Influencer marketing is expanding exponentially and is increasingly becoming an essential part of most marketing budgets. The use of influencer advertising, or combining the relatable storytelling of influencers with the strategic distribution of paid media, provides marketers with a way to reach audiences with content that delivers native media experiences. Marketing analyst eMarketer reports that 31% of North American retailers now working with brand advocates to become influencers, 30% used micro-influencers, and 28% are using paid celebrity influencers.
We offer the following influencer marketing strategies to pull off an effective influencer campaign.
In today’s digital world, it can be difficult for social media influencers to ensure their assets are properly protected. Thankfully, there are solutions available that allow influencers to safely share usage rights with brand partners that also give control over access to content data like organic impressions, reach, and engagement. For example, influencers can give brands or agencies access to content by granting them partner permissions via Facebook’s Business Manager or Branded Content Tool. Whitelisting, or gaining advertising permissions to an influencer’s social media account, allows for brand partners to amplify posts to a target audience and reach new potential customers. Solutions like Lumanu's technology, lets influencers easily share content, audiences, usage rights, and confirmed collaborations.
Trust is key. Influencers and bloggers work hard to build trust and respect from their audience. Likewise, brands also need to provide a certain level of visibility into campaign performance to build the trust of influencers they partner with. Brands should be willing to provide full visibility when it comes to the usage of influencer content, as well as when the influencer’s posts are being amplified, and any amplification should adhere to the usage rights terms.
Leveraging influencers is an effective marketing strategy as they are seen as trustworthy sources within their niche audience. However, brands are discovering that influencer content can be very effective outside of an influencer’s social media following - often even MORE effective. Influencer sponsored content performs especially well when targeted to audiences that are most likely to be receptive to content featuring real people. With proper permissions, brands should consider building custom and lookalike audiences off of influencer campaigns. With a platform like Lumanu, brands can leverage audiences derived from influencer’s first-party data that are similar to those in your influencer marketing campaign.
Variety in content formats from multiple influencers is key in combating ad fatigue and ensuring optimal results at higher spend levels. Taking the social media platform into consideration, a smart marketing strategy is for brands to cluster similar influencers together in one adset and leverage multiple media items (e.g. carousels, slideshows, and videos) to optimize for CPA.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating great content. A challenge brands face with influencer marketing is that organic influencer posts are often disallowed from paid media distribution due to copy and creative issues. Marketers can utilize tools like Lumanu's Content Manager to transform creator content for optimal paid media distribution. Content transformations, such as turning carousels into slideshows or adding an end-card to carousels, can drastically improve your engagement rates and the CPA of your influencer marketing.
If optimizing for website traffic, conversions, or other down-funnel events, it is best to integrate a conversion pixel with all Facebook or Instagram posts. Conversion pixels allow you to track when users end up on the website page you want them to see. Doing so gives complete visibility and attribution, as well as real-time optimizations to drive conversions. Pixels also allow for the use of interstitial landing pages, such as Facebook Instant Experiences or third-party content landing pages, to improve downstream conversions for certain products.
With the fragmented nature of influencer marketing activations and where those relationships are sourced, it’s important to host all influencer media spend through one centralized ad account to gather learnings and deliver optimal results. Brands should avoid outsourcing boosting to influencers, talent agencies, and influencer networks where fees on media are “black-boxed” with questionable targeting and real performance metrics. A brand can also leverage the power of pixels without having to share pixels with influencer ad accounts.
Set your campaign goals and the metrics you will use to measure success in advance. It can be tempting to focus on vanity metrics, like likes and comments, but to measure the effectiveness of a campaign, brands need to understand the value in terms of return on investment. Don’t just rely on engagement rates, but instead focus on factors that drive defendable sales conversion through your influencers’ social media channels.