Selecting an influencer and having them post a video on YouTube is now only part of the picture. Different influencers for different parts of the ‘messy middle’ can help to improve your measurable results.
In the beginning there were influencers.
A brand would find an influencer they liked, engage them and secure a post on a social media platform of choice.
And that, largely, was that.
Now though, depending on who you ask, we’re some 12 years or so on from the above model. The model has changed, matured; taken on new complexity and challenges.
What exactly do those complexities look like? What is a full-funnel influencer campaign, designed to get audiences through the ‘messy middle’, over multiple or single channels? How is it an improvement from the days of a single influencer hire and how do you overcome the challenges that come with this approach?
Over the past year we’ve seen YouTube emerge as a primary focus for multiple agencies and brands.
That doesn’t mean that other channels are neglected, but YouTube influencers remain a popular request, thanks to the statistics behind influencer marketing on the channel.
We’ve discussed this in more detail here, but these are some highlights that explain why brands can often lean in to using YouTube in influencer marketing.
1,000 UK consumers were asked to rank social media channels in order of importance to them, across four major categories. YouTube ranked as the most important channel in three of the four.
Leading up to Christmas 2020, nine out of ten consumers researched gift ideas on YouTube. 40% of these went on to make a purchase.
89% of YouTube viewers believe that YouTube influencers give recommendations that they can trust.
87% of people say that they get the highest quality of information from YouTube.
YouTube’s ‘video action’ campaigns generate 60% more conversions at a lower cost to alternatives.
YouTube then is statistically a successful platform, with a high chance of impactful success for marketers.
In this environment, with consumers in different parts of the messy middle, a single influencer engagement doesn’t seem to make sense. When you know you have a greater chance of success on one platform, why not try to influence consumers at multiple points, with multiple posts, designed to appeal to viewers at different stages?
This, increasingly, is the thinking behind full funnel approaches to channels like YouTube. To hit buyers who are stuck in the messy middle, multiple posts may be needed which, on high impact channels, are likely to combine to be extremely effective.
Recent research found that brands who add upper funnel posts to mid-funnel marketing efforts can boost ROI by 70%.
This is very directly linked to messy middle thinking.
In the messy middle consumers carry out what can be a never-ending stream of exploration and evaluation, until they feel they have enough information to tip over into making a purchasing decision.
This can be a single piece of information, like a review of a product, or multiple pieces of information, which provide the confidence to make a purchase.
With this level of understanding of consumer behaviour it’s easy to see why multiple posts which cover the full funnel are increasing in regularity, effectiveness and visibility.
In the messy middle one post might not cut it, so why not use multiple, on the most effective platform, all as part of one campaign?
So this is the future; not just one influencer and one post, but multiple of both, on one platform; some perhaps brand related, others product and still more that could be encouraging a purchase.
This increases the workload on influencer discovery, management and reporting; which we know is already quite complex and fairly difficult for influencer marketing professionals to manage at scale.
In discovery, influencer marketing professionals are likely to need to find multiple types of influencers, suitable for multiple types of creative production, to ensure different concerns of buyers in the messy middle are addressed.
Managing influencers is already an increasingly complex picture without this sort of complex campaign, with different remuneration models and engagement requirements, particularly for those who work across borders. Influencers with different briefs, to hit different messy middle concerns, may require different engagement and remuneration types.
Reporting also increases in complexity, although in many ways this is likely to be a welcome wrinkle for marketers. WIth a full funnel campaign, marketers should be able to show and report on brand impact, reach, purchase intent and actual purchase behaviour. The full funnel campaign creates not only the scope for more significant success, but the scope for fuller and more complete reports, proving how much impact influencers have had at every possible level.
Full funnel influencer campaigns were probably always inevitable. Brands have now, in general, reached a comfort level with what it is that influencers offer as a route to market. With the results on offer it was only a matter of time before influencer campaigns broadened; from single influencer engagement, to single campaigns with multiple influencers and now full funnel; multiple campaign aims with multiple influencers engaged.
This is yet another sign of the influencer marketplace maturing and, as we head into 2023 and beyond, it looks like the full funnel influencer campaign will become much more prevalent.
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© 2023 Influence Network.
Registered in England and Wales: 10815710
20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU