Today’s social media creators are ideal partners for brands that want to appeal to younger consumers in an engaging and authentic way. 

Influencers’ dedicated social media followers tend to be more personally invested in the content creators post and the opinions they express. Creators know what their audiences respond to and can communicate brand stories in a creative and compelling way that doesn’t feel to ‘briefed’ or contrived – striking a tone that traditional ads might not be able to capture.

With consumers growing increasingly distrustful of brands, it’s no wonder that influencer marketing has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional advertising methods – our whitepaper, ‘Into the mainstream: Influencer marketing in society’,  which surveyed over 3,500 marketers, consumers, and influencers, found that nearly three-quarters of marketers plan to up their spend on influencer marketing in the next year. 

However, it’s important to remember that the success of an influencer marketing campaign is dependent on far more than the quality of the content. There is a significant marketing architecture behind each creator’s post, and a range of tools and strategies  – such as paid media – are used to further amplify branded content. 

Social media platforms are recognising the brand benefits of coupling paid media strategies into influencer marketing campaigns and are responding by introducing a range of tools to assist marketers.

TikTok is improving its paid media capabilities. The ByteDance-owned app introduced its Spark Ads feature earlier this year which enables brands to sponsor already trending organic user-generated content that fits in with or is about their offering. Via the feature, brands can pinpoint existing organic videos that compliment their campaign, reach out to the creators behind the content and repurpose their clips for paid campaigns. 

At TAKUMI, we’ve seen content generated via this feature outperform content on other platforms in terms of engagement, with some posts garnering engagement rates as high as 25%.

Alongside this, TikTok is also rolling out a Brand Content Toggle which enables brands to link creator content to ad platforms and campaigns within the TikTok Creator Marketplace.

Other platforms are taking notice of TikTok’s updates and boosting their paid media capabilities. Instagram has already changed its policies and rolled out features to compete with Spark Ads, while Snapchat may move to improve its paid media offering, especially considering that media buyers are seeing a massive resurgence in interest in the platform amongst direct-to-consumer brands.

Marketing agencies are also incorporating paid media into their influencer campaign strategies. My own paid media agency, Unieed, was recently acquired by TAKUMI, a merger that enables us to not only provide the brands we work with the creative of a campaign via our influencers, but also the ability to amplify the content to ensure as many users see it as possible. 

It’s common for people to incorrectly assume that the success of an influencer marketing campaign is entirely dependent on the content. The truth is that as influencer marketing continues to evolve, using paid media to boost brand content shared by creators isn’t just a savvy move – it’s becoming more and more critical for success.

Joe Adsett is Paid Media Director at TAKUMI.