We know that influencer marketing can drive some pretty epic results for brands and businesses, yet a lot of the time, marketers aren’t optimizing their influencer campaigns once they have been launched. Publishing content, whether that be a video, Instagram post or blog article, is certainly not the end of the road in the influencer marketing process, and there are still a lot of things that can be done to optimize the collaboration and make it as powerful as possible.
Here we explore optimization of influencer marketing campaigns, why it is important, and how to do it.
What Is Optimization?
In the digital marketing space, optimization is the act of making something optimal for growth and opportunity to ultimately receive additional value. Anything in your digital marketing strategy can be optimized to help it perform better - a Facebook ad, Instagram post, onsite blog content, an influencer campaign, a piece of advertising… optimization can happen anywhere and everywhere. Making small (or large) tweaks and improvements that have a positive impact on the activation are important to drive the best results, so monitor the performance of each pillar of your digital marketing strategy and don’t be afraid to make adjustments when you see something that could be done better.
Why Is Optimization Important?
As influencer marketing is a particularly new space and many marketers are still finding their feet in this area, it is important to complete the entire influencer marketing process and optimize all of your campaigns if you want to drive the best results. Optimize content and relationships to increase your ROI, otherwise, you are not making the most of your influencer marketing efforts. It’s like running a marathon, and then forgetting to cross the finish line.
Of course, there is value in learning from your mistakes and adapting the strategy for next time, however, it is also important to be able to pivot on the fly and make adjustments in real-time. The digital space is constantly changing and evolving, so optimization is critical to scale fast.
How To Know When To Optimize?
In saying all of this, not every influencer campaign is suitable for optimization, and marketers need to understand when to optimize a campaign for additional value, and when to abandon the sinking ship.
Use the data that is available to you to understand whether a campaign is working, or has potential to work, and make your optimizations based on that. It might be the reach and impressions you are looking at, website traffic via Google Analytics or eCommerce conversions from a discount code. More importantly, understand your influencer marketing campaign goals and KPIs and know when they are being reached so you can make them work harder. For example, if your goal is to drive awareness and exposure in a new market, optimize influencer content that is performing well in terms of reach, impressions, engagement and click-throughs. Likewise, if you goal is to increase sales, monitor cost-per-sale, tracking tags, discount codes and eCommerce conversion attributions and optimize the content and/or campaigns that are having the most impact.
It is also important to understand the media value you are receiving from an influencer engagement, so you know when you are getting good value for your money and investment.
14 Ways To Optimize Influencer Content and Campaigns
- Use a content distribution model such as Outbrain to spread your content, or the influencer content, far and wide.
- Boost social media posts with a paid strategy. This works well on Facebook and Instagram because you can increase impressions and reach for a small investment.
- Re-engage the influencer for a second campaign, or work on a long-term partnership agreement.
- Share the influencer content across on your own platforms to drive more engagement with the content. Share it in your newsletter, on your onsite blog and on your social media channel, just ensure you have permission from the influencer and original content creator to do so.
- If the imagery is high-quality and professional, look into purchasing the image rights from the influencer so you can own the copyright, or perhaps agree to a joint-copyright arrangement. This might not always be possible, but it is worth pursuing if you are interested.
- Repurpose the content and campaign and think about how you can turn it into a marketing asset for your own team to use or draw inspiration from.
- Adjust keywords, links and linking text in blog content for increased SEO benefit.
- Make edits to the copy, landing page, call-to-action and hashtags.
- Invest more time, resources and money where an opportunity is available to improve the campaign. Whether that is more product, more budget to sponsor the influencer or more support from your internal team, invest when opportunities are almost guaranteed.
- Work with influencers to distribute content, as well as create their own.
- Make tweaks to the future influencer marketing strategy based on the results.
- Repeat and duplicate the campaign. Consumers love repetition, and it gets them closer to the purchasing end of the sales funnel, so repeat the campaign with the same influencer, or others in a similar space.
- Test different platforms for optimization opportunities on different channels. If an influencer campaign performed well on Instagram, engage the influencer for a Facebook campaign. Likewise, if Instagram didn’t work, perhaps optimizing it on Facebook can present a new opportunity.
- Shift the KPI of the influencer engagement if it is not achieving your intended goal. Just because you want to drive sales, doesn’t mean you necessarily will, so don’t panic if you don't. Instead, shift the goal of the campaign and start driving awareness and exposure.
The beauty of digital marketing is that you can change, pivot, adapt and optimize quickly, and without too much effort. In traditional media, you would have to pull the print ad, or design a new billboard campaign, however in the digital space, you can jump online, make your changes and try again, most of the time without consumers knowing any different. Instead of drawing a line in the sand once the influencer content is live, consider the optimization stage to make the most of your influencer marketing efforts.