Affiliate content has skyrocketed in popularity alongside social media marketing and other digital marketing tactics. Since social platforms have inconsistent monetization policies, influencer content offers creators a way to vouch for their favorite brands while generating income. Lifestyle brands, in particular, can align themselves with creators whose audiences overlap with their own.
Lauren Neels, Customer Engagement Manager and Marin Software’s resident expert on all things related to ecommerce, paid search, and digital marketing, shares some valuable insights about how lifestyle brands can use creator content to reach highly specific audiences more effectively.
How influencer content can help brands reach their audience
Shed the negative perceptions associated with advertising
While advertisements used to be a popular way to reach large audiences, viewers seem to have had enough. According to research from Statista, 41% of people online find themselves regularly annoyed by advertisements. More than a quarter of web surfers went as far as installing ad blockers to make their browsing experience better.
Advertisements are everywhere but Lauren shares that “people are more likely to trust influencer content since it comes from trusted creators that already have a relationship with their audience. This is evidenced by higher conversion rates experienced by businesses that leverage this type of content in their marketing campaigns.”
Allow your customers to engage with your content using actionable touchpoints
It’s not enough for your customers to view your content. Businesses must be able to measure how their ads are performing and ensure that each investment is yielding the appropriate results.
“Affiliate content is generally better than television ads for businesses that want to engage with the customer. This content is usually clickable or has some other CTA that customers can actively engage with,” Lauren shares.
Encourage greater conversion rates compared to cheaper outreach alternatives
Businesses can sometimes show a preference for alternatives such as television or billboard advertising. However, each method of outreach has a place within a greater marketing campaign.
Lauren explains that “paid ads work well for people who already have intent to purchase, but are less effective when people need convincing. Influencer content would be more effective at convincing or when trying to build a brand.”
Influencer content can be repurposed as paid social media posts or ads if needed
Some influencers have very niche audiences, but the reach of their content can be amplified when it is converted or repurposed as paid social media posts. However, Lauren warns that when creator content is converted to paid ads, “not all of that audience has chosen to follow that influencer so some of the trust won’t carry through to the new, wider audience. Conversion rates could go down but your reach is larger. This could help brand awareness, and boosted creator content would still have more trustworthiness than just a paid ad.”
Things to keep in mind while engaging creators for content
Social media trends often change before businesses can hop on them
All social media marketers are intimately aware of how quickly trends can change online. What is fashionable and topical today might be outdated next week. Businesses must always have their finger on the pulse of running trends and have employees that understand these trends to take charge of marketing campaigns that need to run alongside certain fads.
“If trends change before your approval process is complete, you’re too late. Millennials, for example, have a good idea of how trends work online. Put them in charge and trust them when it comes to trends and how to use them for effective marketing,” Lauren suggests.
Trends can differ wildly across platforms, content types, and audiences
Marketers often view social media as an effective channel for reaching younger audiences but each platform is unique. Trends, content types, audience demographics and more can differ significantly from platform to platform. TikTok, for example, is more likely to host a younger audience with a preference for short-form video content while Facebook is more likely to host a middle-aged audience with a preference for image-based content.
Background checks should be conducted for every collaborator you work with
When businesses sponsor a particular creator, they connect the brand with the creator in the minds of the viewer. While this can be a powerful way to gain the trust of customers, it also means that any misdemeanor committed by the creator can be associated with the brand or can lead to backlash against the brand.
“While apologies are more readily accepted now, it is always better to be in a position where an apology is not required at all,” Lauren recommends that you should “do your research to check the background of people you might be sponsoring to make sure they’re legitimate and not problematic.”
Rates can vary greatly depending on a creator’s reach, engagement, and more
As audiences become more diverse and use more social media channels, marketers must be strategic in how they spend on each platform and each creator. Marketers must always measure how much a creator is charging against their reach, engagement, history, alignment with the brand, and more. Each of these factors can lead to great variations in asking price from the influencer.
Affiliate or influencer content should be part of a larger marketing strategy
Affiliate content is a great way to reach targeted audiences and improve engagement rates with the brand. However, it’s not enough for a marketing team to rely exclusively on affiliate or influencer content. Like every other marketing method, creator content should be a smaller part in a larger marketing strategy designed to cover all of a business’ customer bases.
MarinOne’s modern optimization solution helps marketers ensure that each dollar spent on partner content and other marketing strategies yields maximum results. Our paid advertising management solutions creates automated recommendations to optimize your marketing configurations that will improve return on investment.
If you would like to reach your customers with relatable and likable content, reach out for a free demo of our solution today.