The business of influencer marketing is growing rapidly with no signs of slowing down. A recent Business Insider report states that the influencer marketing industry was worth about $8 billion dollars in 2019. And by the year 2022 the industry is forecasted to be worth a whopping $15 billion. With these numbers, the power of working with influencers is undeniable.
Because of this, more and more brands are discovering the value of using influencers in their paid advertising. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, nearly two-thirds of businesses that already have an influencer marketing budget plan to increase their spending over the next 12 months. Incorporating paid ads into an influencer marketing strategy is an effective way to get a great marketing ROI.
We’ve compiled a list of four important things to consider when working with paid influencer ads. Let’s take a look at each of these tips to learn more about how to maximize your campaigns.
1.Marketers must understand the differences between social media dark posts v. boosting
The first thing you need to understand is the two types of ads that brands can use in their influencer marketing campaigns: dark posts and boosting. Is one approach better than the other? When should you focus on dark posting v. paid post boosting? Let’s take a look at the options.
What is dark posting?
In the past few years, marketers are hearing more and more about dark posting. The name sounds a bit scary, but the practice is simple. When social media influencers allow a brand to run sponsored posts using their online identity, it's known as dark posting. Marketers can set up and manage ads through their own brand account, but the posts appear to be natively posted by the influencer.
Social media influencer dark posts are run as "unpublished page posts," meaning that they don't appear as normal page posts on the influencer's feed--which is what makes them "dark." Instead, the posts show up as Facebook ads (or sponsored content) appearing in front of users who were targeted via Facebook ads manager. Dark posting has the advantage of allowing brands to create new optimized ad content, just like they would for their own ads. The only difference is that the posts include the influencer identity and put the ad in front of their audience.
What is a boosted post?
Boosted posts are created using Facebook's branded content tool. This feature is built into the social media platform and allows brands to collaborate with influencer content creators to develop ads that are labeled as paid partnerships. Boosting allows brands to widen the reach of influencer content that reaches a target audience.
When using the branded content tool to amplify posts, marketers can't change or edit the original post in any way. That means that when brands reuse this content, they cannot add a specific call to action (CTA) or drive ad traffic to a particular campaign landing page. Boosted content created with the branded content tool is also limited in content format. One especially unfortunate drawback is that the boosting platform doesn't allow Instagram posts that are slideshows.
Which should I use?
Both methods can be effective, so it depends on your business goals. Dark posts are great for testing audiences and different ad creatives. Dark posts can also be a great way to evaluate whether an influence is a good fit for the brands.
Boosted posts are great for reaching a wider audience to build brand awareness. And because you can’t make changes to the original post, they would also best be used when the ad content is proven to be successful.
2.You need a plan for scaling influencer ads
Once you have your basic ad marketing strategy in place, it’s time to think about scaling. There are several approaches to take when attempting to grow influencer campaigns on social media. Here are some ways you can go about scaling:
- Test new lookalike and interest audiences
- Change up your ad creative and visuals
- Segment your audience based on engagement rate
- Methodically increase the ad spend budget
- Automatically increase or decrease the ad set budget based on performance
3. Test, test, test
The key to any successful paid ad campaign is to test everything. Social media ads are not a “set it and forget it” marketing activity. Ads require constant monitoring of performance and ad spend to maximize ROI. There are a few different ways brands can test their ads:
- Test your audiences--if you make changes to your audience parameters to find which audiences are best, be sure to carefully track the changes, when they were made and the outcomes.
- Once you find the right audience, test the ad creatives. Tweak the creative content of the influencer ad to determine which posts work best.
- Test different ad locations--On Facebook, users can specify where they want their posts to appear. Be sure you take notice of where your ads will be located and test what happens if you switch it up.
4. Be sure that content usage terms are extremely clear
As a brand, one of the most critical parts of running influencer ad campaigns is making sure that you have all of the proper permissions to use influencer content. Content usage terms must be crystal clear to both the creator and the brand to eliminate potential conflicts down the road. By ensuring that content usage is fully agreed upon and understood, you increase the likelihood of maintaining positive, long-term relationships with your bloggers, creators, and influencers. Maintaining influencer relationships opens the door for valuable evergreen ad campaigns.
The easiest way to handle content usage, as well as account permissions for dark posting, is by using a software solution. A platform like Lumanu provides 1-click account permissions and content usage rights that help brands stay connected and in compliance.
Hopefully, this article helps you have a better understanding of influencer campaigns and how your brand can use them to build your business.