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    Is influencer marketing the right marketing path for your app

    Amit Shukla

    As 2021 draws to a close, social media marketing continues to dominate as a viable, lucrative marketing path. In turn, influencer marketing flourishes, too, allowing brands to humanize their message and reach new audiences. However, massive potential Return on Investment (ROI) does not suffice to convince many brands to embrace it. Indeed, influencer marketing comes with its own set of challenges to overcome, spanning across messaging alignment, tracking returns, and more. These challenges are arguably even more pronounced in the app field, further cultivating doubts in many. With this in mind, let us explore the issue to help you determine if influencer marketing is the right marketing path for your app.


    The potency of influencer marketing

    Initially, let us briefly outline the potency of influencer marketing on the whole. We will not delve deep into it, as few dispute its sheer power; most doubts actually stem from effective use.

    Social media marketing has allowed marketers to tap into vast new audiences. The WeAreSocial report quantifies this, noting that 59.5% of the world’s population now uses the internet. 53.6% are active social media users, at that.

    As they did, however, audiences grew distrustful of salesy language – and influencer marketing offered an ideal solution. Today, Tomoson finds that brands have increased their influencer marketing budget by almost 60%. In turn, Lingia finds that 86% of marketers have used influencer marketing, and 94% of them found it effective.


    The challenges of influencer marketing

    Nonetheless, it may not be that influencer marketing is the right marketing path for your app specifically. This marketing path also comes with distinct challenges throughout. The most common among them include the following.

    #1 Finding the right influencers

    Influencer marketing began with a massive focus on large audiences, but this soon proved suboptimal. Brands concluded they need the right people for the job, which often includes such factors as:

    • Industry relevance
    • Engagement rates
    • Messaging alignment

    Today, most marketers who fail to find success with influencer marketing also report challenges in this fundamental step.

    #2 Leveraging it effectively

    Similarly, many marketers struggle to make maximum or even optimal use of influencer marketing. That is to say, they will often face such challenges as:

    • Goal relevance
    • Goal alignment with overall marketing
    • Producing tangible results

    Brand visibility is very often a common, beneficial, near-universal goal, but it often does not suffice to effectively leverage influencer marketing in relation to one’s broader goals.

    #3 Tracking and measuring success

    Finally, much like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), influencer marketing also faces distinct efficiency tracking challenges. This may become particularly apparent when the two overlap – but even as a standalone, influencer marketing resists solid tracking.

    Establishing clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) early may indeed help, but will only alleviate part of the issue.


    So, is influencer marketing the right marketing path for your app?

    With this context in mind, we may begin to help you answer this question. In line with the above, you will need to examine your app, find the right influencers, and make effective use of their work. If you can ensure all three, influencer marketing may very well be a viable path for you to consider.


    Examining your app

    First, you should examine your own app to determine if it offers itself to this marketing type. To do so, you may consider such questions as the following.

    #1 Does your app appeal to your audiences?

    Initially, you may ensure your app appeals to your audiences. There is little point in straining your budget to market an app that may not ultimately succeed.

    Establish KPIs to measure this in quantifiable terms, such as downloads, user engagement, and other relevant metrics. Should you already have a robust social media presence, you may employ social listening and acquire direct feedback to help.

    #2 Does your app’s industry already leverage influencer marketing?

    Then, you may briefly observe your app’s industry to deduce if your direct competitors use influencer marketing themselves. You may not need to copy them, but industry inspections will typically yield robust insights.

    Conduct competitor analyses to ensure accurate conclusions. If competitors of equal standing edge ahead of you due to influencer marketing, you may certainly entertain it as well.

    #3 Can your app handle the potential benefits?

    Finally, you may carefully consider if your app can truly benefit from influencer marketing’s returns. That is, if real-life scenarios allow it to leverage them.

    For instance, smaller user bases may allow app flaws to go undetected, while surges of new users may unearth them and expose you to bad publicity. Similarly, your operations themselves may not be able to handle increased workloads and have adverse effects.


    Approaching influencer marketing for your app

    Your own app aside, another factor will dictate if influencer marketing is the right marketing path for your app. That is, your overall marketing context.

    #1 Do you already have a social media marketing strategy in place?

    First, influencer marketing is essentially a specialized form of social media marketing. You may opt for it without a very solid foundation, but having one definitely helps.

    If you do, you can very likely align influencer marketing with it already. If you do not, or only have a barebones social media presence, you may need to examine your budget for content, automation, social listening, and more.

    #2 Can you accurately identify your target market?

    Next, you will undoubtedly need to pinpoint your exact target audience. This won’t simply help your influencer marketing campaigns and influencer choices, but also your broader marketing efforts.

    If you cannot, in this step, you must remedy this through deep analytics, buyer personas, and customer journey mapping. You may segment your audiences to identify your audiences via such tools as:

    • built-in social media tools, should you be using them,
    • Google Analytics and other analytics tools, and
    • your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, should you have one.

    #3 Do you have crystal-clear goals in mind?

    Finally, as with all marketing endeavors, you must approach influencer marketing with abundantly clear goals in mind. Neglecting to do so will induce needless hardships along the way, notably including performance tracking.

    Here you may craft S.M.A.R.T. goals, as ucop defines them:

    • Specific; word your goals as concisely as possible.
    • Measureable; establish measurability through specific KPIs.
    • Achievable; ensure your goals lie within your reach.
    • Relevant; set goals that align with your broader goals.
    • Time-bound; set a solid timeframe for your goals.

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    Finding the right influencers for your app

    Finally, another factor should determine if influencer marketing is the right marketing path for your app; influencer availability and identification.

    #1 Do your candidates work within your industry?

    Initially, you must ensure your influencer candidates can resonate with your industry-specific audiences. Other segment factors also matter, of course, but industry focus is key.

    No matter your exact campaign goals, you should first ensure industry relevance to achieve them. That is, your candidates should be able to find appeal within your industry, even if not by directly working within the same field. Large audience sizes matter little if said audiences are not your ideal ones, and your ideal ones care for industry expertise.

    #2 Do they yield notable engagement rates?

    Second, actual engagement rates matter considerably more than impressions. Even if your goal is simple brand awareness, it is your candidates’ engagement that will achieve it, not their reach.

    A notable trade-off occurs here, as research consistently finds that smaller influencers boast higher engagement rates. Statista agrees, finding nano-influencers with 3.86% engagement rates versus mega-influencers’ 1.21%. You will still need to align those with your goals and industry, however, so there’s no simple choice among sizes.

    #3 Can their creative freedom align with your messaging?

    Finally, influencers will typically require ample creative freedom to best engage with their audiences. While understandable, this poses a final challenge for you in the form of messaging misalignment.

    Here you may examine their prior work, ideally with your own industry, to rule out the least optimal among them. You may set very clear boundaries as regards creative leeway from the start, and present them with tangible messaging guidelines. You will still likely need to engage in “influencer management” throughout campaigns, but doing so early will certainly help.



    In summary, you alone can determine if influencer marketing is the right marketing path for your app. This marketing tactic boasts tremendous potential benefits but also comes with notable challenges. You will need to ensure your app is ready for large-scale promotion and align your operations accordingly. You will need to set clear, S.M.A.R.T. goals from the start and accurately identify your audiences. Finally, you will need to find industry-relevant influencers you can work with and whose messaging aligns with your own. Should you overcome these hurdles, influencer marketing holds immense potential to propel your app to success.

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    The Author
    Amit Shukla
    Director of NBT
    Amit Shukla is the Director of Next Big Technology, a leading IT consulting company. With a profound passion for staying updated on the latest trends and technologies across various domains, Amit is a dedicated entrepreneur in the IT sector. He takes it upon himself to enlighten his audience with the most current market trends and innovations. His commitment to keeping the industry informed is a testament to his role as a visionary leader in the world of technology.