Jean Naim

Activating influencers across the customer journey - Awareness

This article is part of a series: "Activating influencers across the customer journey" comprised of the following: Overview - Awareness (this article) - Consideration  - Conversion

The marketing funnel. The path that defines every marketing campaign, and takes the customer from awareness to consideration then conversion. This is the foundation of every marketing strategy, including influencer marketing. It’s the customer journey from discovering the brand and their products, to buying them and becoming part of the community.

So, let’s start from the beginning.Generating awareness is the first stage of the marketing process. It’s the foundation in which everything else is rooted because it’s key to build brand/product recognition, and create hype. If people don’t know of you, they definitely won’t be interested in buying from you. You might want to generate awareness within your target community about a new product launch, shed light on narratives you want to associate your brand with, or even bring fresh perspectives into your community. In all cases, it is very important to pick influencers who have a resonating audience that is actually viewing their content.

"It is very important to pick influencers who have a resonating audience that is actually viewing their content."

Many brands make the mistake of thinking that if they collaborate with a macro influencer or a group of micro-influencers, they would guarantee generating awareness. While reality is that the key to ensuring awareness among your target community is to check several quantitative and qualitative factors, to help you assess the influencer's video content:

When the goal is to peak interest, views are the quantitative KPIs to track and the viewership score is the most convenient way to track them: It allows you to quickly benchmark influencer’s viewership rate to influencers with similar size of followers. What would be considered a good viewership rate isn’t evident, because these get determined by the algorithms of the social feeds.

This viewership score is a measure of connection with the audience, it quantifies how well the influencer will generate real views among their followers. So, a Viewership Score above 6 means you’re on the right track, and this influencer garners the needed views amongst her or his followers to translate into hype around your brand. But it’s important to benchmark the score to the size of the influencer, because the bigger the influencer’s audience, the lower their viewership rate is.

For example, Influencer A has an audience of 9.91M and her viewership rate is 10.8% while influencer B has an audience of 6.91M and her viewership rate is 13.7%. With them both being mega influencers, you can compare their viewership rate to each other without the need for a score, but if you want to compare with influencers of much lower follower sizes, like in the case of Influencer C (with 31.2K followers and a viewership rate of 37%), it would be important to rely on a viewership score to qualify how good the viewership rate is because these average viewership rates change drastically.

Even though the viewership score is essential to find the right influencers to achieve your goals, it’s necessary but not sufficient. Their content must also be able to translate the message you need. The influencers need to be interesting, motivational and genuine, and the videos need to feature strong attention grabbers to keep the audience engaged.

After going through the entire process, crossing off and adding influencers according to these criteria, you may now find yourself with a long list of nano, mid-sized and macro influencers whose performance aligns with your goals to create interest. So, how do you narrow them down? Should you go for a few macro influencers or should you work with many micro creators? Each approach has its advantages.On the one hand, working with micro influencers on an always-on basis is an overall better strategy to gain strong traction, generate continuous reviews, and accumulate a slower but more sustainable word of mouth build up. Glossier is one brand who leveraged the power of word of mouth and peer-to-peer referrals, by continuously partnering with nano and micro influencers to keep up the hype around their products. Micro-influencers are perceived to be more relatable, and they give an increased sense of authenticity to the campaign. This is even more so the ideal for brands with smaller budgets. While it’s not the quickest route to generate awareness, working with hundreds of micro influencers is a great thing.

On the other hand, macro influencers or even celebrities can instill brand positioning and build brand equity, however risks are higher since the brand is counting on a few influencers to generate high visibility. But in an awareness-driven campaign, where risks are mitigated, they can also generate views with a lower effort, assuming the brand has the budget to work with such influencers. UNHCR works with macro influencers and celebrities whom they refer to as ‘high profile supporters’ in their quest to bring attention to various issues affecting refugees.  So, these are the general guidelines, but what about the framework you’re faced with? What is your expected audience penetration? What are your goals and expected returns? Are you after emotional inception and positive associations or cultural imprinting?The answers to these questions will guide your strategy, because thanks to the previous filter layers, you know the different approaches at hand will yield results but at different scales. Basically, it is your brand’s financials, aspirations and goals that will influence your decision at first, but once you’ve grown, you can pivot your strategy to include both micro and macro influencers.Once you’ve made your selection of influencers and launched your campaign, you must measure its success. It’s important to keep track of the right metrics and set out the relevant key performance indicators. The main awareness-based metrics to always keep tabs on are reach and impressions, as they will allow you to monitor the amount of people who saw your content and how often it was seen. Also, views and View Through Rate (VTR) are key to keeping track of the attention your campaign is grabbing and the number of likes -- which measure both interest and consideration -- can be seen as a direct translation of people’s awareness and interest in what you’re sharing.

In the end, the optimal solution involves a collaboration with influencers of different sizes but your budget will rarely permit that at first, so make sure your choices suit your initial objective and Sociata is here to help you do just that. Stay tuned for our next blog on how to move further down the funnel with consideration campaigns.

Read next article ➡️ Consideration

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