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As an industry, we are naturally focused on the results and performance of our campaigns. Of course this makes sense as we want to deliver great business results, but the reality is that short-term success is blocking our path to long-term, global success. The majority of marketers, and even agencies, follow this results-first approach, and it’s why their campaigns aren’t working.

For example, if I run a campaign with Influencer A and it delivers 150 sales versus my target of 100, my first reaction is positive. I’ll definitely use Influencer A again, and keep getting 1.5x my target. I have created a long-term partnership with Influencer A and keep getting slightly over my target each time.

Sound familiar?

But now because we have favored these short-term results, your brand is dependent on Influencer A to keep performing to deliver you the results for your targets. You’ve proven you can hit 1.5x target, so now targets are increased to 150 sales. All of a sudden your previous success is a benchmark and you need to scale, but you don’t know how without expensively trialing 25 influencers more to find another high-performer. 

Long-term influencer marketing success

Long-term success is only created when we stop looking at the immediate results, and look at the influencer post in more detail. Unlike traditional ad-buys, influencer marketing is about human-to-human connection, and that introduces over 1,000 variables into the equation. Performance can vary thanks to aspects such as how much laughter there was, how they told the story, when they introduced the collaboration, and how many values they share with the brand.

All of these are human elements that can’t be controlled – they can only be pre-selected and encouraged through briefings.

If you look at the immediate results, you don’t consider any of these aspects. You don’t understand why your post performed that way, and so how are you going to recreate or scale that success? By looking beyond the influencer and looking instead at the elements that contributed to their success, you can create long-term success with more effective influencer marketing.

Behavioral science is key

Influencers represent a human connection in marketing that other channels have failed to create. These are online communities with mutual interests that connect them on a personal level. To truly add value and integrate with these communities, you need to get personal too. You need to consider the behavioral science behind your campaigns.

Only by understanding the ‘why’ behind each post will you understand how to recreate this success effectively. We call this the flywheel approach, where analysis of each campaign through a behavioral science lens creates a better strategy for each new campaign to deliver better results each time.

For example, in our recent campaigns we have noticed certain patterns aligning with ROI. The highest-performing influencer was analyzed and we found she has used humor and storytelling to convey to the audience her experience with the product. She’s gone further than just saying that she uses it. By using self-disclosure with real depth about her personal struggles, even discussing her periods, her family and her weight, she has been vulnerable with the audience. This has created a strong connection based on trust, and drove ROI of 22.5x.

Finding the right influencers

But how do you find influencers who perform like this? Well, through behavioral science we know that one way to build a connection with your audience is laughter. Therefore we can create briefs and context that encourage this feature on influencer pages that already feature laughter. For example, by pairing influencers together to collaborate you can naturally encourage them to have genuine conversations and, by extension, genuine laughter.

Being able to understand the behavioral science behind your influencer videos will help you improve selection, briefing and analysis of future brand collaborations. You can truly understand why a post performed the way it did, and replicate this success at scale.

So next time you review your campaign, ask yourself why one post performed better than others. To better understand how to apply the behavioral science lens to your influencer campaigns, join our Tailify workshops for a one-to-one analysis of your campaigns. Apply here.

Esme Rice, marketing director at Tailify.