For an almost-perfect paid influencer program recipe – grab your campaign bowl and mix together brand objectives, target audience, one overarching theme, key messaging, guardrails and a handful of interested influencer partners who map back to your goals. To reach Maxwell’s idea of a perfect campaign, add in our not-so-secret ingredient to taste – boosting budget.
Everyone including your friend’s mom on Instagram knows influencers are #thriving right now, especially since the industry’s explosive growth in 2020, now worth almost $10 billion. Brands of all sizes are looking to insert themselves into the competitive digital landscape through influencer marketing for reasons like reaching new audiences, increasing brand awareness and boosting overall ROI. In another post, we detail initial ingredients to consider as your brand cooks up an influencer campaign. If you’re ready to take that simmer to a boil, we recommend holding onto some marketing dollars for boosting influencer-generated content (IGC) once live.
Why should I boost influencer partner content?
As of 2019, Instagram introduced Branded Content Ads—the concept of allowing brands (aka advertisers) to promote IGC (aka turning them into ads directly through the influencer’s page) for reasons including:
- Increasing brand loyalty in a more authentic way: When boosted IGC pops up into a user’s feed, it looks like typical in-feed and/or Instagram Story content from an influencer but is stamped with “Sponsored” and “Paid partnership with” tags. IGC communicates product usage and/or brand services subtly yet more effectively than brand-generated content does. One study notes that 63% of consumers entirely trust the opinions of social media influencers and listen to them like a friend, showing that boosted IGC is more likely to be trusted and engaged with when it appears in feeds vs. a traditional brand ad.
- Extending your brand and partnerships into the feeds of your full targeted audience: Since organic influencer posts likely reaches part of an intended audience, boosting allows you to work with partners without organic reach constraints, since you can curate campaigns per your brand priorities, whether those are:
- Maximizing how many unique accounts see the ad at least once (priority: actual reach)
- Maximizing the number of times a unique account sees the ad (priority: actual impressions)
- Maximizing the percentage of followers who see the ad and like, share or comment on it (priority: engagement rate)
- Increasing conversions from sales, click-throughs and more by making ads shoppable and/or by adding strategic CTAs, i.e. “learn more,” “shop now,” “follow,” etc. (priority: traffic/conversions)
- Nurturing relationships with influencer partners by giving them more exposure: Many partners approve of boosting because they see it as mutually beneficial—both your brand and their personal brand can enter the feeds of new audiences without any spend on their end. However, when your brand sets out on a paid influencer campaign, it is important to be as transparent as possible with your partners about your boosting plans/process, so they know what to expect and they have the opportunity to decide whether to accept or decline these terms in their written agreements.
How do I boost IGC?
Similar to typical brand-generated ads, boosting happens via Facebook Ads Manager.
- Once IGC is live, consider giving it a boost to further grow its reach, impressions, engagement or traffic, depending on your identified brand goals and budget
- Create a new ad campaign under your brand’s Facebook Ads Manager with said brand goals in mind—either an Awareness (reach/impressions), Consideration (engagement) or Conversion campaign (traffic/sales)
- Then for each IGC you’d like to boost, create a new ad set and ad within the designated campaign by curating the budget, timing, target audience, placement, optimization, tracking and finally, selecting the existing IGC post as the ad creative
- Push the boosted post live and monitor its performance, looking for key learnings and opportunities for growth; budget and timing adjustments can still be made after an ad publishes
Essentially, if your brand is running paid influencer campaigns on Instagram, we recommend working with partners who can help communicate your campaign theme and brand messages the best, rather than selecting based on their following, organic reach, etc. This opens up space for your brand to leverage all types of content creators, including Micro and Nano-sized influencers. You can add that extra boost to your campaigns and achieve any campaign goals and/or established key performance indicators by applying marketing spend to Instagram Branded Content Ads. It may add to your partner agreements and campaign execution time, but Maxwell and 2021 influencer marketing trends say go for it.