Can paid media and influencer marketing co-exist? We think so.

In the world of social media, authenticity makes the brand. The relationship between brand and consumer is far more meaningful than ever before. Rather than be a blind follower in the social media strategy machine, they embrace a kinship that keeps them interested and engaged. This desire for organic, credible content has led to a rise in influencer marketing campaigns. Influencers can be ideal marketing partners because of their built-in, loyal followings that heed their advice on products. Their reviews and endorsements can turn interest into action, and help build a brand’s following. We highlight the best ways to engage with influencers in a recent blog; Influencer Marketing: Let’s Keep It Simple. But like all relationships, building an organic connection takes time. Regardless of the number of followers an influencer has, more than likely only a small percentage of their followers will see the content due to everchanging algorithms and platform saturation. To combat this, the most innovative brands add a paid media element to their campaigns.

80% of all influencer activations have a paid media component in 2020”
– Lumanu

Integrating paid social into an influencer campaign not only amplifies visibility, but gives brands a greater reach. For instance, both Instagram and Facebook have a “Lookalike Audience” feature that targets individuals similar to a brand’s pre-existing consumer base. This tool can help brands identify new consumers and create new connections, which in turn positively impacts the campaign’s KPIs. In a way, paid media picks up where earned media leaves off. Earned media gives brands the genuine “word-of-mouth” shares, posts and reviews that consumers connect with, while paid media provides greater flexibility, control and insight over objectives and content seeding.

When it comes to determining the “when, where, why” of influencer marketing and paid media, here’s a few things to remember:

When To Boost Your Ads

  • Not all organic influencer content needs paid support. Product announcements or reveals generally draw their own level of interest and hype, and don’t require added promotion
  • It’s always a good idea to boost great-performing content. If an influencer post gets a high-level of engagement or conversion, go back and boost it so it reaches a larger audience
  • Setting a clear objective (awareness, conversion, engagement) will help you determine when and where to feature paid ads

Where To Feature Ads

Understanding how your audience likes to engage will help determine which platform is best for paid content:

  • Stories offer a more immersive experience for users and an effortless “swipe-up” integration, but only have a 24-hour shelf-life. However, their more personal, relatable approach is ideal for influencer reviews and product features
  • Newsfeed/Feed is great for branded content that you want to keep on your page. The ads look like regular posts and can feature photos and/or a video component

Why Target

  • Age, location, demographic, interests, behaviors—all of it matters when targeting the right audience
  • Influencer trust is invaluable. Target audiences like Millennials and Gen Z are inspired by the influencers they follow, and are more likely to purchase a product seen on social media

Safe Brand Promotion

  • Be sure to work with verified influencers only. The fraud rate continues to increase as the space expands across markets.
  • Check out our tips for safe influencer promotion


Navigating the ins and outs of paid media and influencer marketing can be overwhelming—we can help. Marketsmith has years of experience working with influencers and can develop a fully-integrated influencer and paid media strategy that meets all your brand objectives.