logic can be applied to influencer marketing.
Before influencers were even called influencers, they were called Bloggers and YouTubers. The successful ones posted consistent content around a specific category and worked their way up to building their following.
Influencers were a rarity.
But now that being an “influencer” is considered to be a legitimate job, and tax protocols are being put in place, it means that too many people are doing it. That said, working with influencers is no longer a novel concept and is losing its impact.
Brands and marketers are now facing another scenario, like their email marketing or third-party ads, that led them to the same result: a dearth of clickthrough rates.
When everyone’s an influencer, what are brands to do?
While the concept of influencers makes me cringe these days, they can still be used strategically to produce results. It just depends on what type of results.
There are mega-influencers who are celebrities like actors, singers, and models. They often call for higher compensation but are more likely to establish brand authority and create meaningful clickthroughs and conversions.
Then there are macro-influencers who have 50k+ followers and are considered mini-celebrities in their own right. These include athletes and television stars with a smaller but more engaged audience. These types of influencers are great for brand awareness and potential conversions. But still, they do not hold water against the levels of engagement that mega influencers can drive.
When it comes to executing marketing strategies such as social takeovers, contests and giveaways, and product reviews, it is best to work with mid-tier influencers who have anywhere between 50k to 500k followers.
And then there are micro-influencers and nano-influencers, who are great for niche marketing. Micro-influencers have anywhere from 10k to 50k followers and are great for product reviews and encouraging your audience to shop.
Nano influencers have at least 1k followers but have a big impact on their following. These influences can create conversions but on a smaller scale. They’re a great way to get your feet wet into the marketing influencer world.
Influencer marketing is indeed the new banner ad.
No matter what route you choose, driving meaningful clickthrough rates will always be a challenge. So the question is whether those clicks outweigh the conversions and the overall results. If they do, then you have to be always ready to tweak your strategy because your momentum will disappear as soon as you scale. That said, just like banner ads, today, influencers are increasingly becoming yet another tool for raising brand awareness rather than driving conversion. Be well aware of that before investing too deep.