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The impact of paid spend on influencer content (case study)


Many studies show influencer content outperforming brand-owned content on social platforms.

Recently, an increasing number of brands have started to consider boosting influencer content across social channels. This is largely due to a series of challenges faced by influencer marketing professionals.
 
 

In this case study, we show how using influencer content not only solves the search for the perfect audience match, longevity of influencer content and paid social content in general, but also some additional benefits for brands.

Currently, there are two ways to utilise influencer content within paid social activity.

  • The first is adding paid spend to an influencer's original post so it appears as ads (post boosting).
  • The second is to buy the rights to the content and post it as an ad from your brand’s own account.

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THE CHALLENGE

To gain a complete and quantifiable picture of the benefits of influencer post boosting, we tested two possible paid social strategies using influencer content:

  • Putting paid media spend behind an influencer’s content so it becomes sponsored, but still comes from the influencer’s account
  • Utilising an influencer’s creative content within a brand’s own advertising campaign

In order to run a fair experiment, we kept the following variables the same:

  • Number of influencers/creatives
  • Content
  • Campaign Budget
  • Audience (including exclusion lists)
  • Campaign time frame

OUR PROCESS

We worked with four influencers and Home Reach, a well-established brand in the property industry offering shared ownership. The goal was to create a selection of content to promote an alternative route to homeownership. We carefully selected influencers with an interest in homeownership, who had recently bought their own home or were thinking about doing so in the future.

As the target audience were aspiring homeowners, there was no obvious influencer archetype with a concentrated audience and this particular interest. Instead, the campaign focused on influencers who had an understanding of the home buying process (either by currently looking or previously buying a home).

They needed to be able to explain this particular scheme in their own words, were relatable to the target audience demographic and could highlight some of the unique benefits of the scheme by example of their own personal interest - such as interior design or pets, two key benefits of owning your home vs renting.

Initially, influencers shared content organically to their feeds. The content was then boosted from the influencer account to a predefined target audience. At the same time, the same content and messaging were used in a brand owned ad to the same target audience.

 

THE RESULTS

Across the board, content delivered from the influencer’s account outperformed brands both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Quantitatively, costs per result were much lower when adding spend to influencer’s content compared to brands. The influencer’s content benefited from increased reach and impressions.

Qualitatively, the authenticity of an influencer-delivered post meant additional insights and data the brand could use to drive their business forwards.

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LOWER COST
Overall, content delivered directly from the influencer’s account was cheaper than from the brand’s account.

Facebook rewards media buyers whose campaigns perform well (in terms of engagement) with lower costs further down the line. This meant the content from the influencer’s account, which had an organic head start in terms of engagement, had a higher reach, more impressions and cheaper click-through rates.

Facebook was unable to learn as much from the brand’s account thus when it came to bidding for clicks, there was an increased cost per result (Influencer ads were on average 27% lower than the brand owned ads).

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QUALITATIVE: AUTHENTICITY AND POSITIVE ENGAGEMENT
From a brand awareness perspective - influencers are key for improving negative connotations people may have about a brand or service. When analysing comments on influencer's posts - there's a clear advantage of an engaged audience who care about their content and show interest in the subject or brand discussed.

For growing brands, this provides an opportunity to start conversations and educate consumers on a positive note, rather than zero likes - which let’s be honest, never looks very appealing.

It also creates a positive word-of-mouth cycle. When hearing about a brand from an influencer - it’s no longer “too good to be true” but rather a legitimate thing to consider. Long term, this could trigger a positive word-of-mouth cycle with influencers (and their followers) talking about a brand as a great alternative to the status quo.

Putting aside the quantitative improvements of influencer vs brand delivered content, the qualitative data can provide brands with insights to use to improve their brand, campaigns and messaging.

Through live tracking via the platform, our team didn't miss a single post and engaged with content as and when it went live. The inbuilt ASA compliance tool ensured any missing disclosure was flagged and corrected immediately. 

 

27%

lower cost per click

642

More likes from influencer's content 

50% 

More link clicks

 

 

 

 

 

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SOME OF THE TALENT

 

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