Erin Smith - April 7, 2016

11X Higher ROI. Proven.

Innovation is often greeted with an initial period of uncertainty; a time spent addressing questions of “Why?”, “How?”, or even, “If” it will work. It’s a time when innovation must frame itself in terms of earlier iterations, borrowing language and metrics that the world already understands. For the last seven years, TapInfluence has been working on such an innovation, pouring our collective heart into making it the disruptive success we knew it could be. Our resolve has never wavered, and this week, we’re proud to put your uncertainty to rest—permanently. We now have incontrovertible proof that social influencer marketing delivers 11x higher returns than any other form of digital marketing. No more guesswork. No more vanity metrics. And no more doubt that social influencer marketing is the best use of your digital marketing dollar.

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Over the last year, we executed a groundbreaking new study; the first to investigate the impact of social influencer marketing on sales and ROI. We partnered with the digital data experts at Nielsen Catalina Solutions to reveal how our Influencer Marketing Automation Platform performed on a campaign for one of our flagship clients. We tracked brand purchases made by consumers who were exposed to influencer content against those made by a control group that had not seen the content. Here’s what we found.

Distinct Competitive Shift

Shoppers who were exposed to the influencer content in this study purchased more brand products than those who were not exposed; a shift made at the expense of competitive products, whose sales dropped among the exposed group.

Long-Tail Effects

The content created by influencers as part of this study continued to perform long after the campaign’s conclusion. This is because influencer content, unlike banner ads, is truly evergreen. Rather than disappearing when a brand stops putting money behind it, a piece of influencer content remains active, attracting views and engagements from interested consumers—for free. This is true for all influencer content, but in this study specifically, 50% of impressions happened after the campaign was over. If we measured that number again today, it would be even higher.

Data-Driven Optimization

The TapFusion platform used a triumvirate of data to match our customer with the ideal influencers on this campaign:

  1. Influencer Data: In-depth information includes each influencers’ age, gender, location, ethnicity, and content categories
  2. Audience Data: An influencer’s own personal characteristics don’t always reflect those of their audience; the TapFusion platform goes a step further to report the percentage of that audience that falls within the brand’s target market.
  3. Performance Data: The platform uses cost-per-engagement data to identify influencers who will deliver the most value.

Unprecedented Return on Investment

In total, this influencer-powered campaign outperformed every other form of digital marketing, delivering 11X higher ROI, by comparison. What’s more, the amount spent on this campaign included both content-creation and distribution costs. Comparable studies on traditional digital advertising do not include the creation costs in their ROI calculation, which means that the difference in ROI may, in fact, be even higher.

The bottom line: social influencer marketing is more effective than anything else you’re doing. It’s the best way to get your message heard by the right people. Want to go deeper into the methodology behind this study? Click below to watch our on-demand webinar and hear expert analysis from TapInfluence CPO and co-founder, Rustin Banks.

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