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The Future of Paid Social: Creative

Published: September 9, 2022

Author: Yomei Kajita

Insights from the Experts: Paid Social Series - Yomei Kajita, SVP, Paid Social

As consumers spend more time online and increasingly rely on digital transactions, brands began to bombard consumers with ads, content, and messaging. From government agencies and leaders to social causes, B2B services, and B2C products, advertising campaigns today often feature a creator or influencer component. In fact, the influencer economy is expected to balloon in 2022 to a $16.4 billion industry.

When trends take off, consumers often react powerfully; at least until the novelty wears off. The more brands that engage in influencer marketing and social media advertising, the less impactful it is. The current market is reaching a saturation point. Consumers tune out visual, verbal, and written messaging that’s too sales-focused as well as content that’s repetitive or dim. The sheer volume and frequency of ads could keep consumers thumbing past your content.

However, influencer and creator-led creative continues to have great performance potential. As the influencer and creator community has taken off and most campaigns today include some degree of influencer marketing, advertisers must carefully curate influencers and creators and develop relevant ads.

Don’t let your strategies get stale. Keep advertising and marketing campaigns fresh to stave off dips in campaign performance.

Influence With Data

If creative performance begins to plateau or decline, first look for opportunities in your measurement reporting. We recommend analyzing three key metrics:

  1. Frequency: Rate how often audiences are served your ads. Too much repetition dilutes the creative performance as audiences scroll past content that’s served overly often.
  2. Click-through rate (CTR): Review the volume of traffic from referring content and evaluate the quality of referral based on how likely and how soon the consumer may convert.
  3. Sales: Evaluate spend on sales-focused campaigns to determine the return on advertising spend. The campaign may have high potential for strong performance; yet may simply require refreshed creative or a change of frequency to deliver the results you’re after.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can enhance your datasets and processes, revolutionizing influencer brand partnerships and campaigns. These tools can help identify emerging trends, strengthen influencer relationships, and provide valuable insight into consumer behavior and sentiment. You’ve heard it here before, but the more you know about your audience, the better and more personalized experience consumers will have with your brand. Audience insights will optimize creative performance over time for sustainable, long-term growth.

Commit To Consistency

While optimistic about growth, brands should also outsmart potential challenges. One such challenge is the slight slipping of consumer trust in influencers and creators. Find the right influencers for your brand. Brand partnerships with creators and influencers should feature transparent, authentic, and personalized content.

While consistency is a good strategy, don’t be afraid to move away from an influencer or creator partnership swiftly if key performance indicators show that the partnership didn’t resonate with your audience. The beauty of the intersection of social advertising and influencer marketing is that you can test and move on to a new strategy if the content did not perform.

Brands can develop a consistent and unique presence on social media platforms with the help of influencers and creators. By extending these relationships from campaigns to partnerships, there are more frequent engagements to strengthen connections with consumers with a blend of organic and paid content. With partnerships, there’s more creative flexibility as the brand and influencer shape the work together over a longer period. A long-term partnership with an influencer or creator could evolve into brand ambassadorship, or, brand advocate.

Create Balance

To take the partnership approach to advertising, leverage influencers and creators in about half of all brand awareness and new customer acquisition campaigns. The increased exposure and higher engagement that influencer content receives will drive performance. Retargeting campaigns can then be brand focused so as not to oversaturate and fatigue customers with redundant creative and messaging. Brands will find greater success by striking a 50/50 balance of influencer creative and brand-voice creative.

A brand’s organic effort focuses on providing education and inspiration. Customers hear directly from the brand about the company, its products, and vibe. For example, influencers can tag the business in Branded Content and Stories for organic reach. Paid efforts with influencers compliments that to provide a well-rounded perspective of the brand.

Creative performance should be monitored and optimized closely to drive efficient awareness and conversions. Brands can track frequency and balance the types of creative featured so that neither brand nor influencer content overshadows the other.

Paid social media will continue to be a competitive space for brands. We recommend a blend of influencer and branded content to foster creative balance, diversify social feeds, and avoid dilution. Performance based influencer marketing and advertising is the direction we see digital marketing going.

To learn more about 3Q/DEPT social media and creative services, read this full blog series on the Future of Paid Social Media.

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