The confluence of the social media marketing landscape over the past few years has led directly to the rise of influencer marketing with 84% of companies planning to test it out in the next year.
A few things have happened to catalyze this rise. Over the past few years, organic social media reach has drastically shrunk as brands flood their pages with content and platforms like Facebook make it harder for that content to be seen. This shift has led marketers to reconsider the types of content they’re distributing, as well as paying to get those posts in front of larger audiences. That shift to paid initiatives has created stiff competition, making it more challenging and expensive to serve the right content to the right users.
Influencer marketing offers a solution to those challenges by delivering authentic content to ‘communities’ of users that fall within a brands’ target markets. As a paid social agency specializing in Facebook and Instagram advertising, we’ve started to help our clients get creative, combining influencer and paid strategies to compound the benefits of each.
In this two-part series, we’re exploring a few ways influencer marketing and paid social can work together. This first post will give you two ideas to take your existing influencer content to the next level with paid social campaigns. The next post will take these concepts to the next level detailing how to promote branded content from influencer profiles.
1. Turn a brand awareness campaign into a direct-response campaign
One of the biggest challenges advertisers face in running influencer campaigns is proving ROI. Over 50% of marketers running influencer campaigns cite it as their most significant and persistent challenge. Because of that challenge, it’s also much harder to track bottom-of-the funnel metrics, so many advertisers resort to tracking ‘vanity’ KPIs like ‘engagement’ and ‘traffic.’
Social media, on the other hand, gives advertisers advanced campaign and conversion tracking, making it much easier to prove ROI. Lucky for you, the two don’t have to be exclusive! By utilizing influencer content and audiences to drive mobile app installs, new users, revenue, ROI, etc., you can reap the benefits of both!
First, think about the content….
Reaching and coordinating with influencers, getting the right content together and scheduling that content is the hard part. Once that content is created and out in the world, why not amplify it? Whether you’re promoting original influencer posts or repurposing pictures, videos, quotes or sound bites, this content is compelling.
Not only are you killing two birds with one stone, but this user-generated content is rich, authentic, and appeals to your users. One of our clients saw a 20% higher click-through rate on ads that utilized user-generated content.
Just make sure the content makes sense for the targeted audience, and always be sure to get approval from your influencers before using their content in a paid campaign.
Now that you know what influencer content you have to leverage for your paid social campaigns make sure you’re tracking the right metrics. As previously noted, metrics that make sense in influencer campaigns might not work in a direct-response campaign. Swap out ‘traffic’ and ‘engagement’ with ‘conversions,’ ‘installs,’ or better yet, “revenue.”
Once you know what metrics to track, be sure to set reasonable upfront expectations. Know that it’s common for top-of-funnel metrics (like cost per click) to be higher for direct-response campaigns. Also keep in mind that your costs will likely vary similarly to your influencer campaigns based on the user quality. Just like paying more for influencers with more followers, you’ll also pay more to reach higher-quality audiences.
Lastly, don’t spend a cent until you’ve correctly set up conversion tracking on each platform ensuring that you accurately measure success to make informed decisions.
2. Supplement influencer campaigns with retargeting
Another way to extend your influencer campaigns is to leverage them as a foundation for additional campaigns. Think of it as a story.
If your influencer campaigns exposed your audience to your brand at a high level, perhaps you want to follow up with specific product offers, or even coupon codes. If your influencers promoted individual products, it might be impactful to serve ads with those products, diving into features or value-props in your ads.
Whatever the story, try to keep the original integrity intact by reminding users where they originally saw your brand.
Mimic influencer audiences
Influencer marketing works well when your influencers haven’t just accrued ‘followers,’ but have cultivated a community. The audiences that influencers have built are aligned with their interests, and they have implied trust. It might sound obvious, but you should try to achieve the same thing with your targeting.
You may have to get creative on how to retarget those users, and it will differ by platform. The important thing to remember is that you want to retarget users that may have seen your influencer campaigns, but haven’t purchased. You might do that through page connections, followers, or tracking views to unique landing pages.
Although ad networks like Facebook and Google urge advertisers to broaden audience targeting for the best scale and costs, try to recreate niche influencer networks with your paid social retargeting. This level of personalization may be your secret to success and authenticity.
The success of these campaigns is contingent on developing the right narrative that resonates with your audiences and targeting the right audiences. Try not to think of influencer and paid campaigns as separate campaigns, but components of single campaigns.
Set up unique landing pages or content for individual influencer campaigns so you can target those users individually down the line with tailored content.
Also, use this as an opportunity to see what content and audience combinations resonate the best. Not all influencer campaigns are created equal, so regardless of your plans to repurpose content, use them as learning opportunities.
The second post in this series will take a different approach to combining influencer marketing and paid social initiatives. We'll dive into the nitty-gritty of promoting your branded content from influencers’ Facebook pages and Instagram handles.
In the meantime, we hope this post gave you some ideas to amplify the content you already have. Not sure where to start? Check out our paid social media services and feel free to drop us a line.
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