A couple of weeks ago a marketing executive with an online retailer in the United Kingdom reached out to ask for my feedback on something. Her situation was not dissimilar to many people who email or message me with influencer marketing inquiries. 

The company sells sporting goods and apparel, has grown nicely over the last few years and is trying to find ways to drive more revenue and growth through social media. Like most of us, they’re turning to influencers as one channel to improve that part of their marketing mix. 

But, again like many, they haven’t been overly impressed with the return on their investment in influencers. According to her inquiry, “many of our influencer campaigns perform poorly, or not quite as expected.”

To date, the company has only engaged influencers willing to exchange posts for products. They haven’t had to outlay cash. In their defense, for those of you who think there should always be a cash offering to creators, some of the products they have had to offer score in the thousands of dollars, so it’s not out of the question to think a trade for services might be in order on occasion.

That gray area between exchanging posts for product and investing in influencers on a more advanced, but also cash-centric level is a difficult one to navigate without upsetting some apple carts along the way, either internal or external. So the executive in question posed this as a question:

“We’re finding it difficult to differentiate the accounts likely to succeed vs those that generate nothing. Generally, our outreach attempts do get responses, though more and more are requiring cash instead of product. Do you think it’s necessary to provide cash now as an incentive to better our chances at achieving our goals?”

She said they would appreciate any ideas I had on how they should better approach influencers and how they should look at compensating them.

I’ll share my answer in today’s commentary.

This episode is sponsored by Tagger, the complete influencer marketing solution. It has recently released a new product feature called Signals, which provides creator listening for its customers. Tagger president and founder Pete Kennedy joins Jason Falls to explain more about Signals.

Tagger - Influencer Marketing Software

To start building your own experiences with my influencer marketing software of choice, go to jasonfalls.co/tagger today.

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.

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