Influencer Marketing: Brands See Declining Conversion Rates, Positives for Upper Funnel Marketing

What is the effectiveness of influencer marketing? How have conversion rates evolved? Is influencer marketing really helping brands to convert or is it more of an upper funnel awareness tool? We talked to Julia Estacolchic Sr. Director, Brand Marketing at Match and other brand marketers in the Portada network to find out.

When asked how the relationship between influencer marketing investment and conversion has evolved over time,  Julia Estacolchic Sr. Director, Brand Marketing at dating sites Match and Chispa, answers that “influencer marketing has been a key channel for Chispa for many years, and we constantly activate influencer campaigns.”  Estacolchic, asserts that she has “found good value through the built-in distribution, the ability to hyper-target and tailor our brand and seasonal messages based on the specific creator and their audiences, and the opportunity to expand that organic reach via paid efforts and performance marketing. It constantly provides a diverse and fresh pool of creative assets and content that we can leverage across channels.”

Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing: Declining Conversion Rates

For Chispa, Estacolchic explains, influencer marketing supports multiple objectives, from increasing brand relevance to user acquisition.  “However, we have seen the impact on direct conversion soften over the last year or so, where it’s forced us to reevaluate and pivot our strategies.”

For influencer marketing campaigns of all lengths, a commonly agreed-upon good conversion rate is 3% and above, but that really depends on factors such as industry, your website layout and how marketing campaigns normally convert, and the average sales cycle. “In the last few months, we have seen a consistent downward trend in converting from influencer marketing,” Jeff Byer, CEO at Jeff Byer Inc., a Redondo Beach, CA, based web design and promotion company, told While Byer does not consider the data conclusive at this point, he does note a marked change in consumer behavior.
Effectiveness of Influencer MarketingMatch’s Estacolchic, attributes lower conversion rates of influencer marketing to changes in algorithms of some of the social platforms which have had direct implications on the reach and exposure of sponsored/partner content. “There could also be some audience fatigue, with more creators posting sponsored content more often and coming across as inauthentic, less organic, and uninteresting to their followers. In our case, we’ve already collaborated with many of the macro, micro and even nano influencers for U.S Hispanic audiences and the pool of creators with the right audience is somewhat limited, particularly for a dating product that targets 18+ segments,” Estacolchic maintains.

Does Influencer Marketing Work? A Good Tool for Upper Funnel Marketing

Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
Julia Estacolchic Sr. Director, Brand Marketing at Match

Estacolchic expects influencer marketing to “continue to be a good tool for upper funnel/brand affinity efforts, to leverage trends, and to generate fresh creative assets we can use to impact the lower funnel and performance.” However, she adds that she is “not confident we’ll see again the type of direct return we used to see when we first started activating influencers years ago, unless we continue to innovate and find new creative ways to activate this channel.”

Intersection With Experiential Marketing

The effectiveness of influencer marketing can increasingly be seen when it comes to amplifying experiential marketing initiatives (events, sweepstakes etc) via influencers. Belen Pamukoff, Brand Director Tecate and Tecate Light at Heineken USA, recently told Portada that she is identifying influencers that best align with her target audience. “We are in the process of partnering with influencers to embrace the Tecate Alta brand. We will have 3-4 influencers going to Primavera Sound, a concert in Los Angeles on September 16-18 which Tecate Alta is sponsoring,  and they will be posting stories about what will happen on the event weekend.” Pamukoff asserts that during the event, “these influencers will be bringing the experience to followers that are not going to the event. This way, the event sponsorship investment can be scaled beyond people going to the event over that particular- weekend. “For that reason we amplify with influencers as well as with sweepstakes to attend the event,” Pamukoff concludes.

Match’s Estacolchic sees influencers becoming celebrities in the offline world and in real life. “I’m seeing influencers being leveraged for promotions, sweepstakes, and partnerships that crossover from online to offline and in-person events. I see influencers who a few years ago only had an online presence, and are now creating their own line of products – from candy to cosmetic lines to fashion capsules – and increasing the value of their own brands in a way that transcends the digital world but still engages in this intimate and personal way that influencers manage to do so well.” “It’s about evolving our relationship with the channel and the creators,” Estacolchic concludes.