Getting results with Facebook & Instagram ads is hard without some creative thinking.
Rising CPMs, ad blockers, loss of tracking, ease of comparison shopping, more awareness of advertisers, etc all impact ad performance.
All this lowered the trust people have in business advertising online. They just don’t trust a brand like they’d trust family, friends, and other people that influence their opinions.
And did you know users put plenty of trust in the recommendations of their favorite online content creators (influencers)?
Strangely, people often trust these creators/influencers as much as they’d trust their friends (sometimes even more!)
That’s why the Instagram & Facebook influencer marketing industry is closing in on $2 billion in revenue!
Knowing this, it would be crazy not to harness the power of influencers.
And we use a successful method that we called “Channel Takeover”. Meaning that we leverage influencer marketing campaigns to their ultimate potential by combining ad platforms with influencer pages.
This article will explain the reasons behind this method and showcase some examples.
- What’s The Channel Takeover Method?
- Bonus: Facebook Influencer Types
- Facebook Influencer Marketing Campaign Examples
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Influencer Marketing on Facebook & Instagram
What’s The Channel Takeover Method?
The channel takeover method is a combination of influencer marketing and paid advertising.
In a nutshell, you gain access to the social media profiles of popular influencers using your Facebook Business Manager.
You can then use your ad account to create and run paid ads from that influencer’s Facebook page.
By doing so, you’re essentially “taking over” their social media platforms to promote your brand in front of a specific target audience.
Using Facebook influencer marketing is rewarding for a plethora of reasons.
- 61% of users will trust a product recommendation from a social media influencer.
- Showing up on an influencer page will boost social validation and brand awareness.
- The majority of their followers are already highly targeted prospects (warm audience)
- High engagement rate helps you fill remarketing buckets & email list (which you can target using custom audiences)
- Brands are making $5.2 ROI overall on influencer marketing (read the case studies below – proof is in the pudding!).
Moreover, 2/3 of businesses plan to increase budgets for their influencer marketing efforts. Keep reading and you’ll want to join in as well.
Bonus: Facebook Influencer Types
Before we jump to the substance let’s just get one thing straight: Not all influencers are the same.
And no, just because an influencer has a higher number next to the follower count, doesn’t mean that they’ll work better with your brand.
In their recent article, Shopify did a great job segmenting influencers.
According to them, there are 5 different types of influencers for Facebook:
- Nano-influencers: 1000-5000 followers. Highest engagement rate (5%) as their audience is hugely involved.
- Micro-influencers: 5000-20,000 followers. Account for almost 40% of the entire Facebook influencer marketing landscape. Brands prefer working with micro-influencers than any other type due to their active users, large supply, and low price.
- Mid-tier influencers: 20,000-100,000. 64% of marketers say these are their ideal influencer type.
- Mega-influencers: 100,000 – 1 million. Used by bigger brands.
- Celebrities: 1m+. Lowest engagement rate, high costs, but the biggest reach and validation.
How to Choose a Facebook Influencer for Marketing?
Your choice of influencer depends on where you are as a brand.
If you’re a small startup with limited funds you’d be off to a good start with a nano influencer and their small but highly engaging audience.
As your brand grows and your marketing budget increases, you can start spending more on influencers and influencer campaigns.
It’s also important to pick the right influencers depending on your target audience. Usually, followers of a makeup artist won’t be the same as those interested in gaming gear.
It’s also good to know your audience demographics.
GWI (Global Web Index) reports that Gen Z (age 16-23) and Millenials (age 24-37) are most influenced by influencers on Facebook and other social media.
Therefore, you could safely predict a successful influencer marketing campaign if you target the “youngest” generation of shoppers.
Facebook Influencer Marketing Campaign Examples
The channel takeover method takes some effort.
But if done right they can skyrocket your sales and boost your brand awareness.
Small brands can benefit from the exposure, but it’s the medium to big businesses that are reaping the most benefits.
Below are two examples where we used the channel takeover method and had impressive results. Both are high-spending clients that 3-4x their ad revenue thanks to influencer marketing.
Channel Takeover #1 – Topaz Labs
Topaz Labs is an AI photo enhancement tool that we profitably scaled up to $300k+ monthly ad spend.
Despite ads performing well, we were aware of the ad fatigue and the need to switch things up from time to time.
We wanted to cast a line into a new highly-targeted pool and expand both our prospecting and remarketing buckets.
At the same time, the brand could’ve used some more validation from well-known people in the industry.
Facebook influencer marketing seemed to tick all the boxes.
Finding the Influencers
Topaz Labs had already established itself as a leading photo editing tool by the time we started our influencer search.
We also had an established “buyer persona/target audience” due to months of data and optimization.
This was crucial for two reasons:
#1 – Popular influencers already knew about/used the software before.
Influencer marketing goes both ways: You want popular influencers to promote your business, but they would also like to be a face of a valuable brand.
This makes influencers appear less “generic” or “paid” when recording the influencer video. They are also prone to sprinkle their personal positive feedback and sometimes even engage in conversations in the ad comments.
💡 Pro Tip: Even as a small/startup business, you’ll attract better influencers for less cash if you offer value besides profit. Sustainability, environmentalism, community-building, are all values that everyone holds in high regard (influencers and shoppers as well).
#2 – We could dive deeper into the audiences of each influencer and see if they align with our ideal buyer persona.
A common mistake brands make is that they think they narrowed their niche enough.
Here’s a common hypothesis:
Topaz Labs is a photo editing tool, therefore any photography influencer will suffice.
Experience, testing, and data all proven that Topaz Labs solves specific pain points. Hence, it is widely used by specific types of photographers.
Wildlife photographers, landscape photographers, those who frequently shoot objects in motion, or in high ISO.
Knowing this, we could’ve found popular influencers that attracted followers in the same niche. Essentially narrowing down a broad photo niche.
In the end, we could focus on finding mid-tier and occasionally mega influencers.
So we’ve partnered with four professional photographers and influencer profiles:
- Colby Brown (professional wildlife, landscape, and travel photographer)
- Matt Kloskowski (professional wildlife photographer)
- Paul Seibert (Professional areal photographer)
- Scott Keys (Avian photographer)
Best Performing Ads & Overall Results
The influencer ads immediately took off with high ROAS and lower CPA.
Even prospecting campaigns did well (37% lower CPA). Normally they take time to deliver and have worse results (as they’re top of the funnel).
The key difference between influencer ads and regular ads is ad engagement. All influencer ads recorded click-through rates (CTRs) higher than the account’s average.
The abundance of likes, comments, and shares captures the user’s attention. Also, they’re more likely to leave a comment if they see an influencer post as sponsored content on their news feed.
The thing we’ve noticed is the higher amount of positive comments on the post, benefiting the ad’s social proof.
Not only that, but some of the influencers would engage in honest discussion to dismiss negative comments. Check the image below:
No doubt these types of comments helped a bunch of buyers make a calculated decision.
Since we’ve launched influencer campaigns, we’ve seen a consistent month-over-month ROAS above our set target (2+ ROAS).
Once we’ve filled remarketing buckets we used it to hit the same audience with general remarketing from Topaz Labs’ page.
Thanks to influencer ads capturing those closer to purchase, REM ads just had to finish the deal. Here’s the last month’s performance:
Wins, Takeaways & Strategies
Running successful Facebook ads means constantly testing and scaling what works.
And this is what worked for us when it comes to Facebook influencer marketing:
#1 Video testimonials
Influencer video testimonials will always be the most effective influencer content.
They address the buyer directly and in “real-time” giving them a sense of trustworthiness and urgency.
Keep this in mind with video testimonials:
- Make sure your influencer has quality recording equipment.
- Use a good thumbnail/holding image to draw attention to the video.
- Put subtitles on the video to improve accessibility and clarity.
- Combine shots of your influencer and the use of your product so users can get the full picture.
Here’s an example ad:
#2 – Longer Form Copy
Short and on point is the copywriting mantra. However, a long-form copy can captivate the user and in combination with the influencer video thumbnail, it may yield better results.
At least that was the case with our influencer campaigns where long copy significantly outperformed the short.
#3 – Using Referral Discounts
Users love discounts, especially when they come from their favorite internet personas.
Using referral discounts on influencer pages greatly helped with buying decisions and improved customer acquisition results.
#4 – Use Dark Posting
The best way to maintain your ads’ social proof is to use the Dark Posting method.
By utilizing this strategy you can keep all the engagement of your best performing ads, just like you’ve seen in some of the examples above.
Also, this includes occasionally checking and removing spam or extremely negative/malicious comments.
Channel Takeover #2 – AppSumo
AppSumo is a SaaS LTD marketplace that we’ve been helping grow since the early days. Nowadays, they’re spending six figures on their search & social marketing with great returns.
However, they too wanted to spice up their marketing game with influencers.
After all, why not? There are a bunch of content creators online that recommend various tools to their viewers.
But how to pick the best of the bunch?
Choosing the Creators
AppSumo has built a quite diverse audience. From startup founders to designers, marketers, or software “geeks” looking at the best new deal.
Meaning we couldn’t settle for just one type of content creator (e.g. just a business influencer, or just a marketer).
We need to dabble in a diverse landscape which is always challenging from a research perspective.
The entire process consists of two steps:
#1 – Research your own backyard.
When you have a huge and heterogenous audience like AppSumo it’s easy to fall into a trap of “going broad.”
This is the hypothesis: Our product can appeal to anyone. So let’s put our audience in front of as many people as we can and users will hop on.
Of course, it’s false and it’s burning money.
Dig deeper into data and you’ll realize that your audience consists of many “avatars” that follow similar patterns.
After thorough research, we’ve realized that we can categorize AppSumo’s audience into several groups:
- Productivity geeks
- Digital marketers
- Aspiring businessmen
- Software developers & aficionados
- Writers, designers, and creative enthusiasts
#2 -Looking For the Influencers
After we broke down AppSumo’s audience, we could move on to find perfect matches.
Since we were dealing with a diverse audience, we needed to find influencers that appeal to each one.
Normally, celebrity influencers wouldn’t do the trick. But mid-tier (20k-100k) and mega influencers (100k+) seemed like an ideal place to start.
After a meticulous search, we’ve found our awesome influencer team ready for the channel takeover:
- Matt Ragland (Content creator, productivity guru, 50k+ YT subs)
- Katte Steckly (Marketing influencer, 120k+ YT subs)
- Tiff in Tech (Software developer and influencer 110k+ YT subs)
- Alex Berman (Business tips influencer 60k+ YT subs)
- Nick Nimmin (Video editing, YT growth influencer, 805k+ YT subs)
- Modern Millie (Social Media Influencer tips, 100k+ YT subs)
- Will Patterson (Graphic designer, 500k+ YT subs)
Best Performing Ads & Overall Results
The initial plan for AppSumo’s influencer marketing was to “hook” new users and build up engagement at the top of the funnel.
Considering it’s the first touchpoint in the customer journey, we weren’t looking for exceptional results.
Nevertheless, ROAS was constantly positive even in prospecting campaigns with highly engaging ads and above-average CTR.
Here’s an example of an engaging influencer ad (click on the image):
Influencer marketing campaigns also yielded great results during BFCM.The combination of awesome deals and influencer persuasion made this year’s Black Friday AppSumo’s biggest sale day ever.
Finally, influencer marketing managed to solve one of the biggest pain points for the brand – female shoppers.
Historically, it was extremely hard to convert a female-targeted audience in this account.
This time however, we had female influencers showcase the brand to their female audience, making it more appealing.
Wins, Takeaways & Strategies
We’ve outlined three big wins to implement in our future channel takeovers.
#1 – Use Both Channels (Influencer and Brand)
Even if you’re “taking over” an influencer page, you should still use influencer content to run from your business’ page.
That’s what we did with AppSumo.
Here’s Alex Bergman’s ad that we ran from AppSumo page:
On some occasions, brand page ads performed even better than influencer ads.
The point being, channel takeover doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run influencer ads from your page as well.
Cold audience will enjoy a word from influencers much more than you bigging up your own product.
#2 – Different Copy For Different Channels
What we noticed in influencer marketing campaigns is that many brands use generic copy during the channel takeover.
That strips the ad out of “honesty” making it feel like a generic branding message. That helps neither your brand nor the influencer.
In fact, it can have a negative impact, making influencer followers feel “tricked.”
Here’s what we do instead:
- Brand page – Use quotes in the copy so it seems like we’re quoting the influencer’s opinion/comment (example above).
- Influencer page – Make sure the copy aligns with their voice and the way they write/address their audience.
- Long vs short – Short copy worked best combined with video ads. We let the videos do all the explaining.
#3 – Use Influencer Ads As Remarketing Bucket-Fillers
Influencer marketing campaigns are especially good for pushing your flash sales and promos (such as BFCM promo).
Targeting influencer page engagers might not result in a first-touch sale (normal for prospecting). It builds the social proof and fills the remarketing bucket needed for huge sales days.
We’ve also made sure to target interests specific to each influencer for all prospecting ads. This made sure we had good engagement and CTR which we later used in remarketing.
Need Help Setting Up Your Influencer Campaigns?
Let our team of experts implement it all instead. 🚀
A Step-By-Step Guide to Influencer Marketing on Facebook & Instagram
Want to start marketing with influencers on Facebook & Instagram?
Here’s how to replicate what we did for our clients.
What’s the Budget Needed For Influencer Marketing?
The budget and follower size isn’t an important factor when it comes to working with influencers.
We’ve used this strategy on brands making as little as $10k in revenue to businesses earning $1m a month.
Sometimes micro and small influencers can yield better results than powerhouses with millions of followers.
What’s more important is to get the right influencers in front of the right audience.
Thus, the hybrid model of influencers + Facebook & Instagram ads is the key.
Where to Find Influencers For Channel Takeover?
Here are a few services that we use to reach out to influencers:
Connecting With influencers
Before you reach out to your ideal influencer, ask:
How can I make my offer appealing to them? How do I maximize the perceived value?
You can mention some of these things to get the ball rolling:
- We want to propose a partnership as we think your content and followers align with our brand.
- We’re willing to send you (product, gift card, service) for free.
- We will pay you a certain amount for (eg.) 2 images and a video.
- We can advertise your posts with our marketing budget. This will expose your account to a bigger audience (that fits your niche) and will drive more engagement to your post.
OK, you’ve pitched the influencer and made sure he’s interested to learn more about the opportunity. What’s next?
First, make sure they’ve opted to give you access to their influencer page. Then, you should send them instructions to grant you entry:
Option 1 – Request Access to Influencer Page via Your Business Manager
This has to be a business page and not a personal profile. You can tell if the page has “followers” (business) or “friends” (personal).
- Go to business.facebook.com
- Go to pages
- Click request access to the page
- Enter the influencers page URL
Option 2 – Have Them Add Your Business Manager As Partner
If they’d prefer adding you as a partner, send them the following instructions:
- Ask the influencer to go to business.facebook.com
- They should click pages under the accounts section on the left-hand side
- Then click on assign partners
- Have them enter your business ID [of your business, not influencers’]
- Assign the manager role
They should let you know when they complete this process. You should have access to run ads from both their page and your business page.
Once you have access to the influencer page, you can start your Facebook influencer marketing campaign.
⚠️ Important: Use the existing post option in your ad account to create an ad campaign targeting your audience with the influencer’s content.
Let the Influencer Marketing Machine Roll
That settles it. Once you have 2 to 4 different influencer agreements in place you will have a well-oiled influencer marketing strategy.
Each influencer marketing campaign should deliver new customers frequently while keeping the engagement and interest for ads high.
Have you run Facebook or Instagram influencer ads? What are your thoughts on the channel takeover method?
If you need help with executing a channel takeover strategy, get in touch. We would be more than happy to help! We’ve done this for multiple brands, spending over $2.5 million profitably on these sorts of campaigns.