If you're an Influencer Marketer, chances are you have been focusing your time on building successful organic influencer marketing campaigns with little thought about integrating paid media. However, with a strictly organic approach, you may be missing out on the unique benefits that paid media provides.
Because paid media is still gaining traction within influencer marketing strategies, we know you may have many questions. So we’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions - complete with answers - about leveraging paid media for influencer marketing campaigns.
1. How does paid media relate to influencer marketing?
Answer Part 1: Precise Audience Targeting Ensures Efficiency
- Having a comprehensive understanding of your influencer’s audience is a crucial component of creating a successful campaign. It is also one of the first steps in finding the right creator - and ensuring the content you build along the way will resonate with their ideal target audience.
- Imagine you establish a relationship with a creator for an esports campaign because you’ve identified that 30% of their audience has an affinity for gaming. If that influencer publishes organically, you can’t guarantee that the 30% gaming cohort will see your posts. However, putting ad spend behind your posts will give you the power to fine-tune the targeting to the right audience and help you achieve positive ROI for your influencer marketing campaigns.
Answer Part 2: Reach Beyond Your Influencer’s Audiences
- When you work with an influencer, you’re essentially tapping into their influence via their loyal network. Empowering an influencer to tell your story through their creative lens can build credibility with their audience - that’s the hope anyway. But by boosting their content to a lookalike audience that mirrors their following, you can also reach broader audiences who are likely to engage with the posts.
Answer Part 3: Improve Measurement and Unlock Advanced Insights
- Organic social media posts provide a limited picture of how audiences interact with your content through basic metrics such as engagement, likes, clicks, comments, and shares. Integrating paid media into your influencer marketing strategy will help you unlock advanced metrics such as brand lift, sales lift, and advanced attribution.
Answer Part 4: Increasing Post Frequency
- Override the platforms’ existing algorithm and increase the content’s ad-frequency by targeting the audience more than the average 1x of a typical organic post. Increasing any piece of content’s frequency to 5-7 can significantly improve performance.
2. What do I need to run a successful paid media campaign?
Answer Part 1: First, Create Well-defined Objectives
- Your campaigns, supported by paid media, should have a strategic and data-driven approach with specific goals in mind. For example, do you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, promote a call-to-action, encourage an app install, or visit a physical location - to name a few?
Answer Part 2: Second, Determine a Budget
- You will need to estimate or forecast your paid media budget accurately. This will be critically important when engaging paid media colleagues or partners who will manage the paid media side of things. Be prepared for your paid media partner or agency to say “no” to helping you as many paid media teams often have high minimums, e.g. $250,000.
Answer Part 3: Find an Influencer Reporting Tool
- Vanity metrics will only get you so far - primarily when investing significant amounts of paid media. Suppose your company is investing in increasing amounts of paid media in influencer marketing strategies. In that case, you must have the tools to report on both organic and paid performance to tie into more significant business objectives.
3. What departments handle paid media in organizations?
Answer: It Depends
- Depending on where you work, you may know who manages paid media, or you may be completely unfamiliar. If you work at a brand, the paid media team may be your team, a team down the hall, or perhaps managed by a partner or agency.
- If you work at an agency, you likely know whether your agency also manages paid media. If not, it’s a good idea to find a strategic paid media agency partner to help manage the complexity that paid media presents. It’s rarely a good idea to handle the paid media yourself as it’s a complicated discipline that takes many years to master.
4. How well do paid media and influencer marketing teams interact?
Answer: Better than Ever
- There were many manual, tactical hoops to jump through for paid media teams to promote influencer-generated content in the past. On the backend, it required an Account Manager to ensure that the creator had a business account and Ad Manager set up correctly. Now, platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as CreatorIQ, simplify the process for putting paid media amplification behind content creator assets. With the help of tools like Branded Content for Brands, influencers can essentially flip on a simple switch to permit paid media teams to promote the content on their behalf.
5. What goes into the cost of running social media paid ads?
Answer Part 1: Try a Top-down Approach
- To determine the cost of ads, you will have to consider the campaign’s whole budget in its entirety. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- How many influencers will be used in the campaign?
- What content assets will need to be created (photos vs. video)?
- What fees will be associated with the campaign (influencer fees, agency fees, or specific technology)?
- After evaluating the above, you can have a realistic look into what budget is available to apply to paid media efforts.
Answer Part 2: Consider a Bottom-up Approach
- If you’re being calculated about the exact number of things you need to sell, actions you want people to take, or perceptions to shift, you will need to look at your historical benchmarks together with the paid media team. Looking at past performance can help you determine how much you will need to spend on paid media to expect a particular outcome.
Answer Part 3: The Fee for the Paid Media Team, Partner, or Agency
- Managing paid media portions of campaigns isn’t free. If in-house colleagues manage it, their time needs to be compensated. Or if you are paying a partner or agency to manage the paid media, they typically take a percentage of total paid media spend, e.g. 15%. So if you plan to spend $100,000 on the paid media investment, $15,000 of that may go to the partner or agency as their fee.
6. How do you select the right audience to target on the right platforms?
Answer Part 1: Building a Persona is Mission Critical
- No matter the product or service, a marketer’s job is to ensure that the messaging they craft reaches its target audience. Developing a persona or segmentation, which guides which platforms your audience spends their time on, will be imperative to ensuring your marketing assets are reaching the right people in the right places.
- Paid media teams, partners, or agencies can help guide this process if you don’t have access to the paid media planning tools and datasets.
Answer Part 2: A/B Test to Determine What Content Works Best
- Even with sophisticated tools and datasets for planning and forecasting, new campaign strategies are educated guesses. The beauty of digital paid ads is that you can A/B test various campaigns to different audiences, which allows you to validate the educated guesses. This can reveal who the right audience is using the attributes available within the platform to test performance based on your selections.
7. Is organic or paid media data more important when reporting on influencer campaign performance?
Answer: Goals Determine What Data is Important
- You’ll want to have a comprehensive understanding of the campaign’s goals and objectives to decide what data will most effectively tell your campaign’s success story. Refer back to point 2.
8. What are the advantages of various types of paid posts?
Answer: The definitions of the different types of paid posts:
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
We recommend finding the best option that would achieve the most visibility for the brand and creator. Leveraging tools like Branded Content on Instagram makes it a breeze for content creators to tag business partners in posts.