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    Study Reveals What Makes Influencer Marketing So Successful

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    Everything You Need To Know in Less Than 50 Words

    Influencer marketing data can be difficult to access. Yet, researchers have looked at metrics to assess the factors that increase the likelihood of success with influencer marketing campaigns. The findings are relevant for brands looking to partner with influencers or for marketers who need to develop guidelines for their influencer partners.

    Tell Me More

    A growing number of brands are focusing on influencer marketing. These content creators are monetizing their social media presence by promoting products and services to their audience. This practice has transformed some industries, such as the beauty industry where 74% of Gen Z shoppers primarily listen to influencers to make purchase decisions.

    Brands are flocking to platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok where interest from brands went up by more than 300% in 2021 alone. However, influencer marketing is still a new practice, and marketers often lack the data needed to make sound decisions.

    Researchers from Colorado State University recently published a study that takes a closer look at what makes influences successful to help brands identify the partnerships with the highest potential ROI.

    Influencer marketing data can be difficult to access. Yet, researchers have found the likelihood of success with influencer marketing campaigns.

    The Research

    The study, published by the Journal of Marketing, is the result of five co-authors collecting data from various influencers. Jonathan Zhang, Fanni Leung, Flora Giu, Victor Li, and Rob Palmatier knew that there were many success stories regarding influencer marketing but noticed that brands didn’t have access to a formula to recreate successful influencer marketing campaigns.

    The Methodology

    The five researchers looked at the characteristics of different influencers, the kind of content they share, and who their audience is. They also tracked the number of social shares and reposts to assess the success of a campaign since brands don’t share sales numbers.

    The Findings

    One of the assumptions the researchers wanted to verify is that influencers with a large following would be able to generate the most engagement and the highest ROI. However, the study found that influencers with a smaller audience saw the most engagement.

    It suggests that micro-influencers can establish a stronger connection with their audience. Plus, micro-influencers are more likely to be available for partnerships and to offer more affordable pricing for brands.

    The study also looked at how often influencers should post to get the best results possible. The five researchers found that influencers who didn’t post regularly were unable to connect with their audience, but frequent posts weren’t a good option either since followers tended to overlook the content.

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      Another noteworthy finding is that the products or services promoted need to align with the profile of the influencer and the target audience. However, if there is too much overlap, the influencer can fail to deliver value since the target audience will not be able to learn anything new through their content.

      The importance of authenticity was another valuable finding from the study. The researchers found that followers responded well to content created from scratch by influencers rather than content that originated from brands.

      Influencers can come across as more genuine and trustworthy if they use their voice, even if it means sharing a few negative points about the product or service they’re promoting.

      What Does it Mean for Marketers?

      While this study has a few limitations, especially given the lack of sales data, the findings are valuable for marketers looking to identify the right influencers for a campaign. It can also help develop guidelines that encourage influencers to create unique content to connect with their audience.


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