Influencer Is Outpacing Paid Social: Here’s Why
When social media platforms took off, forward-thinking marketers immediately realised the value of these new brand-building channels. However, many marketers sought to apply mainstream digital advertising strategies — namely, paid ads — to this new and uncharted medium.
While paid social campaigns certainly have value, they aren’t the most impactful way to use social platforms. Influencer marketing has outpaced paid social in terms of efficacy, reach, and impact. Let’s explore why.
The influencer advantage
Social search has exploded, with social networks representing the top product and brand research channel for consumers ages 16 to 34. Social networks are also the second most-used search network among consumers ages 35 to 44.
When it comes to reaching prospects who are conducting brand research on social media, influencers have a clear advantage. Influencers are gaining the upper hand on paid social because of their:
Think back to a time you bought something because a friend recommended it. They weren’t trying to sell you anything but were simply sharing their experience and telling you about a product they loved.
Although influencers are trying to drive sales for their brand partners, they know how to capture the authenticity of a product recommendation from a friend. Instead of making a sales pitch, an influencer presents your product or service in a real-world context, making it more relatable and appealing.
Influencers can leverage their authenticity to attract new customers to your brand and even recapture lost conversions that your paid ads might have put off.
Building trust and credibility with your target audience takes time. When reaching out to prospects, you start at square one. However, an influencer’s followers have already given them a vote of confidence. When an influencer raves about a product or shares a tutorial, their audience listens, trusts, and often acts.
Influencers lend you some of their credibility. They have already built a bond with their audience and can use that relationship to endorse your product. Consumers view their favourite influencers more like trusted friends rather than faceless advertisers.
The best influencers ride the waves of shifting consumer trends. They can effortlessly adapt to the latest trends, algorithm updates, or audience preferences.
Great influencers masterfully weave social trends into their content. Whether it’s a new TikTok dance or the latest meme, influencers have a way of merging product plugs and societal events in a way that resonates with consumers.
Organic reach vs. paid impressions
Paid campaigns certainly have their merits, but the organic reach of an influencer can often eclipse that of a paid ad. Instead of your content getting lost in a sea of ads, an influencer’s endorsement can amplify your brand’s reach. Oftentimes, this leads to a more genuine connection and, ultimately, conversions.
Additionally, influencer content has the potential to go viral. No matter how many people like, share, or interact with your paid ad, it will never catch fire like an organic post can.
Harnessing the power of influencer partnership marketing
The allure of influencer partnership marketing is undeniable, but success lies in understanding that it’s not a numbers game.
Influencer marketing isn’t about getting the person with the most followers to talk about your product or brand; it’s about finding someone who is the right fit. You need an influencer partner whose values align with yours and whose audience matches your target demographic.
Mutual respect, open communication, and clearly defined expectations are the keys to a successful influencer collaboration. These elements form the foundation of a partnership that goes beyond a mere transaction. When done right, this partnership can lead to increased brand awareness and a boost in ROI.
Balancing influencer and paid social strategies
You shouldn’t view influencer partnerships and paid social media as either-or strategies. Instead, treat them as complementary tools that can boost the reach and impact of one another.
Influencers offer authenticity and trust, creating a narrative that resonates with the audience. On the other hand, paid social campaigns allow you to precisely target specific audiences and control ad placement.
A balanced marketing strategy integrates the strengths of both approaches, creating a powerful hybrid that maximises reach and impact.
In the complex realm of influencer marketing, the key is balance. By seamlessly blending influencer partnerships and paid social strategies, you create a comprehensive marketing approach that not only broadens your reach but also deepens your brand’s connection with the audience.
Get influential with Acceleration Partners
Navigating the nuances of influencer partnership marketing isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, either.
With Acceleration Partners as your guide, you can shorten the learning curve, develop a winning partnership strategy, and find the ideal influencers for your brand. Our global team specialises in creating holistic partnership strategies, ensuring that your brand harnesses the full power of social media to achieve unprecedented success.
Helping brands unlock growth through partnerships.