OPTIMIZING Influencer Marketing PROGRAMS in Real-Time is Now Essential
One-off influencer marketing campaigns are a thing of the past - or at least they should be. If you're still running quick, turn-key influencer programs, they may have their benefits but you're likely missing out on the numerous optimizations that can be made throughout a longer, multi-phase initiative.
At Carusele, our approach to influencer marketing has shifted to an ongoing, real-time optimized methodology that's proven to drive increasingly better results for our clients. So if your influencer team has been struggling to show real business results, here's how to turn the tables.
Pro tip before we go too deep into the optimizations below. It's important that you first identify the true objective of your influencer marketing strategy. Are you going for reach/impressions, action/engagements, web traffic, or conversions? Pick the ONE goal you're aiming for and keep that specific goal in mind as you move through each of these optimization tactics.
How to Optimize Your Influencer Content
Depending on the objective that you outlined above, you're influencers will be creating different types of content (blog posts, IG Stories, Facebook Lives, etc. optimized for your goal). But no matter the type, you need to set up a system that allows you to measure the performance of each of these assets in real-time. On average, about 25% of the content organically outperforms the rest, so that system will help you identify assets that are driving the most results for your campaign objective.
We use our Content Performance Index™ and constantly run live content through the algorithm to see which assets are outperforming the rest. But it doesn't stop there. If you've learned anything over the past few years in this industry, you know you can't leave anything to an algorithm alone. Each one of these assets is then manually cross-referenced to ensure performance is high for the right reason. Monitoring the comments is a great way to gut check performance. If everyone is talking about the influencer's haircut and no one is mentioning your food brand that's featured, that's not a post you want to prioritize.
Now that you can see what type of content is organically performing well, use those insights to guide the influencers in the next phases of your campaign to create content that aligns. You'll also want to keep this content handy for you amplification strategy and for when/if you're repurposing assets on brand owned channels.
>> READ ON: 5 Considerations to Help Simplify Influencer Content Approvals. If you're a brand that requires all content be approved before it goes live, here's how you can simplify that process from the start.
How to Optimize Your Paid Media Strategy
You know better than to set it and forget it when it comes to media buying, but make sure that approach still applies to the paid media you're running for your influencer marketing campaigns. First, if you're not running paid media with your influencer campaign, you should be because we all know organic reach is pretty much dead. Second, depending on how you're running paid media, you may have more optimization options available.
Our preferred approach is to run ads directly from the influencers social accounts. This is because you now have access to the full suite of targeting and optimization capabilities versus using a third-party or simply hitting the boost button. What this really means is you can now implement ads on multiple channels versus being limited to the channel in which it was natively published. You're also able to change up the ad unit you're using (either changing the unit altogether or easily switching out images in a post).
>> READ ON: How to Amplify Influencer Content with Paid Media. Here's a breakdown of four ways you can run paid media that supports your influencer initiatives.
How to Optimize Your Audience Targeting
At the beginning of each campaign you start to paint of picture of the audience that you're looking to target, but as the data starts to roll in there will be things that you start to learn about your audience that you can use to your advantage. Our Engaged Audience Profiles™ compile a fuller picture of the audience who interacted with the campaign which we'll then use to adjust future phase targeting in our amplification strategy.
Pro Tip: Look-A-Like Audiences are your friend. We've seen these audiences convert as much as 2x better than traditional targeting methods.
>> READ ON: Instagram Influencers with Highly Engaged Audiences. We've broken down a list of partners who have proven to drive measurable results from our clients most wanted platform.
How to Optimize Your Influencer Partnerships
Too many marketers focus on the total number of influencers they can activate in a single campaign, when in reality you can partner with some of the same influencers throughout the different phases of your program. This is not only going to save you money, but it's also going to build more trust among said influencers audience when they're now acting as an ambassador of your brand.
To successfully achieve these optimizations, you'll need to evaluate each influencers performance at the end of each phase. You'll need to take into consideration here several things such as the influencers costs, the value of content the content they produced, as well as how their content performed to goal. We developed an iStack™ ranking that allows us to compare influencer performance in an apples-to-apples fashion, making it easy to see which influencers we'd want to consider partnering with again.
>>READ ON: 5 Things to Consider When Evaluating an Influencer's Performance. When measuring the ROI of you campaign, here's a more in-depth breakdown on evaluating your influencer's performance.
This approach to influencer marketing is vastly different than traditional methods. If you're still running programs where you hire as many influencers as possible and hope the content reaches your target audience, it's time to step up your game. Especially as new research indicates social network engagement is declining for both brands and influencers as a results of the algorithms.
If you're in the market for some assistance running your influencer campaigns, contact our agency using the form below! We can either help your in-house team with our a-la-carte services or fully manage the campaign on your behalf.