Performance-based marketing is constantly changing and pretty crazy these days. Imagine you’re an up and coming brand in the ultra-competitive social networking app space, and you need to create a splash in the market. You want to get as many eyeballs on your social networking app and build instant credibility with your target audience. You approach a trendy social media influencer on Instagram or TikTok, and they love your game, or free movie app enough to introduce it to the countless masses who follow their every post. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare to go viral. And the best part? You only pay when a user installs your app. 

Wow. Sounds perfect, right? It’s pretty close if your company wants mass exposure and social validation with no upfront risk. This emerging trend is the next best thing in advertising and goes by the name of performance-based social influencer marketing.

How Does It Work?

Social influencer marketing has been on the radar for roughly five to ten years, but the performance-based version is more recent. The majority of social influencer marketing is still “pay per post” with brands paying influencers a set fee upfront. With the affiliate or performance-based model, advertisers only pay when influencers drive installs. Matt Swim, Strategic Account Manager with AdAction Interactive, describes the recent emergence of the performance-based option. “Performance-based social influencer marketing has gotten big in the last year, starting to take off in the last six months with the explosion of mediums like TikTok.” 

According to a Nielson report, a whopping 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Social media influencer marketing relies on the power of “word of mouth,” but the difference is the words don’t come from friends or family, but rather from sources held in high regard by the target audience. 

A successful influencer marketing campaign typically follows these steps:

Analyze the Audience– It’s critical to know everything about the target audience from the beginning. Who is the audience? What are their demographics, values, interests, and needs? What are the current trends, and who are the trendsetters in their space? 

Research and Choose Best Influencers– Once the target audience is known, a list of potential influencers can be created. From this list select the leading influencers based on the vertical of the product. Keep in mind selecting appropriate influencers for the audience may be the most important action in determining the success or failure of the campaign.

Engage Influencers and Set Metrics– To ensure everyone wins, a strong monetization proposal must be presented to the influencer and measurable goals set to define success. What key performance indicators matter most? Installs? ROI? Retention? Identify each and how they will be quantified to gauge success. 

In a performance-based model, each social influencer receives a trackable code or link for users to click. All user clicks on this link will result in credit and payment to the influencer. The influencer is rewarded for their efforts while the advertiser can quickly and easily identify profitable value streams.

Influencers must drive results to get paid, and everything rides on the influencer creating a “hook” in the form of engaging content to trigger user action. The engaging post will entice the user where they can see the value or benefit of the product. Again, it becomes apparent how important selecting the correct influencers can be.

Continually Monitor Results and Optimize Strategy – Performance-based social influencer marketing delivers trackable results—regardless if the campaign explodes or flops, the good news with a performance-based model is transparency. It’s crucial for advertisers to continuously monitor results to optimize campaigns—and with a wealth of trackable metrics, it’s easy to spot the productive influencers, as well as the laggards, and adjust the strategy accordingly.

user checking social media app

“Social influencer marketing succeeds because of the trust influencers build with their followers.”

What Are The Benefits?

Performance-based social influencer marketing succeeds because of the trust influencers build with their followers. Their validation provides compelling social proof, giving instant legitimacy to a brand or product. Influencers can deliver from a casual, non-pushy angle with the product endorsement alongside content the user willingly selects. These factors combined with the reach and power of social media, and a results-driven pay model delivers numerous marketing advantages. 

Here are some key benefits of performance-based social influencer marketing:

  • Did we mention low-risk? That’s right—influencers get paid on actions driven. What’s not to like about only paying for measurable results?
  • This marketing model benefits from the enormous reach and scale of social media. Wise advertisers recognize television is yesterday, and social media is now the top marketing medium. Unsure as to the influence of social media on buyers today? 61% of consumers rely on social media as the most important source of info when shopping
  • Want to go viral? Teaming with the correct influencer who engages your audience with top content can result in millions of eyeballs on your app virtually overnight. 
  • By setting trackable goals out of the gate, advertisers can quickly and easily monitor campaign progress and optimize the strategy to drive superior results.
  • Performance-based social influencer marketing excels at delivering quality users—ones that are more engaged, ready to buy, and likely to stick around.
  • A successful performance-based social influencer campaign can skyrocket brand awareness which boosts App Store rankings and organic traffic.

On the flip side, detractors mention the danger of linking with fake (they pad their follower list with bots disguised as people) or suddenly shady influencers and the unpredictable nature of this marketing model. In response, choosing legitimate influencers is critical to a campaign’s success, and working with a proven company whose job is to constantly vet the influencer mix can make all the difference. It’s also true predicting whether an influencer’s content will succeed or flop is difficult—but remember, with a performance-based model, you don’t pay for failure.

Low Risk, High Reward

With a relatively short history and the uncertainty of newcomer status, many brands are hesitant to give performance-based social influencer marketing a look. However, Brooks Hurbis, Team Lead Business Development at AdAction Interactive, has some advice for the laggards. “I think this is only the beginning of this channel for mobile apps, and with the explosion of popular mediums like TikTok and Instagram, the volume will only continue to grow. I believe it’s in an advertiser’s best interest to get in early on this channel as a pioneer.”

This is excellent advice for companies wanting to gain more users and quickly boost brand awareness, especially in the cutthroat mobile app market. Social influencer marketing continues to validate two potent truths—people buy from those they trust, and social media reaches more people faster than any other medium available today. For brands wanting rapid reach and maximum influence while only paying for results, employing a performance-based model of social influencer marketing appears a worthwhile, low-risk proposition.

About AdAction Interactive
Driving 300+ million installs since May 2013, AdAction is the mobile app industry’s leading performance-based marketing platform with over 320% average year-over-year growth. Our team of experts deliver over 6 million monthly conversions for Fortune 100 companies and elite agencies, including exclusive partnerships with top media sources around the world.

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