A big influencer world
When you are a newbie or self-learner in the digital world you may struggle to get clicks to your website.
Facebook, Instagram or Google Ads, hiring an influencer- there are so many options which may work or not if you don’t really know how to use them.
Not such a long time ago as the beginner in the digital world, I was very open-minded and looked for different types of advertising in social media. The powerful influencer market gives so many options, which are usually expensive when you are tight on budget. I’ve tried few options of cooperation with influencers. I’d like to share with you one of them- my experience in using shout cart platform. Which seemed to be a good option for every single budget, even the lowest one. But did that really work?
The influencer report survey says that 61% of consumers, in age from 18 to 34 made up a purchase decision cause of the online influencer suggestions (Influencer Marketing report 2020).
All marketers agree that hired influencer needs to be relevant to a company profile. Advertise content must reflect their style, activity, ideally, that person should already be a fan of the promoted brand. The content they create must be authentical and transparent.
There are some platforms who allowed you to search for potential influencers. More than half of brands who hire influencers search for them manually on social media, forums etc. The most important key is to avoid those who have fake followers. 85% of marketers say that checking basic engagement (just like comments, likes etc.) is the most important part of hiring influencer with a real audience.
In 2018 only on Instagram, influencer market was worth $1 billion. This market is growing up very quickly and the forecast shows it will be worth $2 billion in 2019. 29% of household brands never worked with influencers, 35% of them work with influencers but their marketing plan is not older than 2 years.
Micro or top influencers?
Last year shows more interest in hiring micro-influencers(100 000 followers) that top ones( 1millionn followers ).
Micro- influencers have a more precise niche, usually shows a higher engagement rate and the audience is built from real followers. Their audience is concentrated in a certain area, there are more cost effective and they have a great connection with their followers. The content created by them is more authentical. Some marketers say that ROI cooperations with few micro and niche- influencers is higher than cooperation with just one top influencer.
61% of consumers of micro-influencers says that their activity is approachable than the top influencers. 43% are more likely to engage and join the dialogue.
Fake and bought followers
It is not a secret you can buy followers. I was really shocked when I found out some pictures and videos about Instagram likes vending machine:
I also receive some emails with followers packets from certain companies.
Here is one of the many websites who offer followers for money( screenshot 03.12.2018).
The shaded area of bought followers is easy to detect by websites like socialblade.com which is very common to use by digital marketers. The chart will show any drastic increase in the number of followers in the past. Which should be a red alert before hiring this influencer. The buying followers practise is also highly risky and there are some cases when an Instagram account has been suspended by this unfair game. The bots usually do not show any engagement. If they do it’s only like of the Instagram picture or post common comments: Great content! Very inspiring! Keep going! Great picture! Love it etc.
It is not how companies want to engage with potential customers, those fake accounts or from countries where they are not targeting never will interest in a brand- or in this case an influencer offer.
Of the beginning in the digital marketing world, I was open for some options in promoting our website and social media. I enjoyed reading some blog posts dedicated to developing your e-commerce shop on the Shopify blog and found one article about hiring influencers via shoutcart.com
The whole idea of hiring influencer via Instagram with very little money seems to be good. I’ve tried to find any REAL opinions through blogs or forums. Found only one post and few comments on Reddit, which didn’t really look encouraging.
Let’s say half of the opinions were: shout cart brought traffic and another half were: no traffic at all.
I decided to give a try and after a long time finally to share my experience with you.
What shoutcart.com is?
It is a platform with registered influencers you can hire to promote your product, event etc. on their Instagram account.
Shout cart has 400 + millions registers influencers on their platform! That number sounds insane! (
To start using shout cart you need to register.
When you are finally in your account you can choose from buying shout cart or selling them- I do have experience only in buying them.
The seller and buyer account are created during the same registration process. I am not sure how strict they are in selecting influencers( don’t want to spoiler right now!). All the details provided during the registration are standard. Later on, you need to add your Instagram account and more specific details about the promotion.
To start promotion you need to top up your account. During my promotions, the minimum balance was $50. That was around January and February 2018. At the moment the minimum balance is $100. I’d like to highlight this money
Simple dashboard show browse, influencers packages (it is a new thing since I used it last time back in February), charts, orders, balance and profile settings.
In the browse option, there is a number of filters which speed up the search process. You can hire influencer via Instagram, Instagram + link in their bio, Instagram story, Instagram story + link in bio or via Twitter. You can select influencer with personal or page account. More handy categories to pick up are related with topics that influencers are familiar: humour & memes, fashion & style, fitness & sports, cars & bikes etc; demographics, number of followers and score. The score is a unique algorithm calculated from an engagement of influencer. A higher score should reflect more authentical account.
The number of followers of influencers starts from as little as 3 500 and prices start from $10. The browse panel is very easy to use and well organised to save time. Remember 400+ million influencers! The first thing you may notice during searches there is a bigger number of kind of fan pages accounts than privates. By fan pages I mean posted pictures are not taken by owners but reshare from different accounts. By clicking to selected influencer you can check their basic details: score, success rate, followers, a short description with details what their profile is about, the best performing hours, their audience, pricing and types of offers.
Influencers offers are different and wary of account, a number of followers. May start from just $10 but already fount offers around $800 per one post. Types of promotions you can get are for example 2h shout cart, permanent shout cart, 6h short cart + link in bio, Instagram story 24h, Instagram story 24h + link in bio.
You can easily mark favourite influencers and finally start creating your campaign. To go ahead you need to select the offer you are interested in, let say 6 hours of shout cart and link in bio. Now all you need to do is to add campaign details and upload a picture. Ideally is add a content with will easily blend with profile. Select the date and time you want to post your content and wait for influencer approval.
Seems to be very easy, right?
Before I decided to run any campaign I was very suspicious if that would work at all.
I’ve decided to promote two types of product: belt bag set with travelling/ fashion influencer and belts for gentlemen with fashion gent influencers.
I’ve done a good research, pick up few, good looking accounts, with some engagement. I checked their account on phlanx.com engagement calculator, their score wasn’t very high but wasn’t the lowest too. Also, check their engagement straight on the Instagram account. There were some likes, comments, kind of real looking comments, their pictures were looking like taken by them, not from Fotolia, not fake.
I set up 4 campaigns in total. Three of them for travelling, one for gentlemen fashion. Decided to use the picture for the travelling set.
I placed and order and influencers accepted them and showed on their Instagram profiles on selected dates and times. I received an email when my order was realised and also a standard notification I’ve been tag in someones post.
Profiles I picked up had some travelling content. The number of followers between 12.7k- 43.5k. Every post option was a bit different: 2h with
As you can see in campaign statistics, in two of them there is no data provided (screenshots were taken at the end of October). For sure, these campaigns were run.
Now compare the number of visits to our shop in time of these shoutcarts:
There is no any significant increase in shop visits via Instagram. Only a few single visits which may be taken not even by followers of selected influencers.
Cause of the low or even no effects of these ‘campaigns’ and the fact that account balance is not refundable at all, I decided to do the last shout out and finish my poor adventure with that platform.
This time I picked up picture dedicated for the male audience. This account was promoting pictures and voting under about outfits, accessories, clothes etc. There were some comments and responds. I decided to pick up the influencer with 12.2k followers and post my picture for 12 hours with a link in bio.
That’s the picture and type of content I decided to upload:
Yes or no for Shout cart influencers- my conclusions
I do like the concept of the platform and the number of influencers you can choose from. The whole searching tool is super handy and allows to save time just to
After my test, I do not have too many positive opinions about that type of cooperation with influencers. The only way it could work is cooperation with profiles who always share inspirations and tag people in but they still need to have a very high engagement.
The first problem you need to face is segregation of real and fake accounts. The score provided by the website is not relevant to real engagement on their profiles. Every single account still needs to be manually checked by ourselves.
The second problem in my opinion- that might be a plus in others- is a promotion with the picture you provide. On the other hand that gives you the opportunity for quick and hassle less of creating content by the influencer. I believe it is not a way you want to build your loyal audience and transparent content. Picture provided may not blend to existing influencer profile.
The third problem is a short time of picture in profile. 2 hours or even a 12 with the link in bio might be not enough to be seen by all followers.
Instagram is a picture and video sharing platform. You need to have a catchy eye content, the influencer should have an amazing audience who love the spread their opinions and have
In my opinion, if you can allow only to spend $50 per month, save and find a real influencer. Create content together, sign up an agreement and build trust worth and long-term cooperation.
What is your opinion? Have you ever try this or similar platform to promote your businesses? Share you experience in comments.
Influencer Intelligence (November 2018). Influencer marketing 2020 [online] Available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/knowledge-bank/white-paper/influencer-marketing-2020-how-brands-agencies-and-consumers-see-influencers/ pp. 6-7,10-11,15 [Accessed 27.11.2018]
YouTube, CNET, Buy Instagram likes at a vending machine https://youtu.be/bQuJn40zoQM [Accessed 12.12.2018]