CONNECTING MICRO-INFLUENCERS TO SALES AND DIRECT ROI
When building out marketing campaigns, a lot of brands are setting aside a portion of their budget to run micro-influencer campaigns. Traditionally, the main objective has been to develop content that drives higher engagement and brand awareness. Reach and engagement can be measured from the influencer’s channels by looking at their post stats or leveraging API integrations from the platform. And while awareness and engagement is great, it can not be tangibly tied to revenue and dollars. So, the million dollar question is how do you show definitive ROI connected to the influencer’s post? How do you really know if a post leads directly to sales or conversions?
The unfortunate truth is that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
The good news is there are steps you can take to leverage micro-influencer content that can help you tie it back to these key metrics.
There are a couple of different ways to do that, and both of them involve leveraging paid media budget against the micro-influencer content. While that does mean additional investment is needed, that access to social media platforms’ robust data- particularly Ads Manager with Facebook and Instagram- is well worth the cost.
Amplifying Influencer Content
Influencer content amplification- also known as boosting- is a great way to leverage micro-influencer campaigns. So, what exactly is boosting?
Basically, it just means putting paid media behind an influencer’s post. So while you control the media spend, the audience sees the content on the influencer’s handle. Some of the key benefits of this tactic are:
By implementing a CTA overlay you can promote the post to the influencer’s followers and additional audiences- whether that’s lookalikes or new lists you provide- to drive engagement off the platform and to a point-of purchase (like your website or Amazon)
You can add UTM tags and Facebook pixels to track traffic sources to the CTA links- providing clear direction on how each post impacts your sales
Even if you aren’t trying to tie directly to sales, boosting influencer content is still a tactic you might want to explore. Some additional benefits are:
Most influencer content loses its organic impact within 24 hours. By boosting the posts you can increase the amount of time that content is relevant and working for your brand.
For niche targeting, boosting can also be extremely helpful. Niche micro-influencers might not have that large of a reach- but you can reach similar audiences by targeting them using Ad Manager to find look-alike audiences for your influencers. Reaching larger audiences with content that resonates with them.
Let’s say you are trying to reach a super specific demographic- your consumers are ONLY in Plattsburgh, NY. By leveraging boosted posts you are no longer limited to only activating influencers in Plattsburgh. You can have an influencer who fits the target demo in another city or even state create the content. Then use paid media in boosting to target that post so it ONLY goes to people in Plattsburgh!
Basically, boosting allows you to choose the audience and CTA strategically and more accurately track traffic and consumer actions, all while maintaining the essence of authenticity.
And at the end of the day that’s why micro-influencers have been so successful. They are real people creating real, authentic content that people relate to and trust. Boosting posts allows you to harness that power, and target it to create measurable results.
Repurposing Micro-influencer Content
The other way that brands are able to successfully leverage micro-influencer campaigns and tie them to ROI is relatively straight forward. Use the influencer content in your brand’s paid social ads. While this sounds simple, it’s a tactic that can provide tremendous success. Here are some key reasons why you should consider repurposing content in your paid media:
You can use the content to help build consumer association with your own brand vs. that of an influencer- which if it is content they relate to can go a long way to creating brand affinity
You control the call to action and can track with UTM and pixels- same as with boosting- but you also have the ability to auto optimize the content. Pick a few different pieces from different influencers and test how they perform on your channel with different audiences.
Similar to amplifying influencer content, repurposing micro-influencer content has some key benefits for all campaign KPIs (whether it’s awareness or sales driven). Some of these are:
Social platforms are pretty clear that authentic content optimized for the platform performs best in paid. Your micro-influencer content is native to the platform and created by real people- making it more authentic than other content options. And unlike true user generated content, influencer generated content has already been carefully curated to meet brand requirements.
Facebook displays hyper-targeted ads more often than non-targeted ads, and charges less for them. Marketers can target ads with over 120 options. Because the cost of someone viewing your ad is directly related to your relevance score, and your relevance score is directly related to your visual creative, running creative that fails to resonate with the audience costs money. Repurposing micro-influencer content allows you to use personalized, one-to-one content for different demographics and interests- increasing your odds of success.
At one point, it was normal for an influencer to expect an individual post to reach approximately 70% of their total audience. Now it’s estimated to more likely be 30-40%. Organic reach overall has gone down due to the social media platform algorithms of how their users get served content- using relevancy to create tailored feeds for each user. But since ads are often targeted, that means less room for organic content and therefore, declining organic reach. To make up for that lost organic reach, brands can- and should- post the content to their own paid channels to increase total reach.
Using the content on your own channels extends the lifespan and benefits of your micro-influencer campaign, and allows you to control how the content is optimized and targeted, not to mention where it sends your consumers. It also guarantees a place in your target audience’s feed based on paid impressions vs. depending on diminishing organic reach. And because all of the data is available through social media advertising tools, you can track exactly what impact the ad has on sales and ROI.
Connecting the Dots between Influencer and Paid Media Strategy
Basically the best practice as a marketer is understanding how Influencer campaigns and paid marketing strategies work together- there is an undeniable synergy that can help yield great results. And in order to really make your influencer content drive the best results that you can definitively track, you need to leverage paid media. The great news is the micro-influencer distribution performance can help you determine which content you want to leverage further- look at how content is performing on their social channels natively and then continue to amplify that success further. It’s a great idea to use the performance you see on their own platforms directionally to determine how you want to allocate your media spend.
The bottom line is micro-influencer content marketing is an incredible asset for markets to leverage beyond the traditional campaign distribution channels. And even though you have to exert a bit more effort and media investment to do so, the ability to tie it directly to sales and ROI- in addition to the other benefits- probably makes it worth it.