How to turn influencer marketing into another (full-fledged) performance channel?

Samuel Beniak | 6. 2. 2023
How to turn influencer marketing into another (full-fledged) performance channel?

Finding a new performance channel in marketing is almost unthinkable. By default, companies use classic sources ranging from paid in Google, Facebook, Seznam, through commodity comparators in the form of Heureka, Glami, Favi to organic or direct traffic. Every other source is less important for most companies, as it usually does not account for more than 5% of the total turnover. Even so, you can still find a channel that will bring you a lot of sales and can thus be fully classified among the above mentioned. Come read how we’ve turned influencers into another performance channel for several clients.

Just don’t overdo the beginning

When you’re starting out with Influencer Marketing, it’s a good idea to keep a low profile at the beginning. Firing the best personalities straight away will probably cost you a lot of money and the result won’t be what you want. No matter how well you know your customer, it’s a good idea to find out how your chosen influencers react to them. That’s why it’s better to pick out influencers who may not fit into your portfolio at first glance. It often happens that the one you think will be the best is usually average, and the one who is in the numbers surprises you again. So don’t be prejudiced and try different influencers – slowly.

Which budget should I choose to start with?

Although it’s getting harder and harder, try to make your first collaborations mostly barter. For one thing, it’s a cheaper option for you (and more efficient for testing) and it won’t hurt as much if something doesn’t work out. Once you have a few collaborations under your belt, evaluate them and move on from there.

Evaluate only what you understand and makes sense to you

As with any other marketing channel, there are dozens of parameters you can track with influencers. However, choose only the ones that will realistically help you in your next decision. For us, these are primarily story/post reach, engagement, circulation, turnover and PNO. These 5 metrics are enough to tell if a given collaboration is effective or not. And if applicable, is it meeting the desired goal.

Discount as a (un)popular evaluation tool

If you want to use influencers as a performance medium, you probably can’t do without a discount (freight) or other event to measure how the influencer collaboration is working. In our experience, the discount doesn’t need to be extremely high. Of course, the higher the discount, the more likely it is to be used, but we know that even a smaller or average discount is used and can be evaluated based on that. Therefore, set up (at least at the beginning) a code for each influencer to promote as part of the collaboration, and you’ll find it easier to see the impact on sales.

TIP: It doesn’t have to be just a discount. Just as you use other methods of promotion, you can offer them to influencers. For example, free shipping, free 1+1 promotions, 200 Kč on your first purchase, etc. work great.

3 steps to “ambassador “

Once you’ve made your first few evaluations, you know what influencers have worked for you and what haven’t. Logically look for more like the ones that worked and don’t be afraid to look for bigger ones. Now is the time to set aside a cash budget to invest in influencers and take it a step further.

The second step is repetitive cooperation. Work with those who work for you and try new and new ways of promotion. Monitor whether the effectiveness is still at a similar level.

The “ambassador” is in the world. Once you’ve tried repeated collaboration with an influencer and it still works for you, you can internally claim them as an “amabassador”. Ideally, you want to establish a year-long relationship with one because you can classify it as a “guaranteed” performance – that is, one piece of the influencer marketing performance channel. It’s a good idea to find more of these ambassadors to build a larger and larger base.

The results speak for themselves

We currently handle influencers for about 15 clients and would like to share the results for three selected ones. We deliberately chose these three to give you an idea of how it works for a giant e-shop, a medium-sized e-shop, and also for a company that is not an e-shop and only has brick-and-mortar stores.

1. PetCenter

(One of the largest retailers in the pet segment, with an annual turnover in the hundreds of millions. CZK)

We started working with PetCenter two years ago, where we also started working with influencers. The first year was in the spirit of testing and the goal was to implement cooperation with influencers whose total followers will be over 1 million. We doubled that and ended 2021 with dozens of collaborations with a total follower count of over 2 million. We set a much bigger target for 2022, given the collaborations already identified and evaluated. The results are as follows:

Number of collaborations: 102
Total number of followers: 6.7 million
Influencer distribution: 60% smaller, 20% medium, 20% large
Influencer turnover: 4.25 million CZK
Cost in total: approx. CZK 0.5 million
ROI: 11.8%

2. Povlečemevá

(Medium-sized e-shop focusing on bedding, annual turnover in tens of millions. CZK.)

Povlecemevas is our internal project, where we can try out many things and experiment a bit. We have been working with influencers for about 3 years and in that time we have established cooperation with a number of already experienced and working for this business. Therefore, it could be said that we have the most “amabassadors”. Results for 2023:

Number of collaborations: 87
Total number of followers: 2.2 million
70% smaller, 20% medium, 10% large
Influencer turnover: 1.82 million CZK
Approx. 0.29 million CZK
ROI: 15.9%

3. Kabát Bakery

(First-class bakery with more than 30 years of tradition and dozens of outlets mainly in Prague)

We only started our influencer cooperation with Pekárna Kabát this year, but even in that short time we have had positive feedback and are preparing for next year. For Pekárna, the promotion was set up in a different way (relative to brick-and-mortar stores) in the form of a “slogan” that customers had to mention in the store. When they said it, they could take advantage of a 1+1 promotion on their exclusive cake. The number of uses was recorded by the retailers and here are the results:

Number of collaborations: 11
Total number of followers: 0.48 million
Influencer distribution: 20% smaller, 50% medium, 30% large
Turnover due to influencers: 3102 coupons used
Cost of the campaign: approx. 70K CZK
ROI: –

Don’t forget to keep looking for new influencers and testing

Social media is extremely dynamic and changeable. What works today will be a little different in three months and in a year you’ll be laughing at what you were dealing with. That’s why it’s important to not just rely on what has worked for you, but to be proactive in your search and testing.