You may have seen (or heard about) Digiday's "Confessions" Q&A with a social media exec on the rocky relationship between influencers and brands. For many, that confessional sounds all too familiar. Getting started with influencer marketing can be frustrating, and many brand marketers don't know how or where to begin.

Although word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new, digital influencer marketing is—and all parties involved have a lot to learn about it still. However, for this nameless social media executive to say influencer marketing is fizzling out... well, that couldn't be further from the truth.

What is true is that many brands are approaching influencer marketing the wrong way, souring results and leaving them less than impressed with the ROI.

Here are some easy fixes to the main pain points outlined in the Digiday article that can help brands get their influencer marketing program functioning like a well-oiled machine.

'We threw too much money at them and did it too quickly'

It's easy for influencer marketing to get expensive fast. Often, marketers make the mistake of focusing on subscriber count as an indication of a creator's value. However, engagement metrics are much more telling of an influencer's overall reach and impact, and that is what pricing should be based on—not subscribers alone.

A good approach is to look at the average views of the influencer's previous 10 videos. That's approximately how much you can expect the creator to get on his or her next sponsored video. Then, calculate CPM to get an idea of cost range.

Influencer marketing platforms and social analytics services can help brands understand what influencers should be paid and even what ROI they will generate, so brands always know where they stand in relation to the bottom line.

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image of Brendan Lattrell

Brendan Lattrell is the founder and CEO of Grapevine, a comprehensive influencer marketing platform.

Twitter: @brendanlattrell

LinkedIn: Brendan Lattrell