How to Optimize and Drive the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Advice from Social Chain



During #SMWLA, Yonchev shared the five most important things marketers need to learn in order to take advantage of the opportunities in influencer marketing that still exist.


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Influencers should be a cornerstone of every tool kit spend in marketing and advertising. They have the potential to boost business awareness and engagement when used effectively.

Audiences want to see the world through other people’s eyes so that’s why they follow them. Yet, if the influencer doesn’t stand by and remain true to their own vision, audiences catch on fast and they lose engagement via lack of trust and authenticity.

During #SMWLA Oliver Yonchev, the USA Managing Director of Social Chain offered his insights on the topic sharing the five most important lessons marketers should know to navigate the IM climate.

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Trust is the biggest issue in influencer marketing today: Consumer trust in what influencers have to say sits at just 4 percent and, according to Edelman’s trust barometer, advertising is now in last place of all industries measured with a trust level of 37 percent, behind banking, energy, and telecommunications.

Nobody cares as much about you as you so you need to capture attention.

Human beings have a notoriously short attention span. Mindless scrolling is an easy habit to fall into so you want to make sure the social media content you’re producing is invigorating. This doesn’t have to only concern the aesthetic of it but the context of the content as well as the definition, too. The honest truth is that a lot of users will be prioritizing their own wants and needs when on Instagram – in order for them to make your content a priority, they have to feel like there’s a takeaway from it, whether it be emotive or inspiring, for example.

Great influencers are honest and authentic.

Yonchev highlighted this point by describing the difference between black box companies – those we know little about other than what the leadership tells us – and glass box companies – those who let us see everything they do inside. The latter is the preferred model for marketing. Yonchev proved this through a social experiment carried out by Social Chain that revealed 64 percent of users online responded positively to Elon Musk as opposed to a small 7 percent to Mark Zuckerberg.

Context is what makes good social stories great; create depth.

Depth can be created by understanding cultural moments (in sport, entertainment, political, etc.), emotional sentiment and current reactions, social first distribution, and by understanding people. A person’s own influences and actions are influenced by the actions of the majority of the group.

Don’t conflate follower size with influence.

Work with people who represent your brand’s values and do it consistently. Between five and ten billion dollars is expected to be spent on influencer marketing next year, so it’s essential to note that direct ROI spend doesn’t necessarily equate to bigger returns. Nano followers and micro-influencers are the way forward and you should pay attention to the correlation between engagement and revenue and not following and revenue.

When receiving a cost you need to determine what you’re buying: you’re buying an endorsement, their word, their audience and you’re asking them to create something. What’s their actual audience reach? Engagement rate? Supply and demand? Industry averages? Most importantly, is what you’re asking them to create risky?

Know what you’re buying, develop robust processes, and invest in the right tools to protect yourself.

Don’t fall victim to fraud. Yonchev left attendees with a description of the tool Social Chain is developing, using AI technology, which is able to predict an influencer’s engagement curve over the long-term so you’re can assess whether their growth is organic or fed by bot farms.

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