From Russia to Taiwan, Argentina to Greenland, the language of influencer marketing is global. One of the universal words in that language is data. As global brands seek to build and engage with key audiences, knowing what data to utilise when assessing influencers and results is an important element of success.
Data is data in any language
As influencer marketing continues to evolve, brands are beginning to mature their approach to engaging with influencers. But influencer marketing is not new. Before there were models, politicians, or athletes, there were influencers such as the emergence of Santa Claus as a spokesperson for Coca-Cola in 1931.
In recent years, we are seeing influencers that are digital natives. These are the people that are content creators at heart and able to form genuine and authentic connections with their audiences. And this generation of influencers is accustomed to the demands brands have as they become more critical of their expectations of influencers.
Brands around the world are utilising common marketing metrics such as reach, engagement, and impressions. But as influencer marketing has matured, a new perspective has formed.
In the early days of influencer marketing, brands were content with using cost per post model that optimised purely for reach. Utilising a built-in audience to expose their product to that person’s follower wasn enough. But brands are realising that they can utilise metrics such as Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Cost Per Installation (CPI) in order to measure the true effectiveness of a campaign.
CPA and CPI campaigns are more aligned with the funnels that marketing teams are already using for the rest of their efforts. These data points are important to brands and are interchangeable in each market. For CPA and CPI campaigns, brands track impressions, clicks, and conversions to acknowledge the campaign’s performance.
The evolution from the celebrity spokesperson to the matrix of different levels of influencers has also made its way around the world and follows the same basic rules regardless of geo-localisation. Measuring the size of an influencer’s audience is also a universal metric that brands around the world can utilise. We find that brands have success by utilising a matrix of different types of influencers. We break them down into the following categories:
- Pro/Macro Influencers
- Micro Influencers
- Nano Influencers
Nano-influencers (below 10k followers) and micro-influencers (below 100k followers) regularly deliver trustworthy and genuine content. They grew a base of followers organically based on a particular subject or vertical. This level of influencers is essential for when a brand wants to reach a passionate and engaged audience.
On the other hand, macro-influencers (>100k followers) and celebrities are best for reach. With their potentially millions of followers, celebrities and professional influencers might not have the natural levels of quality engagement. But what they can offer is a tremendous reach, which is a value for many CPG programs.
Around the world, brands are seeking measurable ways to reach key audiences and the ability of an influencer marketing campaign to accomplish that is undeniable. But there needs to be an underlying strategy behind how you roll out an influencer campaign in any market.
Keep the connection authentic
In the Latin American market, where we specialise in connecting brands with influencers, most influencers have developed a significant relationship with their audiences. This normally translates into a better understanding of their interests and, on the bottom line, their buying decisions. This is deeply beneficial for brands that need to target their customers accurately.
From an audience perspective, different markets do have different verticals that are more passionate than others. For example, LATAM audiences seem to be eager to get involved in political affairs and tend to participate on a daily basis. This is a very powerful tool for politicians to understand the public’s behavior and pay attention to social listening to reach audiences accordingly. Travel, beauty, fashion and home improvement are also commonplace in many different markets.
In Russia, we have seen success with utilising an unboxing program to boost awareness of an online shopping outlet. By connecting with in-market influencers, you are able to reach the audiences that look to those influencers for trends and updates.
Many brands turn to local-market influencers to build the profile of a brand that is already established in a different market. This means we see campaigns from airlines, toothpaste companies and even TV shows. A recent campaign for Amazon Prime Video’s series “The Good Doctor” was truly inspiring. The brand reached out to “Doctor influencers” that asked their audiences if they would approve to be surgically operated on by a doctor with autism. The brand shared its amazement at the emotional and genuine responses that the content generated.
Global strategy with local tactics
There’s pressure to be on a channel, if your brand isn’t ready to commit to a channel, then an influencer might be the better avenue into the platform. Integrating with influencers that are native to a market you are looking to make an impact in is a great way to utilise geography-specific social networks. Whether it’s Sina Weibo or QQ in China, VK or YouTube in Russia, or Facebook or TikTok in Argentina, there’s a chance your brand is not optimized to have a fully baked strategy for those locally-focused networks. Rather than hiring a full agency to create a detailed strategy, your brand can connect with key influencers who already have an established presence on those channels.
Choosing the right channel is also an important part of your global strategy. Certain platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram are centered around “stories,” which are intended to have a short lifespan. While they may offer calls to action such as “swipe up for a link” or linking in a bio, those engagements are short-lived. But we do see significantly longer-tail results on other channels.
On YouTube, for example, we routinely see traffic on videos that are several years old. Those videos can live on an influencer’s channel in perpetuity, giving your audience a resource they can discover at any point.
But regardless of the vertical or channel, creativity is a universal truth. It is fascinating to see the level of creativity that must go into influencer posts in different markets. Content creation is a skill that must be added on top of expertise in the area that the creator focuses on. At the end of the day, quality content still generates the best results.
Brands around the world are looking for quality content and consumers around the world are looking for expert insight from trusted sources. Influencer marketing is the tactic to accomplish both of those goals, from anywhere around the world.