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3 ways you can win at influencer marketing in 2019



As part of Social Media Week London, Hey Human hosted a roundtable discussion on working with influencers. With influencer spending on the up, the World Federation of Advertisers found that 65% of brands plan to increase spending, there is growing concern around transparency and accountability in this discipline with Keith Weed at Cannes Lions stating “The market gets undermined if people don’t trust the amount of followers someone has.” With a table full of marketers in attendance it was clear this was a topic people wanted help with, so we’ve brought together the key discussion points to collate 3 ways you can win at influencer marketing:


1. How do I measure the ROI of influencer marketing?

Our advice is to begin by asking what is your behaviour change objective? That meaning, what do you want people to do as a result of seeing influencer content. Your objective – for example Increase sales by 10% YoY or Get 10k people to sign up for a tasting event - will define the behaviour change, KPIs, and shape the choice of influencer, channels and formats. 

One area where influencer marketing is maturing is data transparency.

From our experience, we’ve found that credible influencers have no issue with being asked to share their screens to give visibility of data, and this is a topic Pinterest have woken up to resulting in them recently opening up their API to give brands first-hand access to analytics. Another exciting development in this area is a Nielsen initiative which means brands can measure key metrics like awareness, favourability and purchase intent and attribute them to influencer activity.

By focussing on behaviour change and by accessing and reporting on the metrics that matter we can create influencer campaigns that drive measureable results.


2. Have we lost trust in influencers? 

Keith Weed issued a call to arms to our industry earlier this year asking us to eradicate fake follower fraud. Whilst the social networks have a role to play in eliminating fake followers there are steps brands can take to ensure the influencers they partner with are credible, including:

- Looking for unusual or inexplicable spikes in followers
- Looking for people with strong, consistent engagement rates and comments from ‘real’ people
- Working with micro-influencers as fake followers are thought to be less prevalent or at least at a much smaller scale.


Sadly though, wherever there is opportunity to drive revenue certain people will take advantage of this. Investing the time to seek out authentic influencers is therefore strongly advised.  At Hey Human, we like to compare finding the right influencer for your brand with online dating; it can take time, it’s not always easy to find a match, search tools will only get you so far, but when you find the right one it’s all worth it!

The other side of this story is whether people have confidence not simply in the influencer, but in the content they create and share. At Hey Human, we conducted neuroscience research to measure human reactions (engagement, motivation and cognitive load) to the exact same content shared by influencers and brands. We found that when the content was shared by an influencer it was engaged with more and viewed more positively than the same content shared by brands, which demonstrates the power of human connections in changing behaviour.


3. Which team should look after influencer marketing? Should it be PR, social, marketing or another team?

There’s no one-size fits all approach since influencer activity transcends marketing disciplines, but what’s important takes us full circle to whether brands are aligned on what they’re trying to achieve.

When there are clear, meaningful objectives we believe co-ownership of influencer marketing can work, so long as you have alignment on what you’re trying to achieve, and how you’ll use influencers to humanise a product/service.

Try not to think of it as PR vs social vs marketing, instead it should be PR x social x marketing – that multiplier effect will lead to success.


If you’re interested in hearing how you can boost your social media effectiveness just drop us a line:



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About Author

Laura Shephard
Laura Shephard

Senior Social Media Strategist

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