The Growing Value of Always-On Influencer Marketing

By BEN INFLUENCER MARKETING 02/16/2022

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In the last year, influencer marketing spending in the U.S. has increased by 33%, moving past the $3 billion mark by the end of the year. And in 2022, early estimates suggest these investments will continue to grow toward $4 billion. 
 
The reason is simple—brands know influencer marketing campaigns can help to establish connection and authenticity with their target audiences. And while influencer marketing is often used for moment-based marketing tied to specific campaigns or product launches, the tactic can be used another way to boost the ROI of influencer marketing: always-on.  
 
Always-on influencer marketing is a long-term, value-building approach to influencer marketing that uses ongoing partnerships to enhance brand recall and boost authenticity. Rather than having creators send a one-time endorsement to their followers, always-on builds on relationships with trusted creators to engender more frequent touchpoints with audiences. Some brands also have an always-on strategy that leverages different creators over time to continuously get in front of new audiences.
 
Still, some 67% of marketers prefer to use campaign-based influencer marketing as opposed to always-on strategies. Always-on can actually be an important extension of campaign-driven influencer marketing, and while it may take longer to demonstrate results, the investment is worth it for the long-term gain of brand trust and loyalty with creators and their audiences.

Why use always-on influencer marketing?

An always-on strategy can help brands successfully reach customers at the right time with the right product with easy access to it—matching the way people live online and buy products today. Some of the key ways always-on influencer marketing can add value to your investment in creator partnerships include: 

Driving brand recall to keep a consistent pipeline of target customers. Moment-based marketing, like for product launches, can be a great opportunity to build brand awareness with influencer marketing. But once the campaign ends, direct contact with prospective customers ends. Especially because 81% of consumers need to trust a brand before buying from them, always-on eliminates any interruption with your brand for users who might be interested but need more time to make a decision to purchase. 

Leveraging authentic creator matches to increase loyalty. 86% of consumers cite authenticity as a key factor to determining what brands they support. Finding authentic creator matches, while a pillar of any type of influencer marketing strategy, is the building block of always-on, as successful creators essentially become long-term ambassadors for your brand. The more that creators’ followers associate their brand with the creator, the more trust it builds in your brand. Plus, the more you work with certain creators, the likelier they are to remain loyal to your brand, which only boosts the authenticity of future collaborations, knowing that the endorsement goes beyond a paid partnership.
 
Using built-in flexibility to pivot messaging or tactics. An advantage of always-on is that it’s an especially good tactic to use if you aren’t launching a new product, or if your marketing goals change. Because it’s not tied to just one campaign, always-on makes it easier to pivot messaging, reach new audiences, align with seasonal topics, or take advantage of current cultural trends. 

While leveraging influencer marketing during a product launch or other significant moment, always-on influencer marketing allows brands to see consistent growth in audience awareness, trust, and engagement.

How always-on influencer marketing can support brand objectives

As influencer marketing has evolved, the ability to specifically match strategy to brand objectives has improved—making it easier to specifically drive critical KPIs. BEN created a custom, always-on influencer campaign for a social networking app that facilitates connections with other people, whether finding a romantic partner or locating a job opportunity. Because the client wanted to reach such a large and varied group of people—and because the product is an experience-based service rather than a physical item—an always-on strategy allowed the client to continuously approach new audiences and optimize tactics accordingly, layering in learnings while adding in audiences and creators with different types of followings. 

Each month, the client provided BEN with specific goals for types of potential users to reach or new creators to partner with. The always-on strategy offered BEN the opportunity to optimize efforts based on collective data about which types of posts, messages, and influencers performed best with each audience. In fact, in 2020, ongoing campaigns saw 38M post impressions and 9.7M post engagements. 

Similarly, another BEN client that helps consumers easily produce photo books, uses an always-on approach to pivot to different quarterly goals, testing out messaging for a month and then optimizing and scaling based on what resonates best with audiences. So while Q4 messaging during the busy holiday season can focus on driving views and showing target users how easy it is to quickly completing your shopping with a memorable photo book, additional influencer marketing throughout the year can focus on showcasing other products, targeting different age groups, and promoting different seasonal opportunities, all while keeping the brand top of mind for audiences year-round. It’s the ongoing nature of the campaign that allows the client the flexibility for iteration.

The bottom line for always-on influencer marketing

Always-on influencer marketing can help drive continuous brand awareness, build off of moment-based marketing, create ongoing relationships with creators, and reach audiences in all stages of product consideration. While an always-on strategy might look different depending on your unique goals, audience, or product, continuous investment in influencer marketing can reap results for brands.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR ALWAYS-ON INFLUENCER MARKETING

Always-on influencer marketing can help drive continuous brand awareness, build off of moment-based marketing, create ongoing relationships with creators, and reach audiences in all stages of product consideration. While an always-on strategy might look different depending on your unique goals, audience, or product, continuous investment in influencer marketing can reap results for brands.

To learn more about how these influencer marketing strategies can translate into measurable results for your brand,

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