Influencer marketing, content with a side of advertising. Programmatic marketing, advertising with a side of content.
Makes sense, right? Let’s go a little deeper.
Imagine it is 2013. My Boston Red Sox just won a world series, Argo won best picture, and this digital marketing practice where individuals with large social followings were pairing up with brands to promote their products was beginning to take off. In the early days, influencers were charging very low fees and providing massive amounts of impressions and views for brands. Better yet, they were directly covering all phases of the marketing funnel, all the way down to purchases.
Due to the connection influencers had with their audiences, product placement came off as genuine, authentic, and anything but scripted. Viewers would tune in for content from their favorite influencers and at times not even realize brands put marketing dollars behind the content. You came for the content and stayed through the advertising.
It did not take long for the space to morph from a wild, wild, west world of one-off partnerships and creative messaging to the 1.6 billion dollar industry it is today. The brands that got to the party early were rewarded with lightning growth in sales, market share, and customer loyalty. The influencers were being showered with free products, lucrative payouts, and raising audiences. But then came the noise.
Talent agencies began assembling teams of influencers and rates for partnerships began to rise. Different social networks were created, and new styles of content and influencer marketing tactics were developed. Statistics such as click through rate, cost per view, and cost per acquisition started having benchmarks. People became accustomed to being exposed to brands while viewing their favorite influencers’ content. They still tuned in any way. Influencer marketing became as common as TV commercials during your favorite weekly network television show.
Zap back to the present day. As my colleague, Jibran stated in his recent post, United States of Influencer Marketing, 85% of millennials own smartphones that they check more than 157 times a day. Facebook documented in 2017 that 5 million advertisers were active on their platform. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are allowing brands to direct traffic from their platforms right to the brand’s site in order to generate purchases.
In total, brands spent 16.54 billion on paid social media advertising in 2017. Some of the main benefits of paid social media advertising are the targeting social networks allow brands to utilize. You are able to run ads based on age, location, even previous engagement with the brand. This hyper-targeting will all but ensure your brand name gets in front of potential customers.
Moral of the story: everyone is doing influencer marketing and everyone is doing paid social media advertising. What if you could do both at the same time? Would you want to? Yes and yes.
Programmatic media campaigns are campaigns that repurpose influencer created content across paid social media. The main benefit of this practice is that viewers are sticking around to watch the content even though they know it is an advertisement. In a recent Grapevine campaign, we discovered that 55.4% of paid social advertisements were viewed from start to finish. It is the best of both worlds. Simply put, audiences know they are being advertised to, but staying around for the content anyways.