U.S. Polo Assn., the official clothing line of the U.S. Polo Association that oversees the sport, lifted brand recall by 95% with a social influencer campaign. A follow-up consumer survey found that 88% of respondents said influencer partnerships makes them more aligned with the U.S. Polo Assn. brand, per data that HelloSociety, a social-first creative agency owned by The New York Times Co., shared with Mobile Marketer.
The clothing brand partnered with influencers Tommy DiDario, Elly Brown, Brittany Fullwood and Saul Rasco on a campaign to raise awareness and drive store sales. The follow-up found that 71% of participants intended to take one or more actions after seeing an influencer partnership, 35% intended to visit the U.S. Polo Assn. website, 35% to make an immediate purchase and 56% to buy in the future.
HelloSociety measured the results with its Campaign Impact Study (CIS), a new market measurement tool for influencer campaigns. The agency plans to run campaigns that implement its methodology with more than 10 brands this year.
The difficulty of measuring the effects of influencer campaigns has been a key impediment to greater adoption of influencer campaigns, even though they have grown in popularity in the past few years. Influencer marketing spend on Facebook-owned Instagram, the most popular influencer platform, was forecast to surge 31% this year to $1.7 billion by social media marketing platform Mediakix. That heady growth belies other survey findings that show wariness toward influencer marketing among advertisers. More than half (52%) of marketers surveyed by influencer marketing platform Linqia said determining ROI of influencer campaigns was their top concern, ahead of changes to algorithms on social platform that make influencer content less visible and the amount of time needed to manage campaigns. HelloSociety aims to address some of those concerns with its CIS influencer-measurement tool.
The firm said CIS can guarantee a sample size three times higher than the industry average, while its study of the U.S. Polo Assn.’s influencer campaign drove a 4 times higher response rate compared with traditional research methods. The brand’s social influencer campaign showed impressive results, according to HelloSociety’s survey of consumers, underlining the power of influencers to cut through ad clutter and positively affect consumer purchasing behavior. Unlike other surveys, CIS’s audience participants show a greater willingness to respond to surveys from influencers they care about, Pamela Kaupinen, senior vice president of strategy at HelloSociety, said in a statement.
Consumer trends demonstrate the growing popularity of influencers who help to build trust with brands, especially among young adults who are more wary of big companies amid the profusion of fake news and political propaganda on social media. Six out of 10 shoppers interact with an influencer at least once a day, and those interactions often result in a purchase, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten found in a five-country study of influencer marketing. While men tend to interact with influencers more than women do, the top four influencer categories that women follow are beauty (56%), entertainers (48%), celebrities (47%) and fashion (47%). Men most commonly follow gaming (54%), technology (46%) and entertainer influencers (44%), the survey found.
U.S. Polo Assn. is among the brands that have added influencers to their mobile marketing strategies. Japanese beauty giant Shiseido is banking on the strategy. The company plans to increase its influencer spending by more than 50% for the United States this year, Glossy reported this month. Shiseido created its Always-On program with global marketing services and media company Stylehaul to continually run social influencer campaigns. The program relies on 10 to 12 different influencers each month to post organic content about the brand on their social media channels. As part of its influencer program, Shiseido works with e-commerce platform MikMak to provide a social shopping experience with influencers on Instagram and YouTube, Glossy reported.