Marketers are always searching for that elusive creative asset, that lead-generation magnet that will transform their digital lead-generation campaign from average to extraordinary. From amazing offers and educational white papers to scroll-stopping images and videos, most marketers have tested them all. When our agency first began testing influencer-generated content (IGC) in our campaigns I remained cautious and admittedly somewhat skeptical about the results. And I wasn’t wrong to have doubts.
We chose our influencers carefully, ensuring they were a good fit for the relevant decision-makers in the verticals we were targeting and that they had highly engaged followers, and that our “ask” was attractive. We appreciated the benefits the influencers would provide including exposure to their followers – potential prospects with whom we could foster connection. The campaign was “successful” resulting in some qualified leads and an email list for future marketing. Thankfully, we had also negotiated the ability to repurpose the influencers’ video content in our contract and we began testing the purchased IGC in our own paid campaigns.
One of the standard lead magnets we commonly used for our clients at that time included video and image testimonials from happy customers. These generally performed above average in comparison to other assets. This time instead of just using client testimonials, we began swapping in the IGC instead.
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
One would assume that testimonial content and IGC would perform at the same rate because both are “similar” content types that showcase social proof about a company’s service or product.
To be clear, the IGC, just like the testimonial video content was being remarketed to our client’s website visitors, email lists, and social channel users as well as to lookalike audiences (in this test, we did not use influencer whitelisting, which allows a brand to run an influencer’s post as an ad from the influencer’s account). By now you know where this is going. The IGC converted at 4x as compared to any other assets but that’s only half the story.
Consumers and the Suspension of Disbelief
I learned a huge marketing lesson during this experiment and it wasn’t that influencer content converts better. There is a concept called the suspension of disbelief – which simply means to temporarily allow oneself to believe something that isn’t true as in enjoying a great science fiction novel or movie. Wikipedia says it best: “Suspension of disbelief is the avoidance—often described as willing—of critical thinking and logic in understanding something that is unreal or impossible in reality… in order to believe it for the sake of enjoying its narrative.
it seemed that such was the same with IGC content. It would then be easy to conclude that consumers allowed themselves to suspend their disbelief and critical thinking in order to enjoy the narrative that the influencers provided. But let’s go deeper.
There are a number of ingredients that produce effective influencer-generated content;
It’s these content ingredients that move consumers to stop scrolling, take note, and take action and in 2023 IGC seems to be a big winner.
Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with a track record of excellence. A digital lead generation expert, Fran and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for her clients. Fran invests in training and certifying her team across all digital marketing channels to ensure that her clients are benefiting from the freshest digital marketing strategies, Google best practices and tools available. Working across multiple verticals including health, pharmaceutical, finance, law, education, non-profit and eCommerce, Fran and her team have been helping organizations reach their digital goals since 2009. Fran grew up in communications. Early in her career, she worked in her family’s public relations firm, DCI (Dworkin Communications Inc). Since that time Fran has been involved in an impressive array of projects, assisting companies and non-profit organizations to attain their goals. In the days before the internet Fran practiced traditional marketing and PR. With this background, it was only natural for Fran to evolve her skills, and to become a very successful online marketer. In a rare combination, Fran blends over 20 years of experience with her love and passion for the latest and hottest technologies. This unique worldview allows Fran to assist companies to achieve their goals. Connect with Fran on LinkedIn.