ANA’s influencer marketing guidelines can be improved and more


The Association of National Advertisers released its first influencer marketing guidelines last month, which detail how marketers should approach and measure brand discipline.

The guidelines were primarily aimed at providing marketers with metrics related to awareness, consumer engagement, and conversion KPIs. ANA also recommended using the guidelines as a starting point, sharing them with internal marketing teams, and aligning partner agencies on using the guidelines for organic campaign measurement and reporting.

Influencer marketing has grown in popularity among brands in recent years, with Meltwater research published in May finding that sponsored feed posts grew 27% year-over-year.

Yet despite the ANA’s best efforts, influencer marketing guidelines fall short, according to Jason Lucey, senior director of marketing measurement at Real Chemistry.

Lucey said the guidelines are largely generic based on simple metrics that don’t include the nuances needed to make them more effective for marketers to properly advise their clients.

“Maybe it was just an open door for the ANA, maybe it was just a conversation starter and had good intentions, but that’s not what we’re looking for when we talk. clients about performance and what to expect from an influencer campaign,” Lucey said.

Being specific about the scope and goals of an influencer-backed campaign is key for agencies, Lucey added, noting that delivering results for clients is the overriding concern. Given the investment of time and resources, collaboration with influencers on behalf of clients and subsequent engagement with target audiences should be measured in a meaningful way. Currently, he said, this is not reflected in current ANA guidance.

The most important value influencers bring to the equation is their unique perspective and sense of authenticity, which amplifies their message and makes it even more relevant to their followers. Lucey noted that influencer “ripple effects,” that is, when their followers continue to amplify a message or piece of content, is a crucial part of modern marketing strategy, but is absent from mainstream marketing. guidelines.

“There’s this secondary ripple effect that offers the unique value of influencer marketing,” he said. “But that requires having an engaged fan base; people who are linked to the influencer and who are linked to authenticity. We want to be careful with this and not abuse it.

Looking ahead, Lucey said it’s hard to predict what the future holds for influencer marketing, noting that the discipline has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past few years. Still, he predicted it wouldn’t go away, and agencies and brands would find “the right balance” and have smarter conversations around strategies and metrics.

Lucey said a key question marketers need to address is how influencer marketing drives business value for customers. He said marketers shouldn’t tiptoe into the subject with a litany of metrics, but rather focus on discussing how far along they are in a consumer’s lifecycle or journey. of the client and his patients.

“If we can stay focused on value and authentic impact, we will improve a lot,” he said. “Hopefully we can cut the noise a little better, tell a better story and do a good job that way.”

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