Social media has given both content creators and marketers unique opportunities to grow within the online space. With the rise and domination of social media in the marketing sphere, influencer marketing has become an established and respected form of online marketing. For those of you not caught up. Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with one or more influencers, leveraging off their following to market a product or service. Influencer marketing campaigns range from exclusive discount codes and affiliate marketing, to competitions and giveaways. Wirth the prevalence of influencer marketing is only expected to increase with 17% of marketers expecting to spend over half their budget on influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a far cry from many traditional tactics, especially something tangible such as promotional products. Branded products such as custom socks, shirts, bags, water bottles and many more can offer a personalised marketing experience that might be lost in the mass messaging of influencer marketing. But which one is better? Well, as all marketing does, it comes down to the cost vs the benefits of each tactic.
According to a study by WINK, the cost for influencer marketing on Instagram (which is deemed as one of the more cost-effective platforms) has an average price of $1000 per 100,000 followers for a single post. Of course, this can change depending on engagement rates and reputation.
Compared to this, the average price of a promotional product is around $1 which means for the same price as a single post on Instagram, you can get 1000 promotional items.
Of course, the key to understanding the success of any marketing strategy is to measure how well it can generate traffic, leads, and sales. Both promotional products and influencer marketing have their strengths in these areas.
Influence & Conversion Rates:
The one area that influencer marketing may trump promotional products is, well, influence. As mentioned before, influencer marketing works because influencers have built up an audience that listens to them, and trusts them. Seeing as 74% of people trust social media influencers to guide purchasing decisions , it’s fair to say that their ‘opinions' do hold some weight. However, a study from LINQUIA saw that conversions from influencer marketing were only around 34% whereas after receiving a promotional product, 85% of consumers said they did business with the advertiser.
If your goal is raising brand awareness, impressions are by far your most valuable metric. A good way to estimate how many organic impressions you’ll get from an influencer marketing campaign is that you’ll usually reach around 30% of the influencers total following. So if an influencer has 20,000 followers you’re looking at around 6,000 impressions.
Over its lifetime It’s estimated that the average number of impressions a custom bag will make around 6,000, pens will make around 3000 and custom clothing such as hats, jumpers and t-shirts can make 2000 - 3000 impressions. These are just for a single promotional item, think of what you can achieve with a couple hundred of these.
The main issue with influencer marketing is once the campaign is over, opportunity for gaining re-impressions is low unless you want to pay for an extended or second campaign. Promotional products on the other hand offer repeat impressions on the same potential lead, for a single price. Additionally, promotional products give you a lot more control over the distribution of your brand.