[By: Amy Callahan] [Huffington Post] [Read More]
In the early days of influencer marketing, there was a stigma attached to using dollars to amplify content. The argument was that if the content was actually high quality, it should perform well enough on its own. But with social platforms constantly changing their algorithms to give preference to certain types of content over others, paid social media is an essential component of a content marketing strategy - ensuring that the people you want to view and engage with your content are actually seeing and acting upon it. Hubspot went so far as to call 2016 “the year paid social media advertising (almost) took over the world”. Let’s talk about why and how marketers should use paid social to get more eyeballs on influencer content.
Why should you use paid social media in support of your influencer marketing efforts?
Nielsen reported that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people - even someone they don’t know - over content made by brands. More and more companies are adopting influencer marketing in order to reach consumers through media they see as authentic and trusted. Brands want to harness the power of user-generated content (UGC) and have their products and services talked about by influencers and shared with their dedicated online followings. After all, Offerpop reported that visual UGC increased conversions by 10% when used in the purchase path. So, why not use the tools available to amplify that great, trusted content to be seen and interacted with by even more of the consumers you’re trying to reach?
That’s where paid social media comes in. Influencers already have strong relationships with their followers thanks to years of actively engaging with them and creating content that resonates. Their content naturally draws attention, but paid social media goes where their organic reach can’t. Even influencers themselves are using paid media to drive audience and engagement. It allows you to target, reach and acquire additional audiences by leveraging the influencer’s content beyond their already built-in audiences. It can be used to simply expand the scope of a campaign or to target a specific demographic or niche. For example, say a person is looking to buy a new dog food brand but doesn’t follow an influencer that is creating and sharing content for you. Through paid social media, you’re able to take the awesome influencer content made about your pet brand and target it to be placed in front of the very person that’s been looking for a new dog food brand.
How do you use paid social media?
Let’s focus on Facebook social ads for a minute. There are three main factors that determine the success of a social ad:
1. the image and copy
2. the targeting
3. the state of the market
Ads see a 5x increase in CTR when visual UGC is leveraged, according to Offerpop. Successful influencers are well versed in shooting high-quality images and producing content that resonates with their audiences. So, the visual part of your social ad is in good hands.
Data is your best friend in targeting the right audiences. Facebook uses a combination of demographic, interest and behavior information to create general targeting profiles that you can tailor to send influencer content to the audiences you value most. But, don’t stop there! Analyze who is clicking, liking, commenting on and sharing your social ads in order to retarget them. The content in these ads has proven to inspire action, so this is a prime opportunity to retarget the same effective content to additional social users.
However, it’s no secret that there are tons of other brands vying for the attention of the same pool you are trying to reach. You are competing for every click, impression and engagement. For Facebook ads, you are essentially putting in bids at an auction that operates based on the number of advertisers and the size of the audience being targeted. You won’t know the bids of your competitors but Facebook will discount your bid if you serve ads that incorporate compelling, truly relevant content to the target audience.
Final Note: Paid media naturally lends itself to scaling eyeballs. Why would you not use a tool that connects additional applicable people to the engaging influencer content you’ve invested in? You’ll increase discoverability, engagements and clicks to the content. Talk about a match made in marketing.