Influencer marketing has risen to the forefront in recent years, particularly when harnessed with live video trends on social channels.
Where previously celebrity endorsements were potentially only available to companies with larger budgets, influencers with blogs or social media presences are now present anywhere on the budgeting scale, and are more specific to any given industry.
Many brands have looked to influencers to promote their products in a seemingly ‘natural’ way – that comes across as a genuine recommendation – and it had proved to be a much cheaper marketing strategy than PPC or Advertising.
- According to Influencer Marketing Hub, there were nearly 13 million brand-sponsored posts on Instagram in 2017 alone.
- Hiscox has even rolled out influencer and public figure protection insurance.
However, a new study from Kaizen reveals that if brands want to use influencers as a form of content marketing, to move further up search rankings, influencers are the worst way to spend their budget.
Comparing content from the travel sector on factors like URL Ratings, the number of Referring Domains and the number of Social Shares, the study revealed the best form of content for visible results to be interactive content.
Whether or not influencers can boost brand awareness, companies are beginning to consider whether the huge budget needed for influencers can pay off for their site ranking as well.
Accordingly, they’ve seen reasonable use by many brands – but are they good value for money?
While they largely can’t be compared in terms of Referring Domains – as the influencer themselves would usually provide the link to the brand they’re supporting rather than seeking to receive them themselves – they can be considered in line with URL Rating, which can measure the value of their site’s contribution to the brand, and in terms of social shares, which are often the main inspiration for a brand to use an influencer.
However, the news is poor in terms of on-site content from influencers: their scores are significantly lower across the board.
In terms of URL Rating, influencer posts score 2 lower on reliability of success, and on the successful pieces, the average URL Rating is 3.1 lower.
Even on social shares, where influencers are generally hoped to excel, the reliability of success was 8 points lower.
And among successful pieces, the number of shares was likely to be much lower – averaging only 151.8 as opposed to 1384.7 of other content formats.
- Interactive content gained an average of 4136 social shares.
- Influencer posts gained an average of 151.8 social shares.
- Non-influencer posts gained an average of 1384.7 social shares.
- Videos gained an average of 1221.5 social shares.
You can see the full study here.