60 Minutes Totally Misled You About Influencer Marketing
“There is a new trend in advertising that might surprise you. It doesn’t show up in any traditional media. It’s exploding on mobile devices, set off by young people — most in their twenties — who have attracted large numbers of followers on social networks — platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. They’re called social media influencers. And some of them have larger followings than the most popular movies or TV shows.” – Excerpt from 60 Minutes piece, The Influencers
In October 2016, influencer marketing landed on one of the longest running and most respected news shows in the nation: 60 Minutes.
When 60 Minutes covered influencer marketing in a segment dubbed “The Influencers,” the program did an excellent job of giving a high level overview of what the practice is about.
Leveraging the insights of prominent social superstars like King Bach, Logan Paul, and even Kim Kardashian, 60 Minutes briefly explained what influencer marketing is, but mainly focused on the cash that influencers are pulling down:
“Advertisers pay Bach just to place their products in his clips. He made a handful of videos wearing a Jimmy Johns logo and earned more than $300,000 from the sandwich maker.”
Even when leveraging one of marketing’s biggest names, Gary Vaynerchuk, the conversation still placed heavy emphasis on the money that influencers earn with their paid sponsorships:
“Gary Vaynerchuk: The person that’s the 18,417th funniest person never, ever had a shot on being on television. Now that same person has the opportunity to make $100,000 a year making skits on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat and Twitter. That’s–
Bill Whitaker: $100,000 a year?”
While the piece provided a decent view of the practice, there are many facets of influencer marketing that 60 Minutes failed to expound on.
The ROI Influencers Produce
Yes, it is true that there are a lot of influencers out there who are making more money than most know what to do with. This has been proven many times over in studies on influencer earnings.
What 60 Minutes forgot to mention is that, on average, influencer marketing generates roughly $6.85 per $1.00 spent by brands.
Moreover, TapInfluence, an influencer marketing automation service, partnered with Nielsen Catalina Solutions for a case study which ultimately uncovered that influencer marketing delivers 11 times the ROI of all other forms of digital advertising.
The biggest benefit of influencer marketing, however, is that it creates long-term results for brands. Much of the sponsored content that influencers create will continue to live online forever, driving discovery, sales, and other goals for years to come.
That means that the return on investment brands receive from their influencer-led efforts generates exponentially more revenue than the influencers themselves.
While influencer marketing has been framed as a costly endeavor by the 60 Minutes crew, the returns that brands receive are much more substantial than the financial investment a company makes on such a campaign.
Speaking of influencer marketing being made to look extremely costly. . .
It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Small Fortune
While the 60 Minutes piece was good, it did do a disservice to the industry as a whole by making it seem as if only those with massive amounts of funding could pay to play.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reason for this is simple: Just as Kevin Hart is busy making insane amounts of money in Hollywood, not all actors are making this kind of bread.
The influencer realm is the same in this regard; while there are folks making $200,000 per video, not every influencer is this costly.
This is where it’s beneficial for brands to start seeking out lower-tiered influencers and even micro influencers.
In many cases, micro influencers are actually the way to go as these folks tout smaller, yet far more engaged audiences than tier one influencers.
Since their communities are more limited, the influencers often have much more intimate relationships with their audience and are therefore more effective at getting them to convert.
Evolve! regularly leverages lower-tiered influencer and micro influencers which can drastically drive down the price of a campaign. There have been instances where we paid influencers nominal fees, which was then converted into thousands and thousands of views that drove brand goals.
Additionally, if a perfect influencer-brand pairing is made, these folks might even be willing to take a pay cut to partner with a company that they genuinely love in their everyday life.
In other scenarios, influencers may not even need to be paid at all. Some influencers (mostly on the micro scale) are willing to work for products that a brand produces which will make their life easier. Or, if a business is using their campaign to drive noble cause and it resonates deeply enough, they may be willing to take the campaign on for free just to help support another’s altruistic efforts.
The bottom line is this: Don’t let the price tag scare you; the return far outweighs the investment.
These are just some of the lesser-known insights about influencer marketing. If you saw the 60 Minutes piece and were scared away by the astronomical amount that influencers are making or the difficulties that come along with building a stellar campaign, quell those concerns and give the modality a spin, whatever your budget may be.