Are influencer campaigns really worth the investment?
Americans are pretty invested in their pets, to the tune of about $130/month, according to Business Insider. That might not seem like a whole lot, but we know that US annual spending on pets is approaching a whopping $70B a year, according to the American Pet Products Association.
According to Joybird, people aged 18-24 or 55-64 are much more likely to spoil their pets than those in other age groups. And an increasing number of pet owners seek out organic-minded or boutique brands which seem to pop up everywhere you look these days. Everyone wants a nibble of this multi-billion dollar kibble, whether they’re directly involved in the pet industry or not.
The good news is that because pet owners are such a vast audience, niche audiences are regularly carved out and it’s possible to make targeting much simpler. However, having the right influencer on your side can mean the difference between expanding your audience or leaving it static.
All that aside, you may wonder if engaging an influencer is really worth the investment. Of course, as an influencer, I’m going to say “Yes! It’s definitely worth the investment.” But here’s why I can say that with such confidence.
Why You Should Invest in Paid Influencer Campaigns
Reason #1: Influencers need funding to maintain their authenticity. That may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s true. The reason audiences engage with influencers is not solely because they buy X brand of dog food. It’s for their stories, their personality, and their connection. However, it takes a lot of work to create original content that not only engages the current audience, but continues to grow it, despite algorithm changes and new keyword best practices. And that work requires funding.
When an influencer posts a picture of your product on her account, you’re not merely paying for that image. You’re helping to maintain the account so that your product can reach the maximum number of pet parents in an authentic way.
Reason #2: Quality comes at a price. That’s the bottom line. Sure, your inbox might be overflowing with requests to write a guest post for you. But any influencer worth her salt can’t afford to give away work and certainly doesn’t have the time to write or post for free.
Reason #3: Your rate of return is typically high. According to Convince and Convert, your ROI on influencer marketing may be 11x higher than a banner ad on the display network. Audiences trust what influencers (good influencers) have to say. When weighing the pros and cons of purchasing a product, most consumers consider things like ease of return, durability, and whether or not they (or their pets) will use the product. However, seeing a live product demo from an industry authority can easily take away those doubts and translate to a sale.
Reason #4: Because one-off projects don’t yield the same results. Since we’re talking about campaigns, it’s good to note that single projects are often not as effective, and an investment in ongoing influencer campaigns will likely yield a higher ROI. Why do I say this? Because influencers are known for having a loyal following. And their followers expect that the influencer will display the same loyalty to the brands they promote.
On the client/influencer side, you’ll see your relationship evolve over time, so that branding gets tighter, messaging is clearer, and communication between both sides flows easier.
That’s not to say that one-off projects can’t yield any good results. However, if your influencer budget includes paying dozens of influencers for quick projects, you’re heading back to the spray and play days where you hope something lands in the right spot. Clearly, not as effective!
Reason #5: Because they reach a broader audience than you can. This reason is really at the core of most influencer campaigns. Influencers can reach thousands of pet parents with a social post in just a matter of minutes or hours. Or they may be able to generate hundreds of new email leads in a matter of days. This is because an effective influencer has spent years building a loyal following, most of the time without asking them for anything in return. This is a service you simply cannot offer, since your primary objective is to drive sales.
Ultimately, paid influencer campaigns drive results when thoughtfully executed and when the client/influencer relationship is allowed to develop over time. They continue to be, by far, one of the best investments you can make for your pet or pet-friendly business!
Interested in seeing how we can make packaged or customized paid influencer campaigns work for you? Fill out the short form below and I’ll be in touch within 48 hours.