In the past couple of years, influencer marketing has seen significant growth as a go-to channel for brands to boost both revenue and brand awareness, with the global market expected to be worth $21.1bn by 2023.
In 2023, two-thirds (67%) of marketers surveyed by the Influencer Marketing Hub said they planned to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next 12 months, and more than 80% said they intend to create a dedicated budget for it. But why?
The reality is that, for 45% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers in particular, recommendations from influencers on social media lead to product purchases, with over a third of marketers claiming influencer content outperformed brand-created content in the US in 2021.
In light of all this growth, the technology used to track campaigns has to keep up. Over the next couple of years, we’re likely to see more industry collaboration, as various point solutions join forces to offer a more holistic solution for brand marketers.
Here at impact.com, for instance, the acquisition of two companies (Mediarails and ACTIVATE) has enabled us to boost our top-of-funnel offering to support partnerships for brands, bringing the whole partnership lifecycle together under one roof – from contracting, payments, tracking and reporting to discovery, recruiting, CRM, and influencer profiling.
By leveraging new automation technology, brands are now able to find creators and influencers at scale using trigger notifications throughout the customer journey. As a result, partnership management platforms are now also building trusted networks of creators who are experts on their audiences and the content that appeals to them.
Making the most of influencer marketing
For brands looking to start using creators or influencers as an additional marketing channel, or improve their existing campaign process, here are three tips to succeed:
Use evolved performance-based payment models
Paying influencers fairly has long been a challenge, particularly for brands using influencer marketing at scale. However, new cost-per-action payment models ensure brands only pay when partners drive tangible actions, such as new subscriptions, purchases and sign-ups. Other payment model brands can use include:
- Participation bonuses that reward partners for top-of-funnel contributions to brand awareness
- Hybrid models that involve a flat fee plus performance and/or participation bonuses
- Giving partners free products or services for content creation
- Monthly payouts which can either consist of flat fees per project or fixed monthly fees
- Tiered fees that serve as a reward strategy to help motivate partners to drive more traffic and sales.
Our latest research in partnership with WARC reveals marketers’ and influencers’ top choice for compensation is a flat fee (per project or campaign).
Regardless of preferred payment method, the crux is having the technology to facilitate payments to influencers at scale. A partnership management platform is the most effective way to manage multiple payment methods for hundreds or thousands of influencers.
Increase data security
With cyber-attacks only increasing in prevalence, brands need to make data security a priority for both them and the partners they choose to work with.
One way to achieve stronger, data-secure partnerships is by using technology that can expose abnormalities in traffic that lead to corrupt conversion paths, as well as the ability to block payments to those using illegitimate behaviours.
Lead generation campaigns are particularly susceptible to fraud, where the fraudsters will collect high payments for stolen or recycled information. But another technique brands have had to face is fake instals from human or bot farms – using hundreds of hijacked mobile devices that mimic real behaviour.
Using a partnership management platform can provide the best layer of security to help your brand only pay for legitimate leads and conversions while strengthening relationships with high-quality partners.
Merge affiliate and influencer campaign management
With social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram becoming ever more popular, influencers are accelerating the growth of affiliate marketing in industry spending and value. In the UK alone, affiliate spending increased 40% between 2019 and 2021.
So what does this mean for influencer marketing partnerships?
Because affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are now more closely intertwined than before, merging affiliate and influencer marketing campaign management in a single partnership management platform can help streamline the stages of the partnership lifecycle.
By adopting evolved payment models, increasing data security and merging affiliate and influencer campaign management, brands will be set to make the most of this rapidly-growing channel in 2023.