Influencer Marketing Strategy

Why Always-On Influencer Marketing is So Effective for Brands

Adopting an always-on influencer marketing strategy is key to better campaign ROI. This post explains why influencer campaigns shouldn’t be one-hit wonders.

Always-On Influencer Marketing Cover Photo

The $21 billion that brands will invest in influencers this year speaks for itself.

The truth, though? Not all influencer marketing strategies are equally effective. We’ve found that brands see more significant ROI by committing to ongoing campaigns

And brands that don’t see results often give up before their campaigns get a chance to take off.

Spoiler alert: working with influencers doesn’t have to happen on a stop-go basis. 

Enter the era of always-on influencer marketing.

Ongoing campaigns can create a snowball effect of positive results for brands. This includes reach, reviews and hundreds of pieces of authentic creator content. 

This post explains the basics and benefits of adopting an always-on influencer strategy.

Always-on influencer marketing refers to brands running creator campaigns consistently and indefinitely. This is in contrast with one-off or short-term influencer promotions.

When we talk about always-on influencer campaigns and “playing the long game,” we mean: 

  1. Thinking of your campaign results in terms of months and years, not days and weeks. We’re always upfront with brands that creator campaigns take time to grow and scale. On that note, be wary of promises about quick or instant results.

  2. Treating influencers like any other always-on marketing channel. SEO, content marketing and email are all great examples. These all represent proven staples of marketing that are often a “slow burn.” Once these channels are properly established, they yield long-term results. 

The same rules apply to always-on influencer campaigns as they produce:

  • Ongoing posts from influencers, creators and satisfied customers
  • Authentic pieces of creator content to repurpose as ads
  • Increased brand awareness, reach and share of voice
  • Social proof in the form of positive comments and reviews
  • More opportunities to rank and be seen via social search

Brands often ask us about “optimal” influencer campaign lengths and timelines

The reality, though? There’s no right answer! Our observation: the longer your campaigns, the better results. The biggest mistake we see brands make is kneecapping campaigns before they can scale.

And sure, that’s easy for us to say.

But think about it like this: would you build an email list of 1,000 subscribers and suddenly stop sending messages? Would you stop blogging as soon as your site starts climbing up the SERPs?

We didn’t think so!

Like most marketing channels, a stop-go strategy isn’t the best way to approach your influencer campaigns. When in doubt, play the long game. That's always-on marketing in a nutshell.

3 Trends Proving the Rise of Always-On Influencer Campaigns

It’s important to note that always-on influencer marketing isn’t a radical concept. 

Again, don’t just take our word for it. Look no further than the fact that brands of all shapes and sizes are working with creators. Specifically, smaller creators. There are brands with millions of followers and massive budgets that still actively partner with micro-influencers

Here are three recent trends that support the shift toward an always-on influencer strategy:

  1. 89% of marketers will maintain or increase their spending on influencers this year. The growth of creator space is well-documented. The thing is, brands aren’t running campaigns “just because.” The widespread adoption of influencer marketing is what makes it a staple strategy like SEO or email campaigns.

  2. 77% of marketers are setting aside a designated influencer marketing budget. This highlights how brands are committing to creators as part of their larger marketing strategies rather than treating them as totally separate entities. The growth and high performance of creator-based paid ads are great examples of this phenomenon.

  3. Social media is the dominant product discovery channel among millennials and Gen Z. The rise of social search is a huge tell for brands. For the sake of visibility and ranking for product-related keywords on social platforms like TikTok and Instagram, creators are crucial.

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Consider how product or brand-specific searches on TikTok almost always result in creator content over posts from brands. Sometimes you’ll see results pop up that were posted by creators years ago. The search below for “gym headphones” reflects what we’re talking about. 

gym headphones search result example on TikTok

Notice that the top two results are a creator review (with over 88k “Likes”) and a creator ad. 

gym headphones creator ad example on TikTok

Source: @kimberlord

The takeaway? Young consumers today treat TikTok and Instagram as product search engines. Maintaining visibility means having a both paid and organic creator presence long-term.

Why Always-On Influencer Marketing Works

Okay, so how else does a long-term strategy go hand-in-hand with better campaign ROI?

Below are the key benefits of an always-on approach versus short-term influencer campaigns.

Always-On Campaigns Offer More Opportunities to Optimize

A few weeks just isn’t enough time to learn which types of creator content perform best.

We’ll bite: it can take a couple of months to really fine-tune your strategy. That’s not a bad thing, though. A long-game campaign approach gives you more time to:

  • Review incoming creator content. What do you like or dislike? What can be changed or improved? The larger your sample size of creators, the more informed decisions you can make.

  • Find the links between your top-performing content and creators. Are your Reels earning more engagement than other types of IG posts? Are there specific creators that are crushing it? These discoveries can help you boost performance for a campaign currently in progress.

  • Refine your strategy. Maybe your creative briefs could be clearer. Perhaps you need to reposition your messaging. Multi-month campaigns mean more chances to make tweaks.

After reviewing the nuts and bolts of your campaign, you can make any necessary changes before your next round of posts go live.  Optimizing your strategy along the way allows momentum to build. Contrast this with short-term campaigns stuck staying the course whether they’re working or not.

Always-On Campaigns Mean More Content and Reach

Simple as! The more shoutouts your brand earns, the more your word-of-mouth increases. 

And that can create a snowball effect when it comes to content. 

When people see products earning buzz, they’re more tempted to try them out. Notice how most branded hashtags are a mix of influencer content and posts from satisfied customers. 

Milk Makeup’s branded hashtag #LiveYourLook is a great example of this. 88.3 million views don’t happen by accident.

live your look hashtag search on TikTok

With a long-term strategy, your brand can generate hundreds (if not thousands) of creator posts. We’ve seen this happen firsthand here at Statusphere. For example, our 10-month campaign with Curlsmith generated over 6,500 posts.

Results like this aren’t possible with a short-term strategy. Momentum takes time to build!

These results also highlight the value of working with micro-influencers at scale. Smaller creators are more cost-efficient than macro-influencers. Building an army of smaller brand advocates yields more content than a one-off campaign with bigger creators.

Instagram Influencer Campaign Manager Spreadsheet

Always-On Influencer Marketing Strengthens Your Funnel 

Creator campaigns don’t just build your brand’s social presence. Consistently working with influencers can provide a much-needed boost to other marketing channels, too.

Let’s say you want to create buzz for a product launch. A long-term strategy means you’ll always have creators on deck to post about your latest products. This means you don’t have to solely rely on paid ads to build awareness.

product launch creator content example on Instagram

Source: @Makeup2themaxx

Speaking of ads, consumers want to see products in the hands of a real person before they feel confident making a purchase. This explains why so many brands are incorporating UGC in ads across Instagram and TikTok.

ugc in ads example

Source: @drunkelephant 

Getting more mileage out of your influencer content isn’t limited to ads, either. Consider how you can incorporate creator content on your product pages and website. 

For example, Madison Reed’s product pages put UGC front and center. Instead of browsing traditional product shots, customers can see actual photos of products in action. As noted in our deep dive into product page optimization, this tactic goes hand in hand with higher conversions.

madison reed product page ugc example

Source: Madison Reed

How to Adopt a Long-Term Influencer Strategy

The benefits of ongoing, always-on influencer marketing campaigns are crystal clear.

That said, actually implementing a long-game strategy isn't as simple as flipping a switch.

For starters, there’s the matter of finding and managing hundreds of creators. Many brands are likewise wary of the trial-and-error needed to optimize their influencer campaigns.

But that’s where Statusphere can help!

Our micro-influencer marketing platform was specifically built with always-on campaigns in mind.

By working with our fully vetted network, your brand has ongoing access to thousands of micro-influencers. What makes us different is the fact that you only get matched with relevant influencers that fit your target audience.

Our platform also does the legwork of collecting your content and reporting on its performance. That means you always have a pulse on your campaigns and opportunities to optimize. Not to mention an ever-growing library of user-generated content to promote your brand.

Want to learn more about how our platform works? Get in touch with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists to see how we can help you implement an always-on strategy ASAP!

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