August 09, 2018 | Marketing
An e-influencer is a person who can help target consumer segments that brands consider to be challenging. Influencer marketing has witnessed exponential growth in 2018 so far, with 86 percent of marketers having used this form of marketing and finding it effective. This kind of marketing identifies and targets individuals who have influence over potential consumers. Similarly, e-influencers are individuals who can impact the purchase decision of their peers via their social network channels and blogs. The most preferred social channels for these influencers are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+ and blogs. Earlier, influencer marketing used to be placed under the public relations budget. However, as independent influencer platforms evolved, advertising budgets are being used to fund these services.
Kraft, back in 2016, was hamstrung by the traditional approach to content strategy and promotion at retail stores. The company was investing in the promotion of branded recipes which cost $500 each to create. The campaigns took place via traditional methods through online placements that cost $1 per view and through media buys. Kraft wanted to drive more customers to purchase its products. The company partnered with TapInfluence and created a marketing program that received 759,387 views and delivered at least $1,366,611 of media value for an ROI of 3100 percent.
Types of E-Influencer Services Procured
The landscape is dominated by three types of suppliers, namely, PR agencies, specialist e-influencer agencies, and freelancer celebrities who have influence in their local domains.
For new product launch and brand development activities, firms may work with full-service e-influencer agencies, as there is a brand/influencer fit to be assessed. For lead and social media content generation, firms can procure freelancers through marketplace platforms.
What’s in It for Procurement?
In recent years, larger spend is being assigned toward influencer strategy and strategic procurement rather than opting for ad hoc procurement globally. For instance, Colgate-Palmolive has significantly enhanced the allocation of funds toward influencer marketing through a longer-term procurement agreement with Edelman PR. There has been a 70-75 percent increase in allocation of the marketing budget for e-influencer activities by Fortune 500 companies in 2018. Thus, firms can continue to work with PR agencies to procure relevant e-influencers for handling crisis management subservices.
There are many success stories of e-influencers driving campaigns. However, recently some transparency issues have surfaced in the digital ecosystem. Brands, therefore, need to be more vigilant while engaging with e-influencers and procuring their services.