Brands Need To Re-Think Their Social Amplification Investments

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In this guest post, Hypetap general manager Chris Morfis explores the growing need to factor in paid amplification when marketers look into influencer marketing…

Influencer marketing is a maturing industry that is adapting alongside the evolving nature of social media platforms. Through influencer collaboration, brands are able to engage with new audiences in a different, unique way, and when used correctly influencer marketing is a powerful channel. However, many marketers currently rely solely on organic reach from influencer content to get exposure, but what they don’t realise is that to maximise the reach of an influencer campaign paid amplification must be factored in.

Paid amplification is a way for brands to keep up with the influx of advertisements and sponsored posts across the Instagram platform. With so much competition for the attention of consumers, the question of whether a brand needs to amplify or not has now been replaced by what to amplify and by how much. Here’s what you need to know when approaching social amplification investments for your brand.

Not all content behaves equally 

The key to approaching social amplification lies in a greater understanding of how content behaves on its platform. For example, the Instagram algorithm currently rewards content that has strong engagement by putting it on the Instagram Explore page — essentially creating organic amplification and an opportunity to be discovered by those outside of the influencer’s direct following.

In instances where the algorithm has served out an influencer’s content more widely, this presents an opportunity to  maximise amplification. By boosting content that already is being rewarded by the platform, marketers and brands further extend the life of content proven to resonate with target audiences.

Align your distribution plan to content being rewarded

So how do you prepare ahead of time for content to be rewarded? The short answer is that you can’t always know this ahead of time. Ultimately, organic reach should compliment paid amplification, creating a balance. For some audiences you can reach them through organic content, others will involve paid, others still will need ads. Make sure to have a distribution plan from the outset, noting which content you’ll be sending where and to which audience. This is where you build in boosting content that’s doing well — we can’t necessarily predict what will resonate with audiences, so be prepared for content to surprise you.

Amplification must tie back to campaign objectives

The decision on what to boost and by how much should ultimately tie back to the brand’s campaign objectives. If the aim is to pursue an ambassador relationship with well-known media personalities, a campaign will naturally lean towards a certain level of amplification to ensure the right level of exposure. In contrast to this, smaller collaborations between brands and influencers to reach more niche audiences may not require paid amplification.

The key consideration is to never adopt a ‘spray and pray’ approach that pins all hopes on paid amplification to reach desired audiences.

It’s easy for brands to get swept up in newfound pressure to put more paid amplification behind influencer posts for the sake of simply reaching a wider audience. However, any conversation around boosting first needs to factor in content being rewarded organically, and always tie it back to whether the campaign objectives demand amplification for success. Boosting for the sake of it won’t lead to rewards, so make sure to prepare ahead of time before putting money behind content without any plan.

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