Here at eAccountable we are always trying to keep a pulse on all things influencer marketing. The industry is constantly changing, and brands need to continually refine and adapt their influencer marketing programs. We decided that the best way to understand the state of influencer marketing was to go directly to the influencers and get their input on brand-influencer relationships.

So, we surveyed over 400 influencers and got their take on the influencer marketing industry. You can download the full report here and we are going to dive into some key findings in this blog post.

For this survey and report we focused on the mid-level influencer who has 10,000-100,000 followers on any given social media channel and/or traffic to their blog. We believe in this segment of influencers because their audience size is manageable enough for them to answer questions and comments and thus have high engagement rates. The mid-level influencer is way more affordable than A-list influencers and this allows more brands execute influencer marketing programs because they’re not a huge drain on the budget.

Whether your new to influencer marketing or if you already have an influencer marketing program in place, this report and post will help strengthen your strategy so that you get great results, so, keep reading!

The Cost of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

The number one question we get from brands is how much influencer marketing costs. The majority of mid-level influencers reported charging $200-$400 per blog post with full social shares including Instagram.

We asked for the very specific partnership scenario of blog posts and social because we firmly believe that this is the best way to work with influencers. A blog post can show up in search results for years and bring long term success for brands while social media posts create a quick spark of brand awareness for brands. The two combined equals great results.

As a rule of thumb, a good number of influencers to work with for a campaign is 30. So, based on the pricing that influencers report charging brands, you can expect a campaign with 30 influencers to cost $6,000-$12,000 of your budget on influencer fees if you’re running the campaign in house. If you use an agency like eAccountable, you can expect to pay an additional fee for the agency to connect your brand with 30 influencers who are right for your brand.

You can see that the spend isn’t too expensive and many brands are diverting their budget from things like paid ads to influencer marketing because it’s a more powerful and authentic way to position your brand in front of your target consumers.

How Brands are Measuring Influencer Marketing

Many marketers know that they should be implementing influencer marketing, but they don’t know how to measure the results of their efforts. So, we asked the influencers how the brands they work with are measuring the results of their brand-influencer partnerships.

Most of the influencers reported that brands use multiple metrics to gauge success but here are the metrics that brands measure in order from most popular to least popular:

  •         Impressions
  •         Traffic to their website
  •         Number of pieces of earned media
  •         Sales
  •         New social media followers
  •         Email sign ups

A key takeaway from how influencers reported on how brands are measuring influencer marketing is that brands are tracking multiple metrics to gauge the success of their campaigns. Just focusing on a metric like sales overlooks other valuable components of influencer marketing such as earned media that can be used on their website, social media and marketing materials. Or, that a post from an influencer can generate strong brand awareness as measured by impressions. So, be sure that you’re looking at the whole picture when it comes to measuring your influencer marketing campaign.

The Value of Ongoing Partnerships

From what we’ve seen, the more an influencer mentions a brand the more weight those mentions hold. A brand that is mentioned at least three times by an influencer tends to get more conversions. We decided to ask the influencers how they prefer to work with brands and 45% of them said they prefer on-going relationships as opposed to one-off campaigns. The rest said they work on either an ongoing relationship or a one-time campaign. So, the influencers prefer ongoing relationships with brands but are open to both ongoing and one-time campaign partnerships.

When we asked the influencers if they thought ongoing brand-influencer partnerships are more successful that one-time campaigns, 65% reported that ongoing partnerships are more successful for the brands.

The key takeaway here is to find a way to work with the same influencers throughout the year. Sign contracts with them for a whole year and have them post once per month or once per quarter. Implement different themes throughout the year so that you earn a variety of engaging media.

Summary

We know we just threw a lot of information at you so here are the key takeaways and we highly recommend downloading the full report so you can get even more takeaways when it comes to brand-influencer relationships. You can grab a free copy of the report here.

Consumers crave peer reviews and trust influencer recommendations over a brand’s own messaging making influencer marketing an extremely effective way to reach your target consumers.

As for cost for influencer marketing, you can expect to pay each influencer $200-$400 per blog post with full social shares and we recommend running a campaign of 30 influencers.

Ongoing partnerships with influencers are more powerful than one-off campaigns because multiple mentions of the same brand make an influencer’s audience trust the recommendation. So, you may want to start with a campaign to identify your top performers and then find a way to work with them on an ongoing basis with different themes each month or quarter.

What are some trends that you’ve seen in the influencer marketing space? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @eAccountable so we can chat through industry key takeaways!