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How to Optimise Influencer Marketing Budgets for Stronger ROI – IMS Global 2021 Masterclass Learnings

Alongside the plethora of keynotes, panels, and fireside chats at the Influencer Marketing Show Global this year, CreatorIQ hosted an exclusive masterclass for brands, educating the attendees on how they can optimise their influencer marketing budgets for stronger ROI.

In case you were unable to make the session, or you’re not a brand but you’re curious to learn more about managing and optimising an influencer marketing budget, today we are providing a roundup of the masterclass.

Hosts of the masterclass, Jeff Melton, Vice President of Marketing at CreatorIQ, and Shanice Engel, Influencer Marketing Expert at oona Agency provided in-depth, solution-focused advice during the interactive roundtable. 

The agenda focussed on three main topics to educate the audience and provide advice. We will dive into those now, and provide you with the key takeaways…

How the modern influencer marketing budget has evolved

  • With influencers and creators becoming the central focus of campaigns, the budget has expanded to different marketing departments. From the people at PR using the content to the CRM team and the paid digital experts. Therefore influencer marketing budgets need to be connected to other budgets. Incorporating influencer marketing into your brand’s budget should not be an afterthought, in fact, we can expect influencer marketing dodgers to rise to $15 billion in 2022, compared to $8 billion in 2019.
  • There are now more ways to measure programme and campaign ROI to track the success of your influencer marketing investments. Advanced tools allow brands to discover advanced metrics such as Awareness, Perception, Intent, Conversion, Loyalty.
  • CreatorIQ shared their metrics cheat sheet, which allows brands to assess the measurement methodology by identifying the end goal of the activation.

“Whereas influencer marketing used to be a small part [of a brands marketing spend] to amplify a certain campaign or brand message, nowadays, influencers also play a key role within your strategy.”

Shanice Engel, oona

Core components of the budget

  • One of the key areas of spending to consider when shaping your influencer marketing budget is your team, from those who are internal within your brand as well as agency partners. As part of a mature influencer marketing team, you should consider focusing spend on professionals who can work on your strategy, channel planning, creative planning, talent scouting, negotiations, data analysis and project management.

    Figuring out your KPI’s and skillset before launching a campaign can help you shape your team and plan how much budget you need to set aside. Some agencies will charge a set rate, some will work on commission.
  • Also depending on what you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign, you can establish whether micro-influencers or macro-influencers would be best for your campaign. Brand awareness campaigns will likely cost less for you to execute when working with content creators than campaigns that are performance-based.

    It is important to remember that the fee that you pay the influencer is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Take into consideration that most influencers will often have to compensate managers and handle production costs. Paid media costs of course have to be accounted for too, based on channel and location, which will eventually lead to buy out rights across these channels. 
  • A way to challenge high influencer fees is by asking for performance benchmarks from previous campaigns they did. Making them aware of your brand’s ambitions and creating a shared KPI responsibility will likely influence the conversation towards more realistic outcomes. 
  • A rule of thumb is that you should allocate around 10% to measurement. It’s important to use benchmarking here to compare influencer marketing to other types of marketing and communications. This will inform you on how best to allocate your budget if your campaign is underperforming.

“Try to negotiate from the start for which period & countries you will be using the content. If you need to re-negotiate buy out rights after the contract has been closed, it might be more costly.”

Jeff Melton, CreatorIQ

How to optimise your programme’s ROI

  • Influencer marketing budgets are certainly growing in complexity, and there are many ways that you can ensure you’re getting the most from your investment. You can repurpose influencer content across multiple channels, as well as display it on your own website. Of course, it is worth A/B testing whether your brand’s organic content or influencer content created for your brand generates more engagement. In many cases of paid digital media, we see influencer-focused content outperforming classic ads in terms of engagements and actions.
  • Take a look at the platforms you are using to share your influencer content. Depending on your brand and what you are trying to achieve. Established platforms may have more users, but are often over-saturated, so you may consider focusing on emerging platforms with smaller but more engaged audiences. Focusing on emerging channels will often be less costly. 
  • Your influencers can be your experts. With experience in producing content for a multitude of brands, the influencers you work for have insights and knowledge into communities and audience behaviour, trends, and product testing. Use this to your advantage. 

CreatorIQ and oona provided our attendees with a well-rounded, expertly researched, deep dive into how large brands can optimise influencer marketing budgets for stronger ROI. Digesting this information and utilising the tools and advice that CreatorIQ has to offer could be key in helping brands shape their own strategies for the future. 

If you want to catch up on any more of the IMS sessions that you may have missed, head to the video vault to delve into the curated sessions as well as live Q&As with our chairs and speakers.

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