As time spent on mobile devices continues to increase worldwide, so too does the value of influencer marketing as a campaign method. But while marketers may think increased social media usage would make it easier to connect with target audiences online, in fact, the opposite is true; the data shows that consumers’ patience has decreased when deciding whether or not they want to engage with a piece of content.
This means that if marketers and advertisers hope to move the needle in a truly meaningful way, they must get more specific than ever when it comes to the tone and content of branded digital campaigns, as well as what types of influencers they partner with. One of the most valuable (and yet often overlooked) data points that can help marketers predict the success of a campaign is affinity.
Affinity is the degree to which one influencer profile overlaps with another in both content and engagement patterns. If two profiles discuss similar topics, are visually alike and engage with similar accounts, those profiles have a high affinity with one another. It could also be described as lookalike data. The more similar two profiles are, the higher affinity they’re said to have with one another.
Measuring affinity enables marketers to invest their dollars with creators and content that have already been proven to perform well with the brand’s target demographic, as well as inform other areas of their marketing spend.
Three types of affinity and how to leverage them
There are three essential types of affinity—brand affinity, audience affinity and profile affinity—and marketers can leverage all three for the highest rate of campaign success in both influencer and paid media efforts.
First, let’s discuss brand affinity. Brand affinity can help marketers see if creators will be predisposed to engage positively with a certain brand based on how they’ve talked about similar brands in the past. By aggregating and sifting through historical social data points, we can predict how aligned an influencer will be with a specific brand’s aesthetic and values.
But one of the biggest mistakes we see marketers make is stopping there and not digging deeper into the data point that we believe matters most: audience affinity. Audience affinity measures how much the behavior of an influencer’s audience overlaps with a brand’s profile.
By focusing on audience affinity you’re able to work backward from your target demographic audience, and let that audience tell you the influencers they’d like to see posting about your brand. If advertisers want their campaigns to have any real impact, it’s imperative they analyze a collective audience’s behavior and relevant demographic information, not just the behavioral data of creators themselves. This ensures a higher probability their branded content will be relevant to the audience, not just to the creator they’re hoping to partner with.
Finally, profile affinity allows marketers to discover new talent based on which influencers were most successful for them or their competitors in the past. This metric compares the percentage of overlap between two content creator profiles, allowing marketers to quickly find lookalike influencers and compare them with those they know perform well.
The right technology can quickly help marketers leverage all three types of affinity data to identify untapped markets and discover high-value creative talent, enabling them to predict their target audience’s behavior by examining data that already exists and aligning with already-established patterns.
Affinity data can also be leveraged beyond influencer marketing, helping to add color to business intelligence learnings and inform other areas of ad spend. By understanding what topics and influencers matter most to a target audience, marketers can make better-informed investment decisions when it comes to paid media and partnerships as well as creator campaigns.