Not long ago, a consumer study found that 17% of respondents made a purchase based on influencer content, with Gen Z and Millennials saying that knowledge and enthusiasm for a brand being the top reasons they made that purchase.
While marketers continue to invest in influencer marketing (especially as consumers rely on social networks to connect during social isolation due to COVID-19), there’s one tactic that many brands still aren’t leveraging to maximize their influencer marketing ROI: influencer amplification via paid ad campaigns.
If you want to maximize the full ROI from your influencer efforts, then you need to go beyond that influencer’s organic followers and reach new audiences with paid ad dollars.
Here’s how you can reach new audiences beyond an influencer’s feed by placing ad dollars to amplify your influencer content.
“People are turning to friends, celebrities, and influencers who inspire them most to learn how to best adjust to new norms. This presents brands with the unique opportunity to reach new consumers by partnering with influencers who have already built a strong sense of community. With that said, influencers and brands must work closely together to ensure their messaging feels both relatable and authentic.”
— Brent Villiot, Senior Strategist of Social and Creative Strategy at Tinuiti
“During times of uncertainty, people are searching for sources of comfort and community online. Whether it’s virtual happy hours with friends, push-up challenges, or a celebrity Instagram Live story, staying connected online has never felt more important.”
For more on paid social strategy during the current circumstances, check out 7 Helpful Tips for Paid Social Marketers During COVID-19.
1. Influencer Marketing & Influencer Amplification, What’s the Difference?
Before jumping into influencer amplification, let’s get a quick primer on understand influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that uses key content creators to drive authentic conversation and engagement around a brand’s products and message.
- A successful influencer partnership raises awareness and drives sales. If you’re new to influencer marketing — don’t worry — we’ve written countless articles on the benefits of influencer marketing.
- Nowadays, just securing an influencer is no longer the final step in the influencer marketing process.
Influencer amplification is a marketing strategy that puts advertising dollars behind branded, organic content from an influencer.
Instead of repurposing the content and distributing through the brand’s handle, influencer amplification connects the influencer’s handle to the brand’s ad account for advertising.
2. How Paid Campaigns Help Boost Influencer Marketing ROI
Influencer marketing has emerged over the years as a strong marketing tactic but it has its limitations.
For example, influencers’ organic posts, like any other social post, have diminishing returns after just 24 hours of posting. They’re also difficult to track and measure performance-wise, and there can be limitations in terms of CTA and where clicks drive traffic.
How paid social campaigns can help solve three of the biggest challenges of organic influencer content
Influencer Post Day
- Problem: Once an influencer post is published, it decays, losing longevity in less than 24 hours.
- Solution: Integrate the influencers’ accounts with an agency account, placing ad dollars behind the best performing influencer content.
No Call to Action
- Problem: On Instagram, there is no current method of reliably driving influencer engagement to an off-site conversion.
- Solution: Place a CTA overlay on the influencers’ posts and promote it to the influencer’s followers and additional audiences (lookalike, engagement, lists, etc).
Lack of Attribution
- Problem: It is difficult to measure influencer post-performance.
- Solution: UTM tags and Facebook Pixels track traffic sources to CTA links, giving direct insight into how each post is contributing to your sales
3. Branded Content vs. Influencer Amplification
By now you may realize there are recently released native features for boosting influencer content.
Last year, Instagram released Branded Content Ads, which enables brands to partner with influencers to boost individual posts, but there are limitations.
Here’s a breakdown of how partnering with an agency gives brands more control over their influencer investments.
- Boosted posts are limited by campaign objective: Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Video Views, and Page Post Engagement
- Influencers only give access to the single post
- Influencers must tag the brand as a business partner in their organic post
- Branded Content is only available to select brands
- Amplifying influencer content can be connected to any Facebook campaign objective, including Conversions
- Influencers give access to their Facebook page and Instagram handle
- Any influencer post can be boosted
- Amplification is available to all brands working with influencers
- Content can be redistributed across multiple channels, not just Facebook or Instagram
4. 7 Steps for Boosting Your Influencer Marketing ROI With Influencer Amplification
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s our process for boosting your influencer marketing ROI.
Here’s a mini-guide on how you can maximize the reach of your influencer marketing spend beyond branded content ads:
1. Identify your highest-engaging influencer posts
2. Connect influencers’ posts with the best performing audiences
3. Create audiences from influencer engagers and followers
4. Rewrite ad copy to convert users, but maintain the influencer’s voice
5. Add CTA button to drive users to your website or desired source
6. Add UTM tags and Facebook Pixels to track CTA link traffic
7. Use Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics to measure clicks and revenue
By following these seven steps, you will reach beyond your organic influencer’s post and improve the longevity of your influencer content.
5. How to Measure the ROI of Your Paid Influencer Campaigns
From impressions to conversions, there are many metrics to track throughout the course of your influencer amplification campaign.
If you are putting ad spend behind an influencer post, here are some of the metrics you may want to track. Of course, the metrics you decide to track depend on your goals.
- Increased Website Traffic
- Branded Search Lift
- Increased Purchase Activity
Tools like Google Analytics are great for tracking traffic, while native tools such as Instagram Insights are good for tracking engagement. There are a plethora of third-party analytics tools, are available for tracking your KPIs.
No matter your goals, the true success of your paid influencer campaign depends on three things:
- Clearly defined objectives
- The right message for the right audience
- Effective measurement of your data
Boosting Influencer Marketing ROI: Final Takeaways
The method for amplifying your influencer content is three-fold:
- Invest in influencer marketing to gain initial organic reach
- Amplify the top-performing content with paid social ads to drive traffic and increase revenue
- Track your influencer campaign objectives or KPIs
Want to learn more about influencer marketing?
We have more influencer-related articles and marketing articles on our blog and a webinar on how to Boost Your Influencer Marketing with Paid Social Ads.