Influencer marketing has exploded as a way for brands to get their products in front of highly targeted audiences. According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2021, the influencer marketing industry is set to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021.
A well-measured influencer marketing campaign can significantly boost brand awareness through word of mouth. However, some influencer marketing campaigns have been so successful that they have brought websites offline unintentionally, costing brands their opportunity to cash in on the exposure.
Choosing the right influencer for your campaign
Influencer marketing is hard to get right. To reap the benefits of influencer marketing, authenticity is key. Otherwise, followers will recognize a quick cash grab and are unlikely to engage with the endorsement. The influencer and their audience must be closely aligned with your brand and products.
Proving ROI is also of utmost importance, with most businesses that use influencer marketing measuring successful campaigns not just on brand awareness, but also on conversions and sales. The more followers an influencer has, the higher the price they can ask, as the potential rewards in boosted sales increase.
But with higher reward comes higher risk – in this case, that a particularly successful campaign from an especially popular individual will overwhelm servers and crash the target website.
Overloaded servers lead to slower page load times (which can damage conversion rates by 7% per lost second), and even total loss of service, which could take hours of expensive tactical action to restore.
Therefore, before unleashing an influencer marketing campaign, you must ask whether your site is prepared for the potential volume of traffic it could generate.
When too much traffic loses sales
Every brand would love to attain the benefits of influencer marketing, but sometimes influencers can wreak havoc accidentally on unsuspecting businesses with a surprise shoutout. This was the case when social media influencer Holly Smith posted a video of her unboxing a food package from discount food retailer Cut Price Barry’s. The Canadian grocer had no idea that Holly’s video and her half a million TikTok followers was the culprit when their website suddenly crashed under huge demand. It took 18 hours to bring their webstore back online, during which time they could take no orders.
Influencer exposure could have spelled massive sales for Cut Price Barry’s, but instead cost them a day’s worth of transactions plus the time and resource to fix the website. The worst part is, they had no idea this wave of web traffic was coming and had nothing in place to circumvent the outage.
There was a similar case in the UK when TV presenter Holly Willoughby returned to ITV’s This Morning wearing a dress sold by fashion brand Nobody’s Child. The daytime television star posted a photo of her outfit to her seven million Instagram followers, and within minutes fans reported that the Nobody’s Child website had crashed.
Be prepared to capitalize on any peak
Thankfully, another well-known fashion brand was prepared for this eventuality when Holly Willoughby appeared on “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” donning one of their outfits. A subsequent post on social media boosted traffic to their site, but thanks to its use of TrafficDefender’s virtual waiting room, the fashion retailer’s webstore remained functional and was able to capitalize on the exposure.
Any online business can get this same assurance of availability for their website with TrafficDefender’s virtual waiting room technology. TrafficDefender sits in front of your website monitoring traffic levels; as soon as the site reaches a limit of how many visitors it can comfortably handle, TrafficDefender places new visitors into a fair, first-in, first-out queue.
With Traffic Defender, brands can keep trading to their maximum throughput, no matter how successful their influencer marketing campaign has been (whether expected or not).