Why screenshots may be the key to influence marketing measurement

influence marketing measurement

By Mark Schaefer

Last year, one of the major emerging themes at the annual SXSW festival was influence marketing and again this year, it dominated the branding sessions.

Key “influence” ideas this year included shedding big influencers with large followers in favor of people who have trust, authority, and true impact. Certainly influence marketing is mainstream marketing today. The influencer is the power on the web today. No question.

As you would expect, there was also a lot of discussion on influence marketing measurement and one keynote session in particular blew me away with an idea that is so simple and yet so powerful: screenshots.

Screenshots as influence marketing measurement

When you think about it, screenshots provide a much better indicator of influencer power than “likes” or views. If somebody takes a screenshot of an influencer post, it is being recorded as something notable, important … and perhaps the next buyer purchase.

A screenshot equals “love,” it is what you hope your life looks like some day.

This interesting measurement innovation comes from the  LikeToKnowIt app. The app lets you store and manage screenshots but the real innovation is its ability to recognize the apparel or product to help you buy right on the spot.

Essentially this app turns images into search terms. You can buy straight from a photo — truly “actionable content” — and it works the same across all platforms.

Other influence marketing measurement trends

A few other influence marketing trends I picked up from my sessions:

  • Apparel influencers claim their “class of 2016” influencers were 4 X more productive than “class of 2013” influencers because they know how to use the tools better and connect with an audience.
  • Some brands are realizing 300 percent – 400 percent return on their influencer dollars, and they see even more upside as they refine their practices.
  • “Best influencers” – defined as the people creating the best, most beautiful content. “Influencers are creating better content than any ad agency today.” It has nothing to do with follower count any more.
  • Brands are investing in the education of the best influencers, teaching them how to create better content, manage their time, understand analytics, drive purchases.
  • Yahoo estimates there are 24 million people trying to monetize their influence.
  • Trusted peer-to-peer content is overwhelming traditional fashion magazines. These magazines are becoming irrelevant.

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Timothy Brown

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