Influencer Marketing

PI LIVE London 2022 is done, and we're excited for many other events Marin will be attending over the coming weeks, including Amazon Unboxed in New York this week. But before we close this chapter, we wanted to highlight some of PI Live’s best moments and share what we learned.

Marin sponsored the Pyramid Stage, one of two areas where keynote presentations were shared. And we even had our own Anu Adegbola give a 30 minute session on budgeting strategies for 2023. She is an experienced and accomplished public speaker who shared great insights on budget planning.

Day One Speaking Session Highlights

Speaker Tina Judic, co-founder and Chairman of Tomorrow Group, talked about the importance of AI integration in advertising at the Rakuten Advertising Main Stage and also on the Marin Software Pyramid Stage. Shay Okelola, the Account Director for Neo Media World, described how programmatic has changed the advertising game. Both welcomed all attendees and exhibitors and outlined the schedule for day one.

Budgeting Strategies for 2023

Marin’s Anu Adegbola took the Pyramid Stage to share the best tactics for approaching a budget for the new year, as well as roadblocks that may affect how funds are allocated amongst marketing channels in 2023. Some of the key concepts Anu mentioned include:

  • The 70-20-10 Methodology: 
  • 70% of your marketing initiatives should be proven and tested methods that are almost certainly going to support your business objectives
  • 20% of your marketing initiatives should be new methods or ideas that are somewhat untested for your business, but have had success in the market at large for other competitors
  • 10% of your marketing initiatives should be what you'd call "wild bets," or tactics that are completely out of the box, creative, and untested. This is the best way to find new niche audiences for your products or services.
  • Industry disruptors that will affect budgeting in the new year:
  • Making way for new channel experiments - TikTok, Quora, Reddit and more all have new advertising campaign types that are relatively untested. Start with spending just 5% per month of the total possible allocation for a new channel and tie that spending to tangible deliverables. As you have data to optimize from, you can continuing scaling 5% month over month continuously.
  • Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior for the long haul. One of the lasting effects Covid-19 has had is consumers have dramatically changed their behavior in terms of needs, timing, and what factors influence their purchase decisions. Buyers are still making purchases; but getting into the psyche of how, when, or where your target audience is likely to convert is more complex than it has ever been.
  • The recession is here. Economists across Europe and the US project significant economic downturn in 2023, and many economists say we are already in the midst of a recession that could take several years from which to recover. Price point will be a very high priority for consumers in this next year and beyond.
  • When in doubt…remember you're just frying chips
  • Mark Ritson published an article this past week in MarketingWeek that really beautifully summarized what all budget allocation techniques boil down to. He describes in the article how back in the '90s famous chef Heston Blumenthal became obsessed with making the perfect chip. After hundreds of tests, Blumenthal found the best method for making delicious chips every time was simple. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, freeze, fry, freeze again, fry again. Perfect chips. Every time. Regardless of oil temp or seasoning or what have you…these fries always came out pretty great. 
  • Planning your marketing budgets also should be simple. Here are the "brass tax" points Mark Ritson outlines that will make your budgeting strategy pretty great every time. Regardless of the market, the campaign, or the channel.

Brand-to-Brand Partnerships: The Ultimate Convergence of Brand and Performance

A panel of branding experts from various sectors shared their thoughts on brand-to-brand partnerships at the event. With trackable ROI and consumer trust, this partnership can be a fruitful collaboration for new startup businesses.

Some of the most compelling learnings from this session included:

  • When you partner with someone you can use their content extensively across your different channels to drive ROI.
  • Tech has progressed significantly in terms of carrying out successful brand-to-brand partnerships. Still, there's always that human element that brands can't use a computer for.
  • Smaller brands are really useful for smaller niche audiences. For those clients with specific needs, why not get a partnership from the niche provider?

AT YOUR OWN RISK! 30 Mins Inside the Mind of an Integrated Creative

Jo Arscott, an award-winning Creative Director, shared her approach to storytelling. She made a compelling argument that sometimes shifting your focus away from data and research can actually lead to surprising new business opportunities.

According to Jo, the human imagination is what makes technology such a great asset for creativity. In her experience, digital data both helps and hurts at once - it’s good because it fuels creative ideas but also bad because of exposure and privacy concerns.

State of the Industry: 2022 Affiliate and Partner Marketing Trends

Have you ever wondered how advertisers feel about affiliate marketing? The IAB released a report with insights into the current state of affiliate marketing and presented the results during PI LIVE. Some of the main points that I took away from this talk was:

  • Over the next year, affiliate marketers expect that editorial content will be their biggest source of revenue. Influencers are also very popular and came in second in the poll.
  • Publisher diversity is a huge concern CMOs are currently facing when looking at continued investment in affiliate marketing.
  • IAB saw a correlation between the worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of affiliate marketing, as reflected in survey responses. This suggests that as consumers must tighten their belts financially, buyers will be depending upon recommendations through marketing means they trust to make the best purchase decisions. 

Day Two Speaking Session Highlights

Tapx CEO, Luke Judge and the founder of PlanIt, Steve Cox, hosted a successful second day at the conference. All participants and exhibitors were welcomed and the program of the second day was outlined.

Influencers, Live Shopping & Social Commerce: Affiliate is the Ultimate Conversion Tactic

This panel discussion was an interesting dialogue based on the following statistic - 74% of consumers are making buying decisions based on social recommendations, a number that is worth paying attention to. Here are some of the most valuable learnings from the session: 

  • Influencer marketing in social shopping has a lot of potential. To make the strategy work, you will have to plan everything beforehand and track each campaign individually.
  • Don’t automatically go for influencers that have millions of followers. Often there are smaller accounts that share niche common interests with your brand because these influencers are more likely to drive better results.
  • Humans are not like technology - they can be unpredictable. That’s particularly why you need to make sure contracts with influencers are spelled out and that the influencer is given enough freedom to do their thing.

Fireside Chat with Boohoo: The Value of Unlocking the App for Affiliates

Most affiliate campaigns drive traffic to mobile websites rather than apps, even though the app experience is much better for the user and converts at a higher rate. The content remains significantly lower on mobile sites. Some of the things we learned during this session included:

  • Apps can produce different outputs for different businesses. Boohoo could make an app that's basically the same as their website with a more intuitive conversion process, whereas fintech brands may develop apps to address the need of their customers.
  • Cracking the code to tracking is paramount when coming up with an app for your company. If you are great at explaining how seamless and accurate you app’s tracking really is to your affiliates, they will be happy clients and won’t stop promoting your company.
  • If you're a business looking for some guidance, it can't hurt to use a tech company that offers training and advice when developing your app.

Lessons from 2008: What’s Next for the Recession-Era Affiliate Marketing Industry

This panel with professionals brimming with knowledge provides insights for current economic climate. After attending this session, it is clear that:

  • Facing a decline in sales, luxury brands should consider paying more attention to more accessible products. As an example, consumers may look for a lipstick instead of the Chanel bag, so it's important to promote your products that are at a lower price point rather than the higher value items.
  • Even during a recession, you should not cut your expenditure on marketing. Those who keep investing during testing times are those that remain strong and achieve lifelong brand value.
  • Ensuring you're active on review sites is an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to potential customers. The key is to be sure you have a system in place that lets legitimate reviews through, while filtering out fake ones.

The Learnings Shared Were Compelling, but Networking Opportunities Were the Real Highlight

It was clear the event producers put a lot of effort into selecting an engaging agenda with keynotes, fireside chats and panels on two stages. As always, networking was one of the best parts of the day! On day one, DJ Viv May provided music during lunch. In the evening, there was a cocktail happy hour post-show on the terrace.

On the second day, as the crowd relaxed and got to know one another better, it was great to see that the event brought out so many meaningful marketing conversations. Between the Networking Village, impact.com's Prosecco Lounge, and Webgains' Sports Bar, there were plenty of places to share ideas, exchange contact information, and plant the seeds for potential partnerships. 

At Marin, we're enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with our clients and partners on a personal level. Reach out to join us at one of the other events we'll be attending in the near future. Our team of expert marketing consultants would be happy to host you for a dinner and discuss your marketing strategy for new coming year.

Influencer marketing, which includes businesses collaborating with influencers, is a powerful strategy for brands to broaden their social media reach. It's growing in popularity– over three-quarters of US marketers will employ influencer marketing in 2022. Influencer marketing initiatives are not one-size-fits-all. Much depends on your specialty, goals, and the pool of influencers in your audience. With the right strategy and approach, influencers can help any business reach its marketing objectives.

What exactly is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy in which companies collaborate with influencers (also called content creators) to promote a product, service, or brand. The influencer creates and distributes material about the brand or product, and the business compensates them with cash, free items, or both. Typically, businesses will supply the influencer with whatever product they will be featuring on their platform. To guarantee the influencer will post about your product, you’ll have to pay according to their sponsorship rate sheet. Reach, traffic, engagement, and conversions are the most common influencer marketing KPIs.

The first type of influencer marketing was celebrity endorsements. Social media content creators with highly engaged specialized audiences may now provide more value to marketers than superstars with large but generic followings. This is because social followers find social content producers relevant, trust their suggestions, and are committed to exhibiting their support.

How to plan an influencer marketing campaign

Here are the stages to launching a successful influencer program for your company.

Establish your objective

Like any effective marketing plan, the first step is to define your objectives. Defining your goals for influencer marketing can help you develop a practical approach throughout your campaign. It will also assist you in understanding the metrics you should follow to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.

Below are some good influencer marketing objectives to consider:

  • Boosting brand recognition
  • Increasing your fan base
  • Raising engagement and generating leads
  • Increasing your sales and conversions
  • Boosting brand loyalty
  • Link building for SEO
Image Source

Understand who you're attempting to reach

A successful influencer marketing strategy requires reaching the right people with the appropriate tools and influencers at the right time. Create audience personas to better understand who you're attempting to target with your campaign. Outline specifics regarding your target audience, such as:

  • Chronological age
  • Optimal spending habits or comfort level (if you want to drive sales with your campaign)
  • Their pursuits
  • Geographic location
  • Where they spend their time online.

You have to know your target audience to know which influencers they engage with. The influencer must be relevant to your target audience– otherwise, you’re throwing money down the drain. 

Recognize the guidelines

Before implementing an influencer marketing plan, you must first grasp the guidelines. The Federal Trade Commission establishes those rules in the United States. Transparency is key here. Influencers must also be aware of sponsored content requirements, and they frequently fail to do so. Or the influencer may make the revelation of their sponsorship delicate and partly buried. The restrictions for advertising vary widely by nation, so verify them. The sponsorship must be disclosed to the audience with clarity. Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are simplifying this by adding features that identify a sponsored post as such. 

Consider the three Rs of power

These three factors determine influence:

Relevance

The appropriate influencer for your campaign shares content about your industry and company, and their target audience must be similar to yours.

Reach 

Reach is the number of individuals who could see your material through the influencer's audience base.

Resonance

The influencer's potential degree of engagement with an audience that resonates with your brand is referred to as resonance.

Image Source

Influencers to be considered

The key to a successful collaboration with influencers is trust. Whoever you collaborate with must have your audience's confidence and respect. Without authentic content, your influencer marketing campaign is unlikely to achieve the desired marketing objectives.

The best approach to tell if a prospective influencer is trustworthy is to look at their engagement and the feedback they already receive from their followers in the form of comments, direct messages, likes, and shares. Socialblade is a great tool for doing a closer analysis of each influencer with which you are considering collaboration.

Conduct your research

Your study does not end with creating a shortlist. Before signing any contracts, there are a few more steps to solidify the success of your campaign. Determine how frequently your potential influencer uploads paid material. If they share a lot of sponsored posts, their engagement rate may be lower than what you would like. 5% engagement is generally considered healthy, so keep that in mind as a general rule of thumb. 

Keep the influencer's posting schedule in mind when considering the content you'll want the influencer to share. Any influencer strategic about their approach is very cautious about what promote and when. So if you ask them to share too many pieces of promotional content in a short period, the influencer will reject your offer (or their compensation expectations will increase dramatically).

Reach out privately 

Invading a potential influencer's DMs and asking for collaboration right off the bat may not be the best method to start a relationship. It can sometimes be perceived as too forward and even a bit tacky, so do your best to navigate the start of the connection with care and professionalism. Don't get me wrong: it may be effective to reach out cold, but there are other communication methods for planting seeds that lead to longer-lasting partnerships. Influencers accustomed to working with brands often list an email in their bio for this purpose. Start by engaging with the influencer’s content...Enter their direct messages after establishing an authentic interest in them as an individual and an interest in supporting their content.

Create great content in collaboration with your influencer

A social media influencer who has worked hard to build their brand would refuse any offer that jeopardizes their integrity. So it's better to offer some rules/guidelines on what you want but leave the actual content creation process to them. Content creators know what their audiences resonate with. They can also spot what will be an immediate turnoff. Best practices are to offer talking points and guidelines that the influencer can work into their native content however they see fit.

Analyze your outcomes

When you begin your influencer marketing campaign, the number of likes and comments on your branded content may overwhelm you, especially if your influencer has a significant following. These are vanity metrics that don't accomplish anything for your brand. You must calculate your actual return on investment (ROI) to determine the value of your campaign.

Even though users who engage with the sponsored content might not purchase right away, they are now aware of your brand and have started their journey to becoming a customer. Getting them to follow you or visit your website opens that door.

And even if they don't follow your account, your product will come to mind when a need arises. They can revisit the influencer's post to find the link and make a purchase. That's the power of influencer marketing-- an influencer's audience trusts their recommendations. If a follower needs something, they use the influencer's recommendations to make their purchasing decisions.

Image Source

After running a successful sponsorship, consider pulling the influencer's content and posting it to your own account as a paid ad. This maximizes the value and ROI of the partnership and allows you to reach segments of your target audience that are not already following the influencer, but that would still benefit from the influencer's content.

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives and an essential space for brand discovery. With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has become increasingly important to marketers who want to reach large audiences. Whether you’re just tapping into the power of Instagram or looking to level up your current strategy, we have 5 Instagram hacks that can help you on your Instagram journey.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Meta-commissioned study found that 83% of their survey group use Instagram to discover new products or services, 81% use it to research products and services, and 80% use it to decide whether to purchase a product or service. 54% of people surveyed say they made a purchase either in the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram. In other words, your first impressions on Instagram matter.

The images or videos that you select should convey your message and align with your branding goals while keeping an organic feel to them. Instead of having a lot of text or large brand logos in your photos, think about your target demographic and the type of organic content they’d be most likely to respond to.

Whether you’re running ads on Instagram or not, you should also pay attention to image and video sizing for different types of posts and placements. There are a myriad of different types of posts and placements available when running paid social ads. When choosing an ad type, be sure to keep your business goals in mind. To understand more about the different ad types and how they can help you achieve your goals, check out Meta’s page for more information.  

Additionally, placements play a key role in achieving your goals. This is where you’ll be able to choose whether your ads will be seen on Facebook, Instagram, or both. You’ll also be able to say whether your ads will show up in feeds, stories, in-stream, search, messages, or in apps and sites. Keep in mind that each of these placement types may have different sizing and aspect ratio requirements for your creative. This is important as you want to make sure that as a brand you’re putting your best foot forward to your target audience.   

Boost your Best Content

If you’ve recently made an organic post that had great engagement, try applying a boost to it, which essentially turns that organic post into an Instagram ad. Boosting content is also a great way to make your organic content work harder without having to call on your creative team for special assets. 

If you’re already a post-boosting boss, Marin Social has a tool that can automate your post boosting workflow (aptly named Message Booster). You can use Message Booster to set rules for automatically boosting posts, so you don’t have to lift a finger to take full advantage of this Instagram hack.

ABT = Always Be Testing

The best social experts encourage consistent testing to integrate new ideas, improve on existing strategies, and get the most out of your advertising dollars. Some examples of things you could test on your account are auto placements, audiences, and ad types. If you haven’t run a test before, also think about how you’ll measure success in a quantifiable way. Some common examples of metrics used for this purpose are: Click Through Rate (CTR), Impressions, and Clicks.

Testing is a component of most of the hacks we shared in this article - we always recommend testing new ideas before making them a permanent part of your advertising strategy. To organize and prioritize your tests, try creating and following a testing roadmap. If you want to learn more about how to test ads for performance on Instagram, check out this free course from Meta Blueprint.

MarinOne Social also offers a time saving solution for split testing called Ad Studies. This tool lets you split test at the touch of a button and track the results using Marin Software’s advanced reporting suite.

Know your Audience (or Get to Know Them!)

There are a multitude of different audiences you can target on Instagram. When you decide to target an audience group, make sure you are keeping them in mind when it comes time to create your ads. A college student interested in a popular musician has different social media habits and interests than a retiree interested in recent events.

If you’re unsure of what your audience likes, start with some tests to determine what types of content and ads will work best. 

Be the First to Leverage New Products and Features

New features and releases are great examples of items to add to your testing roadmap. Using a new feature could unlock new possibilities for your ad performance, help you better reach your current audience, and/or help you reach new audiences. If you’re newer to Instagram and are unsure of which features to test first, you can find some ideas here.

If you’re a current Marin customer, your Marin rep will keep you up to date on new features which are released and how we can help you test them. Our partnership with Meta helps keep us at the forefront of new features, so you’ll be one of the first to hear about new features from Instagram!

If you’re interested in learning more about using MarinOne Social for your Instagram ads, reach out to us here.

Sign Up and Get Updates by Email
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.