Covid Response Centre

The Power of Influencer Whitelisting at Scale, this Holiday Season

This holiday season, we’ll see increased customer acquisition costs as the entire market is going after the same thing: more customers and more sales. Additionally, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday growth strategies you invested in over the past years (enter: COVID restrictions) will fundamentally change for three reasons:

  1. 🏃🏾Consumers will (finally!) have the option again to line up outside stores and make in-store purchases as they have in years past.
  2. 💵 Brands heavily rely on digital and social media ad campaigns from previous years – resulting in an overly competitive and saturated consumer experience and fragmented attention.
  3. 💃🏿 There is no longer a reason to focus on a specific day/time to offer your best promotions. Brands are starting typical Black Friday promotions earlier, and the promotions last much longer

How will you stand out and win the hearts of your target audience vs. the competition? How will you retain customer loyalty? How will you pivot your influencer and digital marketing strategy to make sure you are making the most strategic use of funds available?

This blogpost pays attention to what’s coming to us all this holiday season: how to find success, what to look out for and most importantly, how to scale your influencer efforts. Here we go:

1. The Challenge of Influencer Whitelisting this Holiday Season:

Whitelisting influencer content to create ads that come from influencer handles is a proven way to unlock a new, powerful acquisition channel. Brands that invest in this strategy see, on average, a RoaS of 300%. There is just one problem: the manual process of whitelisting is virtually impossible to scale and leaves little opportunity for optimization. On average, whitelisting just one influencer account can take 10+ hours and involves countless back and forths with the influencer. Everything from permissions, to explaining exactly what whitelisting is, and how it will be used.

Keep in mind that today’s average reach rate of any organic piece of influencer content is 3-5% of the creator's follower base . If you partner with an influencer who has 100.000 followers, you’d effectively reach 3000-5000 of those followers 🎯. Without Creator Powered Ads, you may as well forego the entire investment altogether.

In addition, access to influencer audience data unlocks the ability to amplify the reach of influencer content by leveraging custom look-a-like audiences. This comes at a fraction of the cost compared to other audience targeting solutions in the market. Advertisers will also have the ability to retarget followers who have already seen the influencer’s post about your brand, create scalable new look-a-like prospecting audiences, or target a broader pool of influencer engagers.

In the spirit of trying to get an early start in the minds of holiday consumers, spending hundreds of hours getting these advertising permissions is not realistic to any marketer who hopes to see a great return. The Solution? The Cirqle. A dedicated Facebook Marketing Partner and industry leader in providing automated Creator Powered Ads technology at scale, with the purpose of driving sales/new users for any business. The Cirqle’s automation software makes the process of securing influencer advertising access fast, easy, and safe for influencers and brand partners alike.  

Our platform really serves as the perfect home for your influencer content creation efforts, optimizations into ads, and an influencer discovery platform. All of that is geared to provide laserfocus on the single thing of driving RoAS. You can easily gain advertising access to your top creators in seconds by partnering with us and we’ll equip you with the technology to scale those efforts.

When you’re plugged into The Cirqle, we’ll present you with the right architecture and access to a multitude of influencers’ handles. Our technology presents the opportunity for you to scale, test and grow all the Facebook and Instagram story placements, carousel orders, copy and call to action using a single creative across your target audience.

2. Scale is critical to success with Influencer Campaigns

There are several reasons that you absolutely require the ability to scale your influencer efforts. Scaling ultimately leads to a better return on investment on influencer work and this season is no exception.  

🚀 Discover the influencers that drives the best RoAS

Working with enough influencers and creative pieces to be able to correctly identify what influencer and creative piece will drive the best results is key in making sure your money is put to good use. Influencer partnerships can literally be a hit or miss: while some may be incredible storytellers and content creators, not all influencers are able to unlock ROI for brands from the get-go. The best strategy is to build a roster of influencers who you feel confident are an excellent fit for your brand and whom you can count on to deliver compelling content. If you have any historic data or performance stats, this informs your strategy moving forward. From there, you acquire advertising access for the influencer's account and content to test and discover which are your champions at unlocking conversions. We typically recommend starting with at least 5-20 influencers and then scaling your roster after you have identified the types of influencers that work best for your brand. Now, it's not just about volume of influencers. In terms of timelines, take about 21-30 days for influencer briefing, recruitment, contracting and content approval, and another 45 days for running Creator Powered Ads to arrive at a benchmark performance level.

What's equally important is the amount of creative work that these influencers produce and what problem-solution-result they address. Clear problem statements, bright colours and catchy openings in the first 3-seconds of the influencers video increase your CTR % by 250% on average.

📈 Increase spend to drive higher sales volume

Once you have found the right combination of influencers who consistently deliver content that with the right,, copy, call to action, and audience targeting delivers strong RoAS, it's time to pour some gas on the fire. Increase spend on the campaign every day by 20-35% until you observe diminishing returns. When this happens, we recommend keeping your campaigns running as long as you’re driving positive ROI. Try decreasing/increasing campaigns after a few days; when results decline, set up automated rules that switch campaign(s) off, should the return not be on par with your objective.

🚦 Pace yourself, take time: 45 days minimum

In today’s market, marketing professionals expect immediate results and in some cases, this puts unnecessary pressure on delivering those without giving campaigns their fair share of time to come to fruition. We’ve said this before, but building great influencer campaigns takes consistent optimizations and learnings. Our advice is to run paid influencer campaigns for a period of at least 45 days, continuously swapping creatives, copy, rotating audiences, and A/B testing.

Think carefully about killing your campaigns before you trigger the switch. Launch early and often to learn exactly what works for your business.

3. Why Optimization is Important:

Amplifying influencer content through their handles as paid ads is not a “set it and forget it” digital marketing strategy.  There are many parts to an influencer whitelisted ad that must be tested and optimized for the best results.  When optimizing, make sure you retain the authenticity of the influencer’s content and storytelling while blending in powerful call-to-action opportunities and promotional copy.

Check out more of our best practices for creating compelling direct response influencer ads.

Don't get left in the dust of other e-commerce brands this holiday season. Take the time now to consider how to integrate a scalable influencer whitelisting program into your holiday strategy.

Finally, with The Cirqle, scaling your paid influencer campaigns, optimized for conversions is easy and fast. Now that you understand why it is imperative to invest in an influencer strategy during the holidays, let's explore some of your challenges and solutions. You can book a demo with us here.