Part 9 in a series about Influencer Marketing in the 2020s
Scaling influencer marketing campaigns has never been easier. One of the best ways to make sure that brands are hitting the mark with an influencer campaign is to incorporate a paid ad strategy to accompany organic efforts. A paid ad strategy, such as whitelisting, presents a way for brands to mix the value of an influencer campaign to further the acquisition strategy and the return on investment (ROI).
At its core, whitelisting is used to help boost the effectiveness of an influencer’s content. Influencers provide brands with ad access to their social media platforms to advertise on their accounts. This helps a brand to cast a wider net to a target audience, using content that has already proven effective.
Because brands tap into the influencer’s profile for paid support, the ads appear as if they’re being served from the influencer’s profile. “When a brand invests in a paid ad strategy, it expands the reach of the influencer’s content, while still maintaining a sense of authenticity that can sometimes be lost when the ad is run from the brand’s account,” explains Chrissy Dupper, Senior Content & Campaign Manager with Find Your Influence.
When brands negotiate with influencers, they may include whitelisting, or paid support in the agreement. Influencers, or their managers, may negotiate for higher rates when a brand includes this in the agreement. These rates are most often impacted by the length of the whitelisting period.
Marketers have long navigated social media algorithms. The more a user engages with a topic, the more they will see that type of content. Influencers are not any different. Anything a brand can do to boost engagement around a specific piece of content through paid support will amplify the visibility, a clever way to maximize results.
There are few marketing strategies that can compete with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or social media ad strategy in the way of cost; so, to have them working together with an influencer marketing strategy is the secret sauce to successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing campaigns are designed to help brands reach out to more people and help small businesses scale by generating increased awareness. Measuring the ROI of influencer marketing campaigns should be done differently than measuring other marketing methods. ROI should be calculated against the spend for the influencer/content, not in comparison to other marketing strategies.
While the price for an influencer campaign may be higher, brands are getting much more than just a click. They are getting:
- Brand awareness
- Improved brand perception
- Increased traffic and engagement
- Diversified content feed
Therefore, the spend on influencers can generate an ROI in multiples when paired with targeted paid support to both boost visibility, and lower key performance indicators such as cost per thousand (CPM), cost per engagement (CPE) and cost per click (CPC).
Brands adding paid support to influencer marketing campaigns get to “have their cake and eat it too.” A paid ad strategy amplifies exposure and social proof through an influencer’s audience and low-cost metrics, delivered all-in-one.
Best of all, paid support allows for more specific optimization opportunities. In the paid landscape, the advertiser gets to control how exactly they wish to maximize their spend. They can choose to focus on driving impressions, engagements, website traffic, leads or sales. The algorithm will then serve the ad accordingly. For example, if the goal is to drive conversions it will show the conversion ad to people who have proven to convert from ads in the past. This can help brands really maximize their ROI.
It’s important to note that in order to optimize ads for conversions (like website leads and sales) the Facebook Pixel must be installed. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of HTML code that goes on the website and tracks results. It helps teach the algorithm what is working and who exactly is converting. This process is called the learning phase and it usually takes between 1-2 weeks. A campaign optimizes as soon as it has successfully completed the learning phase.
To learn more about adding paid support to your next influencer marketing campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org.