Technorati released their annual Digital Influence Report last week. We look forward to this every year and this year is no exception. The Digital Influence Report is great for forecasting trends in digital and social media, understanding current trends, and using it as a guideline to share with potential clients and colleagues. I’ve read through the report and have outlined some key takeaways. Overall, I believe Technorati’s message was loud and clear: Digital and Social spend is on the rise, Blogs are still very much a trustworthy source of information, and the relationship between brands and influencers is solid – however – there is something to be said about knowing who to reach out to and for what purpose.
Research Your Influencers
One of the biggest points from the report was highlighting the slightly disjointed relationship between brand marketers and influencers. The report says that often, brands look to influencer’s ComScore when choosing someone to work with, when in reality, this might not always be the best source for finding an influencer to work with, as the numbers do not always fairly represent the influencer. In order to establish Influencers to help your brand reach audiences that you might not have access to, conducting research beyond ComScore numbers is key. What kind of following do they have? How responsive is their community? Is it always growing? There are other elements to consider when approaching an Influencer. You also have to recognize if they will be a good fit for your brand. Just because your product might be in the same industry as an Influencer’s expertise, it might not correlate well. Research your Influencers and take a look at their community and their content before you jump right into numbers.
Measuring Your Success
There still remains the slightly sticky topic of ROI and measurement on a ‘successful’ campaign when Influencers are engaged for a promotion. Technorati’s report outlines that there is a lack of uniform metrics to effectively measure the success of campaigns. Influencers are looking to pageviews and traffic whereas brand marketers are looking at Facebook likes. Before finalizing a campaign, it is within both parties’ interests to define what a successful campaign would look like. That is to say – if the objective is brand awareness and reaching new demographics, pageviews and traffic sources might be of value. If you’re looking to Facebook likes, you might want to reach out to an Influencer who has a strong Facebook community. None the less, having a conversation prior to campaign launch about objectives will help drive the campaign forward and yield more satisfactory results.
We all know by now that your brand should be social but what does that mean? It means that you should be connecting with audiences through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. 90% of brands have a presence on Facebook. That’s a staggering number – and you don’t want to be left out. YouTube and Facebook are the top two sources used on the Internet. Over the next year – spend on social will rise 59%. What’s more interesting is that spend on mobile is expected to increase 79%. With those numbers you definitely want to make sure your site is responsive (you can read more about responsive design here). You don’t want to alienate any part of your audience or advertisers by not having a mobile friendly layout for your website. Pay attention to your analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. With mobile digital spend on the rise, you definitely want to be accommodating to the trend. What are your takes on this years report?
We’d love to hear your agreements, disagreements or general comments!