The influencer marketing scene has changed a lot since it began over a decade ago, and new tactics and ways of working are continually in flux.

One tactic that has gained traction recently is influencer paid social. In this blog post, we will unpack what this term means, the evolution of this tactic, and how brands can use it to make their influencer marketing activities even more effective.

What is influencer paid social?

Today’s consumers prefer peer-to-peer marketing over brand-to-peer. In other words, they want to hear about products from people they trust rather than brands themselves. To take their marketing to the next level, brands should apply this insight to all channels, including paid social.

Traditionally, paid social ads feature brand-produced content. Influencer paid social, on the other hand, features existing influencer content that is boosted to a wider audience on social media. This audience is a larger group of people than the brand’s and the influencer’s followers alone.

The potential impact of influencer paid social is best illustrated through an example. Imagine an influencer does an organic post for H&M. This post generates 1,000 clicks to a landing page. H&M could then create a Facebook audience based on those landing page visits to push similar influencer paid social content to them. This audience is much more likely to interact with H&M if they are exposed to them through an influencer they like rather than if H&M were to target them directly.

A second example of using influencer paid social to better reach a target audience can be demonstrated through the beauty brand Makeup Mekka. The marketing team at Makeup Mekka could ask an influencer they are working with to share her audience list with them. Makeup Mekka could then create a custom audience based on this list to push similar influencer paid social content to. The more influencers Makeup Mekka employs for this tactic, the more likely they are to reach and convert their target audience.

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The evolution of influencer paid social

It’s no secret that the social media marketing landscape is crowded. While brands may have been able to differentiate themselves using influencer marketing and paid social a few years ago, these days are long gone. The crowdedness of the social media space has pushed brands to get more creative with their marketing tactics. A great example of this is influencer paid social ads.

On its own, paid advertising on social media is known for its effective targeting abilities. Brands can customise extensive audience lists to ensure the right people are seeing their paid content. However, no matter how targeted these advertisements are, the reality is that today’s consumers do not want to interact with brand-generated content. Digital natives like Gen Z and Millennials are turned off by the lack of authenticity and generally dislike being marketed to against their will.

Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is lauded for its authenticity and the strong relationships it leverages. Influencers are essentially word-of-mouth at scale. Their followers look to them for recommendations because they have proven themselves to be tastemakers in their respective niches. When brands work with influencers, they get to borrow their reputation and followers’ trust.

One of the downsides of influencer marketing on its own is that its reach is limited to the size of the influencers’ following. This is where combining influencer marketing and paid social pays off. By boosting influencers’ posts via paid social, brands are able to reach even larger relevant audiences with content they are