A considered influencer marketing campaign allows you to connect with an engaged audience of fans who listen to the suggestions of an influencer. If the product you are selling aligns with their audience, you can generate sales.
Yet, you don’t need to limit yourself to the organic reach of a post. Keep reading to learn why and how to use ads to boost your influencer marketing.
Why Use Ads to Support Your Influencer Marketing?
It’s a recognized fact that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook limit the reach of user-generated content. Part of the reason they limit the reach is to improve the relevancy of the content that appears in our social media feeds. The other reason, of course, is to incentivize businesses to invest in paid advertising to reach a larger audience.
The graph below is a nice illustration of just how much social media organic reach has dropped over time. You can see, if you ran an influencer marketing campaign back in 2011, your content would have reached a lot more people than it will do today. This reduction in reach over time is something I always discuss in my social media training sessions.
The problem for a business is influencer marketing campaigns have not got significantly cheaper. This is an issue. If your campaign is profitable, you would generate more revenue if you could reach a larger share of the influencer’s audience.
How Does Facebook Support Influencer Marketing
Facebook has a suite of features designed to make it easier for brands to collaborate with influencers. These changes were intended to give marketers more visibility into their campaigns’ performance and allow them to control how their ads are seen by their target audience. Instagram followed suit with Branded Content Ads in 2020 for those using Paid Partnerships.
The marketing features created by Facebook and available to use on Instagram allow you to increase the return on investment from an influencer marketing campaign. Here are some of the things you can now do thanks to these tools:
- Promote Influencer Ads: Previously, brands sharing content from their partner influencers were unable to directly boost the influencer’s content.
- Hassle-free shopping experience: If you want to offer a super-easy shopping experience to customers, use Branded Content Ads to allow users to buy with a single tap. This option makes everything shoppable via Instagram Ads.
You can also run paid campaigns with audience-specific ad targeting. You can target people on both Facebook and Instagram according to how they interacted with your content, for example. You can create lookalike audiences based on this data, which allows you to increase the reach of your campaign.
If used correctly, ads can also boost the results of your marketing on social media. There are many good examples of brands and influencers using Facebook and Instagram affiliate marketing to boost their sales, so you might want to look into that as well.
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5 Ways to Use Ads to Boost Your Influencer Campaigns
We’ve discussed why you should run social media ads for your influencer campaigns. In the following section, I want to look at some of the ways you can upgrade your influencer campaigns using Facebook and Instagram ads.
The first two points on this list will cover factors you need to consider when using ads to support a campaign. The latter points will look at different approaches you can take to use paid ads to boost the impact of your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Begin With Clear Goals
Having a clear set of goals before you start running Facebook and Instagram influencer ads will help you refine your strategy. For most businesses, the ultimate goal of an influencer marketing campaign is to sell goods or services. If you’re running such a campaign, you must track your Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).
The ROAS is the amount of money you make for every dollar spent on advertising. If your ROAS is positive, you are making money. If your ROAS is negative, you are losing money.
Of course, you might not be selling a product or service. You might, for example, be trying to grow your email list, or increase the number of followers on your social media accounts.
Regardless of the type of your goals, you should still attribute a value to a conversion. For example, you might spend $4 securing a new email subscriber with regular ads. Alternatively, a new Instagram follower might be worth $1 to your business.
Assigning a value to the conversion will help you measure the success of your campaign.
As a marketer, your job is to ensure that you come up with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals. Creating a set of SMART goals will help you determine the value of each campaign so you can measure your success.
2. Decide What Campaigns Need Support
To check which content is performing well, you need to assess your organic performance. Engagement rates vary across industries. Organic performance is often measured using two metrics: reach (the number of people who watched your ad), and impressions (the total number of times your content is displayed, regardless of click-through).
Measuring customer engagement is crucial to your marketing strategy. Likes, comments, shares, and reactions are all part of customer engagement. You need to track these metrics closely to understand your social media ROI.
You need to track your organic performance to decide whether to run paid ads. You can use Google Analytics or use Facebook’s conversion tracking to quantify the results of your campaign.
3. Plan An Event Around Your Campaign
Influencer marketing campaigns can be simplistic. You ask an influencer to mention your product or service, you share a hashtag and the link to your sales page. These types of campaigns do work, however, there’s an assumption here that the image or comment the person shares is interesting enough for their audience to take action.
Unfortunately, due in part to the reduced reach of marketing campaigns, many campaigns like this fail. One way to improve the chance of a successful influencer marketing campaign is to incentivize their audience to take action. For example, competitions are a great way to engage the audience of an Instagram or Facebook influencer to engage with your campaign.
There are several case studies, for example, this one about Bhu Foods, on the Wishpond blog that reveals how you can use competitions as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Offering something for free increases the chance people react to your campaign.
When a person has signed up to win a prize, you can run an email marketing campaign to introduce them to your brand, share the products you offer, and try to generate future sales. Alternatively, you could offer a product or service at a discount to people who entered your competition but didn’t win the prize.
4. Encourage Your Influencers To Get Creative
The creativity of influencers contributes a lot to the success of your marketing campaign. Your partner-influencers are usually extremely talented and can come up with something creative to attract views and engagement.
When you give them free rein to be innovative, you promote yourself as a brand that takes risks and changes the game.
The more creative freedom you give to your influencers, the more they will want to work with you. According to a study by Crowdtap, 77% of influencers like to work with businesses that give them the independence to think and work the way they want.
For instance, Sky TV gave influencers plenty of freedom to promote their Christmas Special, “Roald & Beatrix: The Tale of a Curious Mouse.” You can see AllThatSheIs came up with interesting visuals for her account.
5. Be Transparent With Your Influencers And Audience
Influencers got to where they are because they connect with their audience and make their audience a part of their lives. Transparency is tremendously important to influencers and their audiences.
Influencers put their credibility on the line whenever they work with brands. If their audience feels misled or lied to, they won’t trust them again. So always be transparent about your products, brand, and what you expect.
If your brand is having difficulty reaching out to a specific market segment, you should let your influencer know so they can come up with a strategy for expanding your reach in that market. Sharing your brand guidelines will also help them create content that will represent your brand well while giving them that creative freedom we discussed above.
Remember, influencers know their audiences best. You’ll get the desired results if you give them the freedom to innovate and maintain transparency from the start to end of your ad campaigns.
Companies of all sizes use influencer marketing to engage with potential customers and attempt to sell their products or services. In this guide, I discussed how to use paid ads on Instagram and Facebook to make your influencer marketing campaign a success. The five ways to amplify your Facebook and Instagram Influencer Campaigns I have covered are:
- Begin With Clear Goals
- Decide What Campaigns Need Support
- Plan An Event Around Your Campaign
- Encourage Your Influencers To Get Creative
- Be Transparent With Your Influencers And Audience
When using paid advertising, you must always begin by setting your goals. You need to be able to measure your ROAS. That involves attributing a value to every conversion, whether that is the sale of a product, or getting someone to subscribe to your email list.
Once you have defined your goals, you can then measure the success of your campaign. If you know your funnel converts, you can use ads to scale your campaign.
Of course, paid ads are only effective if your campaign is having success. Using competitions, allowing your influencers to get creative, and being transparent with your audience are all great ways to increase the likelihood of your campaign being successful.
Choosing skilled influencers who fit your brand and building loyal relationships with them will pay off in terms of credibility and sales as long as you follow these guidelines. And you’ll soon be on your way to amplifying your Facebook and Instagram influencer ad campaigns. All the best!
About the Author
By Chris Norton, Founder of insight-led PR agency Prohibition, former University lecturer, author of “Share This Too” and listed in the UK’s top 10 PR and social media bloggers.