Traditional influencer marketing is a fast-maturing industry, where its global value is expected to reach around $10 billion USD in 2020. When executed efficiently, this discipline can deliver powerful and significant results for brands and agencies.
A typical influencer campaign features ten to twenty influencers working simultaneously. Our internal proprietary research has informed us that it takes approximately ten hours per influencer to run a campaign. We spoke to a large number of advertisers to understand the current challenges around influencer outreach. In the process, we learned that to close a deal with an influencer is indeed a time-intensive exercise as it involves identification, validation on audience types, availability of the influencer to conduct a post, lengthy discussions and negotiations, and finally campaign execution. Cumulatively, we came to a number that denotes the effort in terms of time required to run an influencer campaign with a single influencer.
Activating an influencer campaign
Typically when activating an influencer campaign, the process starts with approaching an influencer with a campaign brief, reviewing available influencers, approving talent, finalising details with the influencer, and the influencer producing and uploading the content. After this, clients provide feedback, and ads are run supporting influencer posts.
This entire process is time-intensive and it’s virtually impossible to exploit this space manually. Imagine reaching out to thousands of influencers across the globe in a day. It’s just not feasible. Brands and advertisers should precisely know how their product or service is aligned with their target audiences.
This is where programmatic influencer marketing can provide incredible value and scale. Machine learning algorithms can connect both brands and advertisers with optimally aligned influencers. Programmatic influencer marketing can empower both brands and agencies to enable influencers to create content for a campaign that supports specific desired criteria. The campaign targeting and requirements of brands are analysed by algorithms, which are engineered to search for well-matched influencers and advertisers. Influencers then create content that must match a brand’s needs. Programmatic influencer systems can recommend the optimum times to publish content, ensuring that the content is performing well.
The key strength of a programmatic influencer marketing platform is to deliver reach and scale via the utilisation of a vast network of nano and micro-influencers. An individual nano or micro-influencer might look irrelevant to a brand or agency but when combined in volume, this generates a high level of credibility, and importantly, trust in their marketing communications. A nano or micro-influencer shares a strong bond with their audiences. They often reply directly and appreciate the views of their followers. This active engagement is crucial for the success of an influencer campaign.
The selection of influencers and scheduling of the posts is optimised automatically for every new piece of content that is published. This methodology delivers far more precision than analysing each influencer manually. It helps brands to increase their reach to large audiences, and the process remains fully automated.
Programmatic influencer technology can afford brands and agencies with incredible control over their campaigns. This includes managing budget parameters for each individual influencer, discovering and aligning the right influencers for specific campaigns, therefore optimising performance results. And since the whole process is automated, the probability for ad fraud is reduced. Another benefit of this strategy is that both brands and advertisers don’t have to stump up to pay before campaign activation as the whole process is pay-for-performance campaign marketing.
Influencer media buying
Brands should take care when they are applying the programmatic strategy to their influencer media buying. It’s critical to understand the audience mix of the influencer for the effectiveness of the campaign. Therefore, brands should consider a programmatic platform that can validate the authenticity and interest of the followers to align with the campaign goal. The programmatic platform should also help brands with the smart suggestions on the time and frequency of influencer posts for maximum reach.
Prior to executing a programmatic influencer campaign, brands should integrate the events or goal postbacks with an influencer platform in order to optimise campaign delivery. Your programmatic platform must know about the effectiveness of the campaign on individual influencers to maximise ROI and provide the required scale. The effectiveness of an influencer campaign can be maximised when it is executed by a large number of influencers rather than a small group of influencers. This helps the campaign to achieve greater visibility and a higher chance to achieve significant virality. Programmatic platforms can enable brands and agencies to achieve this goal in the simplest way possible. One should ensure that the budget is split amongst several nano and micro-influencers, with a significant focus on influencers with high audience engagement.
Influencer marketing has revolutionised marketing and it is about to enter a new phase of evolution. Brands and agencies are well-advised to explore the new frontier of marrying proven programmatic technologies and trusted influencer marketing principles.