How Does Influencer Marketing Fit Into The Media Mix
One of the biggest challenges in measuring influencer marketing is understanding how influencer marketing fits into the rest of the media mix. The truth is that in order for you to be able to measure the effect in a relevant way, it is important that you know what you want to achieve with the channel and what role it should play in relation to other channels. Is it to build brand awareness in a new market, to strengthen the brand of an existing target group, or is the focus primarily on driving sales?
In this article, we help you understand the role influencer marketing plays in the media mix and on your customer’s buying journey.
To make it a little easier, we can start from the classic model “See-Think-Do”, which describes a potential customer’s intention in an imaginary shopping trip. Although this of course shows a generalized picture of the media landscape, it can be said that most channels have a clear place in this model; Outdoor advertising (OOH) and TV advertising, for example, are most common at the beginning of the buying spree (or top-funnel), as the main purpose is to reach a broad mass and create awareness. These are therefore so-called range media. Other channels, such as social media and influencer marketing, can be used to advantage throughout the purchase journey – both to reach reach, in the top tunnel, but also to drive traffic and sales further on the purchase journey (or further down the tunnel). How influencer marketing fits into your customer’s buying journey, and in your other media mix, simply depends on how you choose to work with the channel, and what goals you have set.
Below we have listed the three different steps and how influencer marketing can fit in and work according to the purchase price. Of course, this is a simplified and generalized picture – in reality, the phases overlap and it is often an iterative process. We humans are not always logical textbook examples when it comes to making decisions, whether it is about a purchase or something else in life.
Step 1: SEE
Aim: Create awareness among the target group and reach a high level
The people who are in the See phase have no direct intention to buy, but here it is important to attract their attention and create an awareness of your product or brand. Through the right content, you can then drive the consumer on to the next phase.
Different strategies for achieving high range in the See phase
This group of potential consumers is large and the goal is therefore to reach out widely to the target group and to achieve a high reach. In this part of the buying journey, it is generally important to create content that inspires and stands out in the crowd – given how many commercial messages we are exposed to every day (several thousand!), This is critical. Even if the consumer is not in a buying situation right now, it is important to be visible and communicate in a way so that he or she has your brand top of mind when the person in question is facing a buying decision.
You do this best by working with continuous presence over a longer period of time, through a so-called always-on approach. By working always-on with several influencers simultaneously over a long period of time, you can build brand awareness and brand preference in your target group, and at the same time succeed in establishing credibility – something that is rarely done overnight.
To achieve high reach in your target group, it is important to work with influencers who have the “right” followers – that is, people who are part of your target group. It can be about using several smaller influencers (micro / mid-size), or fewer, larger influencers. You can also combine these two methods; when you work continuously with micro and midsize profiles, you build up a presence over time and increase your chances of ending up top-of-mind with the target group. This becomes like an engine in your strategy. Then you can add some larger and carefully selected influencers – people that your particular brand wants to be associated with from a branding point of view.
To make it a little more concrete, we usually illustrate the different strategies as a campfire vs. fireworks; an always-on approach is like a campfire that burns constantly, where your target audience gathers, and where the flame never goes out. A profile-focused approach, where you often work more campaign-focused in the form of a smaller number of influencer hits per year, is more like fireworks – they are more visible there and then, but the effect is often shorter.
Again, there is nothing to say that a campfire and fireworks cannot happen at the same time. For example, when launching in a new market, it can be an advantage to use one or two famous people that you want to be associated with from the start. To build credibility and presence in the long run, however, it is required that you work always-on, with profiles that hit right into the target group. In other words, the important thing is to understand that the different strategies play different roles, and how you should use them to complement each other in the best way.
Step 2: THINK
Purpose: Create commitment, deepen the relationship with the target group and help them move forward on the buying journey
In this part of the purchase price, the consumer has shown a certain interest in your product category. There is a need and thus also questions and concerns. Maybe the person should invest in a new piece of furniture for the home or buy a garment to wear to the upcoming graduation party. Unlike before, this is not just about inspiring but also about responding to the questions or thoughts that the target group may have. It is also about creating a deeper commitment with the target group, which makes you different from other alternatives or competing brands.
In this phase, it is at least as important to work always-on, with continuous presence, in order to succeed in creating trust with the target group, and for you to be top-of-mind when it is eventually time to make a purchase decision. .
In addition to the same type of content as in the See phase, examples of influencer marketing activities in the Think phase can therefore be a tutorial, a question time, or a live video where the followers can interact and participate on another level. Below are two concrete examples of engaging influencer content in the Think phase:
Live stream with selected favorites from the autumn collection
As the summer season approached, the e-commerce company Ellos wanted to show off dresses in a new and more interactive way, where the consumer would experience the feeling of being “squeezed and felt” on the garments. The goal was to create deeper engagement with the target group and to drive sales. The result was a live broadcast on Instagram where a selected influencer could select and test their ten favorite garments, and where followers could participate and ask questions about the garments – the feeling in the material, the size of the garment, or how the garments can be mixed and matched to different outfits. In addition to the always-on strategy that Ellos runs on an ongoing basis, this became a way to create a more interactive dialogue with the target group and get the chance to hear what they thought of the garments and what they would like to see more of. Another effect was that several of the garments sold out immediately – in other words, through the right content, you can also here push the consumer on to the next phase.
Break through common prejudices about contraception
The pharmaceutical company Bayer wanted to raise awareness about different types of contraceptives, and in connection with this break through common prejudices and myths linked to the subject. As part of a long-term always-on strategy, selected influencers asked their followers to submit questions and statements related to contraception. These were then met by an expert, who together with the profiles helped to sort out common question marks and ensure that the correct information was disseminated. By inviting their target group to a dialogue, Bayer not only got the chance to talk directly with their target group, but they also gained a deeper insight into which areas interested the target group, which was valuable information in the content strategy going forward. This is a shining example of how you can use influencer marketing to deepen the relationship with your target audience and create meaningful content that engages deeply.
Step 3: DO
Purpose: To drive conversion in the form of, for example, traffic to the site or sales
Since people in the third phase are in principle ready to make a purchase here and now, it is important to be visible in the right place, at the right time, and to have a clear message that matches the target group’s wishes. According to H & M’s founder Erling Persson, the H&M stores would be where “the money and the bags go” and here it is important to think exactly the same. The only difference is that the shopping streets of that time have been replaced, or supplemented, with digital shop windows (See) and shopping opportunities (Do) on social platforms.
In the Do phase, it is common to work with call to actions in the form of affiliate links and discount codes, to encourage a specific action. An affiliate link is a special link that tracks clicks and sales and generates commission for the influencer. These can be useful for purely sales purposes, but they should not be compared to influencer marketing; Because you as a company are rarely involved in controlling the content, the branding value will be low and your brand risks disappearing among other, similar brands. A discount code on the other hand is what it sounds like – a code that is used to give the consumer a discount on their purchase, and which enables you to evaluate the result, both at the campaign and profile level.
In general, the strength of influencer marketing as a channel lies in the See and Think phase, as there are few other channels that can build such a strong presence and credibility with your target group over time. In the Do phase, ie where the purpose is to drive traffic to purchases, there are other strong channels, such as Google Ads and paid social. Our recommendation here is therefore to use the content that influencers have created in the See and Think phase, to drive traffic in the Do phase – in other words, by boosting influencer-generated content with the help of paid advertising on social media. However, this is a chapter in itself, and we will not go deeper into this article.
Now we hope that you have a clearer picture of the role influencer marketing plays among the other channels in the mix, and how it can be used in the different phases of the buying price. But remember; there is no conclusion and reality is seldom as simple as a model wants to make it appear. It is therefore important that you test yourself on your own to find the right mix of channels in each part of the tunnel.