Influencer marketing is a hot topic these days and you’re going to hear a lot more of it in the future.
It’s a new and emerging industry where brands are moving away from traditional forms of advertising toward collaborating with social media influencers for their marketing campaigns. It’s big business for all involved.
This shift towards influencer marketing makes business sense as evidence suggests it provides 11X more ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing
As well as a greater ROI, it’s creating new opportunities and ways of making money for people who have talent, drive and audacity in ways that were previously not possible.
What about traditional influencers? Or, celebrities, as they’re usually called?
For decades, celebrities have lent their personal brands to all kinds of advertising, sponsorship and brand deals making millions in the process.
While that will continue, their stars won’t shine as bright as they once did. The celebrity market is becoming much more fragmented as A-list social media influencers compete with their celebrity counterparts in an industry that once wholly owned by the latter.
This is one of the reasons technology is so interesting. Its disruptive nature levels the playing field and that’s always a good thing.
Celebrities are realising their future lies in social and are building their platforms to capitalise on this change
Despite the bravado written above, A-list celebrities still make more money from their social media platforms than any influencer who became famous through the internet.
Kevin Hart was paid $2 million dollars for two tweets. Selena Gomez reportedly receives $500k per Instagram post. Cristiano Ronaldo, the highest paid sports star in social, receives around $400k per Instagram post.
It’s big business and it’s no surprise more are getting in on the action.
Hollywood actor, Chris Pratt, recently ran a sponsored post for a teaser video of an upcoming commercial he’s featuring in during this year’s Super Bowl.
The team behind his promotion has left us clues so we can track how effective it’s been.
The ad is for beer company, Michelob ULTRA and will air during TV advertising’s most coveted spot. Presumably the Super Bowl ad is the main part of the deal with the social media promotion via Pratt’s own channels likely part of the contract negotiation.
This includes sponsored promotion across Pratt’s three main platforms which are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
While it looks like Pratt has written his own content, Michelob ULTRA has provided him with a Bitly link to include. And it’s this link that allows us to track how much traffic a celeberity A-lister like Pratt can send to a destination URL.
You can see each post below.
Chris Pratt’s sponsored Facebook post
Chris Pratt’s sponsored Instagram post
Chris Pratt’s sponsored Twitter post
Can you see the #spon hashtag?
It’s so viewers know that the post is sponsored. Pratt fails to use it in the Twitter post which means it isn’t FTC compliant. He’s breaking the advertising law here.
We’re not here to talk about that today however. We’re here to talk about the Bitly link included in all three posts (Twitter defaults to embedding the video its linked to rather than show the short URL).
This is the unique link provided to Pratt by Michelob ULTRA. Bitly provides tracking data such as link clicks, referrals and geographical info.
It also makes this data public.
Geography wise, the vast majority of traffic comes from the US. It’s not surprising that this would be the top country but perhaps it is surprising by how US centric it is. Maybe we can conclude from this that Pratt is mainly a US movie star rather than a global one?
It gets more interesting when it comes which of Pratt’s social platforms sent the most traffic to the teaser video. A key objective to the campaign, surely.
Instagram influencer marketing is often considered the best form of influencer marketing and while that may be true from a brand awareness perspective (in reality it depends) it’s not a driver of traffic.
Below you can see the top referers from Pratt’s posts to the teaser video. In total it’s received over 25k referrals.
When broken down platform we can see that Twitter generated the most traffic to the teaser video.
Surprised? I was.
Thinking about it further, perhaps it’s not that surprising.
- The Facebook algorithm downgrades links to third party sites. Especially links to YouTube as Facebook is building its own video offering
- Instagram doesn’t allow hyperlinks within the text of a post. This means that Pratt’s Instagram followers had to copy the URL in the post and paste it into their browsers and only the most engaged would do so
Bitly can’t track traffic from email, SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger and what is copied and pasted from Instagram. This is what is called ‘dark social’ because there’s no way of tracking where it came from.
In this instance, I’ve given instagram the benefit of the doubt and attributed all the traffic from dark social to it.
Even doing this, Instagram still performs badly from a referral traffic perspective.
People will argue that Instagram is not about referral traffic but rather it’s a brand play. Indeed, looking at the number of ‘likes’ Pratt received for each post shows that Instagram with over 700k likes is by far more popular than Facebook and Twitter with 16k and 8k likes respectively.
What can we take away from analysing the traffic from a sponsored A-list celebrity post?
- A sponsored post of Chris Pratt proportions will get you 25k traffic referrals
- A Chris Pratt sponsored post will get you (or him, rather) 725k likes across all platforms
- Instagram is not a driver of traffic by any stretch. If traffic is your goal then don’t use it
- The team behind the brand partnership should have used a short URL service like PixelMe so they could retarget all of Pratt’s fans through paid social
- Looking at previous celebrity sponsored posts, Pratt may have been paid (though this is a total guess) somewhere in the region of $200k – $300k (not including what he’s being paid for the Super Bowl ad)