With ROI at the top of their agenda, marketeers (understandably – we all have targets to reach) often look back at the results of their previous talent and influencer partnerships and wonder what more they could do to deliver against wider marketing and business objectives. The answer to this is amplifying the partnership beyond its organic reach – but from the talent themselves, not the brand. People buy from people and brands need to tailor their paid strategies to this.Let’s look at it this way, you’ve got the perfect talent who shares the brand’s ethos, is an existing advocate of the brand, has a super-engaged audience within the target demographic, and can create high quality, authentic content that seamlessly integrates the brand and call to action. You’ve done your due diligence and checked their conversion power, so you know the results from their existing audience will be good so why not make that go further and deliver wider, outstanding results? In these dynamic times, consumers more than ever want to hear from authentic voices that relate, not brands. They are increasingly engaged with talent-led branded content. According to Campaign, there has been a 76% increase in the number of likes on Instagram sponsored posts and Instagram Lives increased by three times in March 2020, showing that consumers are turning to trusted sources for both support and entertainment. 

Why is paid media spend on talent-produced content so effective?

Through talent-led partnerships which are amplified with media spend, brands can achieve three key objectives; they can tell their stories and share key messages through authentic voices, they can reach new, super-targeted audiences and they can measure effectively. The reason that this works so effectively is that digital-first talent knows their channels and audience better than anyone – they have a creative style and format that drives high engagement and results, which means marketers can tell their brand story in a way that makes their target audience take action. Through such bespoke content, talent provides brands with authentic endorsements that move consumers further along the journey. This, coupled with the strong communities they have built, provides a strong foundation from which to scale and drive consumer action with media spend. It also extends the longevity of the partnership for weeks, without fatigue by consistently reaching a new audience each time.

Putting paid media spend behind talent content is the next step to reaching millions of people with similar demographics, behaviours and interests to the talent’s audience. According to the MediaKix 2019 survey, 89% of people said ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. It’s a no brainer to add talent-led advertising to your marketing mix and to include paid media for effective talent content amplification.

As you can see from this, the notion that ‘influencer’ or talent-led marketing isn’t measurable is a myth and this is just the beginning, measurement can go so much further. Brands can truly understand the impact of talent-led marketing in achieving their business goals, looking at all different stages of the customer journey.  

How do brands create the right strategy to drive maximum ROI against their objectives?

There is often concern amongst marketers that they will run talent-produced ads with paid media spend and not achieve the results they had hoped for, attract the wrong target audience or be unable to tell if they’ve actually reached the community they wanted. Putting the right strategy in place will mitigate this risk, ensure brands reach the right target audience and deliver a cost-effective campaign with a strong ROI.  Boosting a talent’s content is not all about reaching as many people as possible. With an organic partnership, you wouldn’t just choose talent for their follower count alone, you would look at audience demographics, creative style, engagement and conversion power too – and its no different with paid media. A brand’s paid media strategy must align with their true business objectives, so it’s important that brands do their research and think about every stage of the marketing funnel before pressing the live button.   Tailoring content to the brand’s key goals and objectives is also key and with talent-led partnerships, the brand has the beauty of collaboration and a deep understanding of an audience to ensure success. If a brand is planning to boost awareness and reach, then they should build brand and product hype with the talent’s tone and style. If a brand is looking to reach consumers at mid-funnel level, they should work with talent to create content that changes brand perception and convinces the brand’s future customers to commit to an action. Bottom of the funnel action can also be achieved by developing urgency and reminders to get consumers over the finishing line to purchase. Brands must lean on the talent’s creative prowess to achieve this.Building an impactful, cost-effective strategy for a campaign needs an effective tool to collate and compare organic results, and build benchmarks per talent and content formats, coupled with considering the sentiment and audience feedback generated from a highly engaged community. With the paid media boost, brands are able to dig deeper into the benchmarks and cost efficiencies. Partnering with the right effectiveness agency to look beyond the channel metrics and align with your business goals will help achieve this.

Reaching consumers at every stage of the journey

In summary, putting media spend behind talent-produced content is so effective as talent can reach consumers at every stage of their journey to purchase by producing attention-grabbing content with authentic endorsements. With paid media to amplify, brands can reach targeted audiences beyond the
brand’s and talent’s organic following to audiences who are pre-disposed to positively receive the talent content (both as an audience and in terms of platform context), reaching outstanding ROI.
By producing organic content and ads, brands can access the metrics that count and build an effective marketing strategy with influence as a legitimate channel within the mix. Long-term campaign planning on this basis also allows for ever-improving efficiencies through continued talent and content testing.

By Asif Rahman and Tajah Brown, Gleam Solutions

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