Influencer Marketing and Performance-based Advertising can Grow Your Brand with Great ROI
If you’re looking to promote your brand and get the best return on investment, look no further than the dynamic duo of influencer marketing and performance-based advertising! It’s no secret that influencer marketing, which puts an influencer’s status to work for your brand, is highly effective in getting the word out about your brand or business. Furthermore, performance-based advertising’s pay-as-you-go pricing model is the preferred method of advertising for many brands looking to market themselves since it yields quantifiable results. With their powers combined, these approaches offer an impressive return on investment (ROI) that is difficult to deny.
Advertisers/brands have been seeing incredible results from using their influencer’s content in their ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Google Display Network and other relevant advertising platforms. If you’re looking to boost your brand, influencer marketing should be on your radar!
When many folks hear of influencer marketing, their thoughts immediately turn to celebrities. Celebrity endorsements used to be incredibly popular, but social media influencers are fast becoming more influential than even traditional celebrities like musicians, sports stars, and actors. Hollywood personalities are meticulously curated, and such celebrities have an almost god-like status. They’re put on a pedestal, which actually results in it being more difficult for regular folks like us to relate to.
Online influencers are usually regular, everyday people who rose to online “fame.” Their humble beginnings mean they come off as more genuine and down-to-earth to the average Joe. They’re more relatable and generally viewed as more trustworthy than traditional celebrities. When they recommend something, whether it be a product, service, or brand, it actually means something to their followers.
If you feel like a social media star or prolific YouTuber is too flashy and doesn’t have much in common with your brand’s message, you’ll be happy to know that influencers come in all shapes and sizes. An influencer can even be a journalist, blogger, or other expert in your brand’s industry or niche. Influencers typically fall into one of these categories:
Mega-Influencer These are the influencers that come to mind for many people when they hear the word “influencer.” These personalities have practically achieved celebrity status (if they weren’t celebrities already) and typically have millions of followers. If the goal of your marketing campaign is maximum reach without really having a target niche in mind, mega-influencers are your solution. That being said, partnering with a mega-influencer can cost you the big bucks.
Macro-Influencer A macro-influencer typically won’t be a traditional celebrity, but they’ll still have a huge following of a few hundred thousand or more. They still cast a wide net in terms of reach, but won’t run a huge price tag like a mega-influencer.
Micro-Influencer Micro-influencers are sort of the “sweet spot” of influencer marketing. These influencers are usually an expert or authority in a niche or industry and have thousands of followers. The key here is that they have very targeted reach and have connections and sway with audiences that advertisers love to work with. They’re relatively inexpensive to work with, but they have highly engaged, enthusiastic followers that won’t just get you reach, but those coveted clicks, likes, shares, and sales.
Nano-Influencer There’s a lot of buzz right now around nano-influencers, and for good reason! They’re influencers in a certain geographical area, typically local, and boast high levels of engagement. Pairing up with these influencers give your brand a boost of authenticity.
So, you don’t necessarily have to pair up with a mega- or macro-influencer to spread the word about your brand and achieve your desired ROI. That’s why influencer marketing is increasingly centered around engagement and not what are frequently misleading follower counts, that too often are falsely equated with reach. There are plenty of self-proclaimed influencers who want nothing more than to cash in on the influencer marketing craze by padding their follower counts with bots and fake accounts. You should seek to partner with an influencer who has high levels of engagement with their followers.
Let’s Talk ROI
What sort of ROI are we looking at with influencer marketing? There are lots of numbers being thrown around when it comes to quantifying ROI on influencer marketing, but estimates range from $5.78 to $6.50 per dollar spent. That’s an average of approximately 500% return on investment for influencer marketing, which isn’t anything to scoff at! This is one of the reasons influencer marketing is quickly outpacing other marketing methods. Influencer marketing already tops many marketing strategies that brands have turned to in the past, including paid searches, affiliate marketing, text/banner advertising, and even e-mail marketing.
But what makes influencer marketing so effective in terms of ROI? Simple! Partnering with an influencer gains you access to their highly engaged and loyal audience. This, in turn, increases your brand’s visibility. Paired with an influencer’s characteristically enthusiastic following (due to the innate trustworthiness of influencers in their circle), a targeted influencer marketing campaign can result not only in superficial buzz, but concrete, measurable results. Furthermore, the content an influencer produces for your brand is incredibly valuable and can be integrated into your other advertising campaigns across different platforms. A little bit of branded content by an influencer goes a long way!
Performance-based advertising has long been a staple of digital marketing solutions. It hinges on analytics that look at performance, that is, the measurable results you look to see from your marketing campaign. Whether that be traffic to your website, sales, or even signups to your company’s newsletter, all of these metrics can be utilized in performance-based advertising, in which you only pay when you get measurable results. Some examples of performance-based advertising pricing models include:
CPM (cost-per-mille) Advertisers pay for impressions, or views, of their ads.
CPC (cost-per-click) Overcomes a lot of the issues of CPM by charging advertisers only when their ads are clicked on.
CPL (cost-per-lead) The advertiser only pays for leads. In other words, if a potential client provides their contact information or “signs up” with the advertiser, the advertiser is charged.
CPA (cost-per-acquisition) While often used interchangeably with CPL, CPA is more generalized, in that advertisers only pay for a desired action. While that may be the consumer “signing up,” it can include other actions, such as the consumer completing an online purchase on the advertiser’s website.
Performance-based advertising leaves no one guessing about the results of a marketing campaign, and compensation isn’t arbitrary, it’s based fairly upon agreed-upon terms and conditions. It also incentivizes advertising partners to maximize the performance of the advertising they do for your brand. For advertisers, it also has lower up-front costs than other forms of advertising.
ROI is a Given
The beauty of performance-based advertising is that ROI is pretty much a given. Since you’re only paying for results, you’re not paying for ineffectual advertising. Of course, CPM and CPC don’t directly translate to leads or sales, whereas CPL and CPA advertising result in you only paying for those desired actions or conversions. But each model has its strengths. CPM capitalizes on reach and visibility, CPC takes advantage of engagement, but CPL and CPA take it a step further by prioritizing the enthusiasm generated by an effective marketing campaign.
A Match Made in Heaven
At face value, both influencer marketing and performance-based advertising yield high ROI. Pursuing both of these approaches separately will certainly get the word out about your brand with an impressive return on investment. However, you may want to consider looking into an integrated approach, combining performance-based advertising and influencer marketing.
One of the top concerns from advertisers considering influencer marketing is the up-front cost. Pairing with a prolific influencer, even if it’s just in your brand’s niche or industry, certainly has some up-front costs if you’ll be paying them in a flat fee or providing them with products or services to try. While the extent of these costs is often exaggerated in the same collective imagination that typically envisions mega-influencer celebrities, it would be disingenuous for us to imply there are no associated costs at all!
Furthermore, even if influencer marketing as a whole has the potential for an impressive ROI, there’s no guarantee your marketing campaign won’t fall flat on its face. Every business, every brand, and even every influencer has their flops, and of course we don’t want it to happen to us. But if you’re paying up-front, the prospect of a potentially low-return venture isn’t appealing and can be a source of anxiety if you’re not 100% certain of an influencer’s reputation.
Paying influencers flat fees for promotions can be like a double-edged sword. They won’t care if your brand promotion doesn’t result in the engagement and conversions you’re looking for, and if your promotion outperforms expectations, the influencer may feel taken advantage of. The key to influencer marketing is leveraging relationships, and not just the relationship between the influencer and their followers! If you forge a positive relationship with an influencer, they’re more likely to continue framing your brand in a positive light even after your partnership formally ends. It will also increase the likelihood of that influencer wanting to work with your brand again in the future.
Gives Influencers a Stake in Your Brand
It’s just plain common sense: if you have a stake in something, you’re more likely to give it your all. Influencers are masterful content creators, but if they’re going to get paid no matter how your campaign performs, there’s little to no incentive for them to create high-quality content. By engaging in performance-based influencer marketing, influencers actively have a stake in how engaging the content they produce for your brand is, because if it underperforms, they’re just not going to get paid. On the other hand, if they go above and beyond, creating genuine content that really resonates with their audience for your brand, they’ll be rewarded for all that legwork. Performance-based marketing inclines influencers to leverage the connection they have with their followers through the content they create for you. Then, when your partnership is a success, they’ll be cheering right alongside you when you achieve peak ROI!
Weeds Out Faux Influencers
It can happen to the best of us: you partner up with an influencer, only to discover that the whole shebang was just smoke and mirrors. Performance-based marketing weeds out influencers who seem legitimate because of their follower count, or even because they appear to have high levels of engagement. The fact is, anyone can amass (or purchase) followers, and some more sophisticated schemes have even gone so far as to fake engagement. Unfortunately, these faux influencers can’t back those numbers up with real engagement, which means partnering with one of them is almost certainly destined to fail. However, with performance-based partnerships, you only pay for results!
Takes the Guesswork Out of Compensation
How much do you pay an influencer? Is it based on their follower count, engagement rate, or reach? Some influencers have their own rules for pricing based on word count, post type, or even turnaround times. There are a lot of variables to take into account, which is why flat fees are difficult to pin down. By going with performance-based compensation, it gets everyone on the same page and takes the guesswork out of determining a fair amount.
Your Experts in Influencer Marketing and Performance-Based Advertising
If you’re looking to get a leg up over your competition with the promotion of your brand while maximizing ROI, look no further than Experience Advertising. We’re an established online marketing agency with over a decade of experience in performance-based advertising and we work with an impressive database of influencers from many industries and niches. Not only do we actively scout for new influencers to partner with, we already have established connections with past clients and contacts in the wide world of web-based influencers. We offer full-service influencer marketing solutions that, paired with our wealth of experience in performance-based advertising, can kick your promotions into high gear and get the word out about your brand. If you’d like to learn more about what influencer marketing and performance-based advertising can do together for your marketing strategy, drop us a line today!
Evan is the CEO and Founder of Experience Advertising. He has more than 20 years experience and background with ecommerce website marketing. His skill sets include: search engine marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, conversion rate optimization, and other traffic driving and community building strategies.
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