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Visual Content Myth #5: Influencer Content Directly Leads to Sales

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At this point, influencer marketing is everywhere. It's an integral part of most B2C marketing strategies at this point. But, does influencer marketing work? Yes, but not in the way you might think.

Ready for some truth? Influencer marketing is best for building top-of-funnel brand awareness, instead of being a driver of sales. But, influencer content can still be used to boost conversions.

Let's dive in further, shall we?

Table of Contents

Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing promotes brand awareness without coming directly from the brand. But does it lead to more sales?

Around 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family. This means that a well-positioned influencer post can have a positive impact on sales. However, relying on influencer marketing to directly drive sales is a rocky road.

For one, tightening FTC regulations are requiring influencers to incorporate elements into their posts that help users discern whether it’s a paid partnership or not. Because this immediately flags the post as an ad in the mind of the consumer, they’re less likely to engage with the post.

Second, managing influencer relationships and performance is a full time job. Add in things like unique shopping links for each influencer and you’re looking at a clunky and time-consuming process.

Finally, customer journeys are complicated. It’s difficult to attribute a sale to a specific influencer post unless a user immediately converts to a buyer directly from the post. This means proving ROI for the campaign will be a challenge.  

There’s still a common misconception that implementing an influencer marketing strategy is like flipping a magic switch for more sales. While this isn’t the case, there's still immense value in partnering with influencers, so long as the goals and intentions are appropriately positioned.

Focus on Building Brand Awareness With Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is best used for building brand awareness. And if you choose to use it for such, be sure to set realistic and trackable goals for each influencer campaign. Great metrics to track and analyze are reach and impressions.

Engagement will tell you how relevant your product is to a given influencer’s audience. If high engagement is your goal, try working with more micro influencers than a handful of big names. Micro influencers typically have more engaged audiences than macro influencers, as they actively communicate and engage with their followers.

Repurpose Influencer Content to Drive Sales

If you want to move beyond brand awareness and drive sales, your best bet is to repurpose influencer content in your own paid ads or other marketing tools.

Influencers are talented content creators, and many of them make a living off brand partnerships. The content they’re able to create is more authentic, stylish, and trustworthy when compared to in-house or studio content.

Because of this, ads based on user-generated content (UGC) receive 5x more clicks and a 25% increase in ad performance.

Combining content generation and influencer marketing into one will improve team bandwidth and keep budgets relatively low, improving the overall ROI of your influencer marketing program.

By introducing UGC into their paid digital ads, mobile accessory brand Tenikle increased their return on ad spend by 313% and decreased their cost-per-acquisition by 65%. 

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“After launching new ads with purely Cohley creative [UGC], our ads are getting 3.3x ROAS — the best they’ve done in a VERY long time, close to ever. It’s insane because these are prospecting ads, and getting conversions from a prospecting campaign is not the norm. Finally making money on the ads themselves — so glad we decided to work with Cohley!”



Similarly, Rhone multiplied their ROAS by 3-4x by incorporating UGC into their ad strategy. 


“I’m talking about an increase of between three and four times ROAS versus our internal content.”



In addition to digital ads, you should repurpose this content on owned social media feeds, marketing emails, and ecommerce websites.