Win of The Week: Leveraging influencers via smart “pay to play” tactics…

Sircle-Influencer Pay To Play

Influencer marketing represents an excellent opportunity to get a brand in front of new eyeballs and to leverage underpriced attention. It is important to have an open mind to the potential that these collaborations can bring and to think about it more strategically than just “paying someone to post something.”

In January we advised one of our clients to rethink their influencer engagement strategy altogether.  In 2016, they deployed a hardline approach when it came to “pay to play” engagements. They would not do them and would only gift products where they had much less control AND limited their potential target list, by immediately canceling out anyone who asked for a fee.

This year they were hellbent on driving more traffic and wanted us to “get more creative” with ideas to help do so. They suggested buying email lists, affiliate deals (where they would pay commissions for converted traffic sent from other domains) and even programmatic marketing, that is very expensive and unproven for their model. It was time to change their POV once and for all.

Rather than denying all paid scenarios from the jump, we recommended they take a different posture. Dropping the term “influencer” from the conversation, we said “if we told you that Jane Doe had taken time to harvest a community of followers, one that actually listens to and cares about what she has to say, and that they are mostly your exact target demo, would you consider paying her for an opportunity to speak with them for a few minutes?” Of course they would, and this is no different.

They begrudgingly agreed to give us $500 to test out our theory “and prove that this wasn’t a complete waste of time.” We went to a couple of influencers who we knew had a highly engaged audience, understood the need to “give value” to their partners (especially an Agency like Sircle Media, who can bring them multiple brands and not just one) and who would work with us from a marketing angle. We also negotiated the price down to $400 ($200 each) and kept the $100 spread to help us boost some of the great content on Facebook down the line.


We asked that they both post on January 23rd and had them do it on Instagram with a #linkinbio CTA that encourages users to take action and click that link. As a result, revenue on 1/23/17 was $1837.55 on a $400 all in spend (4.5X1 ROAS).  In addition to that, it doubled their referred traffic (one of their main goals coming into the new year) and delivered new ammunition for our retargeting efforts, which have already proven to be our best revenue driving audience on Facebook. We then took that $100 (in negotiated savings) and applied it to those efforts to drive new revenue further down stream.

It is important to not draw a line in the sand when it comes to engaging influencers. Sure, some have more value than others and of course there are some who wont deliver the goods. This is true with any type of marketing of course and cannot be your reason for not participating. I always say “you cant stop dating just because you had a bad relationship in the past and/or just fear the outcome if it does go south. You need to continue to date, to find the right one for you.”

Influencers represent an excellent value play and need to be in your social media strategy conversation if you have a consumer product. Added bonus is that if they take great photos, they also contribute positively to the look and feel of your outgoing content strategy. Bottom line, it just pays to play!



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Pay to Play on Facebook: Does it Pay?


Facebook is a beast of a marketing platform, that drives amazing results. Period, end of paragraph.

Brands still struggle to get their head around this for some reason.  Facebook (like most platforms) gave “the goods” away for free at first (and for a long time) and once they grew up and decided it was time to make some money, people freaked out. This is a mistake, because A) of course that was coming, B) you just need to be nimble and adjust and C) if you aren’t taking advantage of this paid platform, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

I just think everyone needs a reset of sorts, to help them reassess Facebook in general. There is nothing more powerful in your arsenal and you must incorporate it into your digital plan. Remember, when you pay Facebook, you are unlocking their awesome targeting opportunities and you are guaranteeing delivery of content to a specific audience. Not partaking because you are angry that Facebook transitioned to a pay to play platform is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. DON’T DO IT!

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Take the image to the left for example. This client was running a special on Good Morning America and offering a limited time offer of 50% off, as a way to generate e-commerce sales and acquire new customers. They have a very high retention rate (because their products are awesome) and they wanted to bring in revenue to their site (for a short term $ boost) and to help create some new user profiles, that would likely translate to long term and repeat customers. It is all about Life Time Value (LTV).

To help stoke the flames of this offer, we decided to boost this timeline post to two strategic audiences for $50 each. Fans of the brand (many of whom might not have purchased on the website before) and website visitors, who had not yet purchased on their website. This means they had been to the site, but never consummated a sale.

The results: 22,000+ reached, 378 clicks and (not seen here) $953 in revenue from this one post.

This was a solid investment from an up front ROI point of view, and an excellent way to initiate the life time funnel. Now we can implement some email CRM sequences and engage them in a much deeper conversation with the brand.

Did it pay to play?  Yessir.


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Tips for Free Facebook Advertising

A view of Facebook's logo May 10, 2012 i

Companies need to make money. One way that Facebook is trying to boost revenue is in advertising. To do this, they have been putting more pressure on brands that use Facebook for marketing and advertising to pay for the space they’re using by reducing the organic visibility on people’s timelines.

In order to outsmart Facebook’s algorithm, here are some tips, courtesy of Search Engine Journal, on how to stay visible organically on your brand’s followers’ newsfeeds.

1)   Content

It may seem obvious, but one of the easiest ways to stay relevant and visible is by producing amazing content that people want to see. The more people enjoy the content they see, the more they will interact with it via “likes” and comments. This engagement will help your page gain fans, keep fans, and stay visible.

2)   Use analytics

The Engine Journal recommends Facebook Insight to track data for Facebook pages. This website helps you evaluate your success and failures in different aspects of Facebook usage. It provides information in five categories: likes, reach, visits, posts, and people. Use this website to help you target areas on your page that need more work and attention.

3)   Keep an eye on competitors

In the world of business it is important to know what your competitors are up to. Use sites such as Simply MeasuredSocial BakersQuintly, and Buzzsumo to view what tactics your competitors are using to have success on social media.

4)   Get to know your fans

Instead of forcing product down your followers’ throats (studies show they don’t like that), try engaging with them. Use your Facebook page to show what your brand values and humanize the company. Make sure your posts encourage conversation and community to gain fans and to get them to stick around.

5)   Don’t take shortcuts

There are a lot of ways around putting in the work for social media, but genuinely working hard and honestly is what will ultimately get you ahead. Don’t be lazy with your social media.

Advertising on social media is a great way to interact with your brand’s fans, especially if you can do it for free. Keep these tips in mind to be successful while managing a brand’s Facebook page.


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Want to Win? Prepare to Pay-to-Play

facebook-pay-to-playYou may be wondering why your recent Facebook posts are not earning as much engagement as they had in the past. Well, we have the answer for you. In 2014, Facebook has made it clear that in order to reach your consumers, fans and/or anyone else who has “liked” your page, you’ll have to pay some money to the mothership.

“Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2% of all fans. There has been a steady drop in how far posts from brand pages circulate without a paid strategy for months now, but for some it went sort of under the radar and unnoticed. Brands have seen their posts reach less and less fans each month and in some cases they are approaching a staggering 0%. Facebook says the diminished exposure is simply a reality of ever increasing content competition.

“In December, when Facebook acknowledged that brands would connect with less of an audience on unpaid posts, many reconsidered their strategies on the platform”, analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said.

So, what are brands to do?

1. Create new and intriguing content and then “push”: Ask insightful questions, share authentic pictures and videos, provide valuable insights and educations, and tell compelling stories. Then use Facebook’s Page Post Engagement to accelerate your reach. Not a lot of $ needed here, just a push in the right direction.

2. Experiment with Facebook ads: You can still generate better results with Facebook ads than with most other advertising and marketing platforms. Facebook has data on 1.2 billion people, and you can target them by interest, job title, age, Zip code, and marital status, to name just a few criteria. You know what’s cooler than reaching a billion people on Facebook? Reaching the right 1,000–or 100 or 10–to best expand your business.

3. Create and use custom audiences: Target specific audiences and message and advertise accordingly.  Like to post/talk about music? Message and advertise towards music enthusiasts who are in your target demographic. Upload your email list into Facebook and then target users or even look-a like audiences who are similar to your email list. You can also re-market to people via Facebook based on their visits and behavior on your website. Strong stuff!

Some people are angry at Facebook for taking this position, but we applaud them.  They need to monetize their data and if you approach it the right way it can be a great thing for your clients or your own brand.  So we say (pay and) play ball!



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