INFLUENCER MARKETING TRENDS & BEST PRACTICES
Influencer Marketing trends and best practices are always changing. Goodbye Vine. Hello TikTok. What did YouTube change last week? What’s Instagram doing with public likes? Why do influencer prices vary?
YOUR INFLUENCER MARKETING STRATEGY SHOULD EVOLVE CONSTANTLY
There are a lot of trends surfacing today, and a ton changing tomorrow, but no matter the day -- we’re committed to keeping you smart so you can be sure to present your brand in the best light possible, while implementing all of the best practices.
While there’s always information to glean from our YouTube series, blog, and thought leadership in the press, we know you’re also looking for the latest influencer trends and best practices.
Here's a few key things we believe when it comes to influencer marketing today.
1. DITCH THE STATIC INSTAGRAM POST
Sadly, when most marketers think about influencer marketing, they think of the classic static Instagram post. Don’t be like most marketers. While Instagram posts still have a role for highly visual products, in most cases putting a product in a static post comes across as forced and delivers limited results. In addition, static posts aren’t good at storytelling, so you’re unlikely to leave a lasting image in your customers minds. While it’s efficient to create tens or hundreds of static posts on Instagram with a canned caption, the consumer has moved on from being impacted by an influencer simply holding a product. As an industry best practice, it is best to implement dynamic content when having an influencer advocate for your brand.
2. EMBRACE VIDEO
Video is King when it comes to organic social, paid social, content consumption, and really any digital advertising. Influencer marketing is no different -- so if you want to run successful influencer marketing campaigns, video is a critical piece of the equation. Creators are fantastic story tellers and video gives creators the freedom needed to develop engaging content in ways that other mediums simply do not offer. So whether you’re choosing Video on Demand (think YouTube) or live streaming (think Twitch) -- video gives influencer campaigns a leg up.
3. DON'T BE AFRAID OF LIVE STREAMING
Given that everyone loves video and yet more than half of 18-49 year olds either watch no tv or very little tv -- it’s clear that people have moved beyond the TV. Twitch is the largest streaming platform out there and continues to grow at 20% year over year but while it's a lasting trend, let’s not forget about YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Regardless of where live streaming occurs, there are risks with any sort of live events. And while many brands focus on the risks, those that can see the value in connecting with a hyper-engaged live audience can see huge returns. We believe that it’s more important to have 20% of the people love you than 80% of the people like you. Live streaming gives you an opportunity to truly capture a segment of customers who will love you.
4. RIDE THE TIKTOK WAVE
TikTok may be here to stay or it may be a trend that lasts years, but what matters most is that it’s an opportunity for your brand now. No matter how you go after marketing on TikTok, go with content that’s developed by creators that live and breathe the platform. TikTok is pleasantly positive and embraces content that isn’t polished. When implementing TikTok marketing, tell your creative team to take a hike and make a decision if you want creators to run content for you on their channel or if you want creators to develop content for you that will be used as part of a paid social campaign.
5. GAMING IS MAINSTREAM
Gaming is big. Like really big. Like 3x the global film industry and 4x the global music industry big. Oh -- and it’s growing ~3x faster than both.
Ditch what you know about gamer stereotypes because the audience is wider, more diverse, and more varied than what most people imagine...but of course not you! Gaming is the largest category on YouTube and the best way to get in front of both Millennial and Gen Z males if you know what you’re doing. Creators are often young, inexperienced, and have developed their own language with their audiences which creates a very strong connection between creators and their viewers. Providing creators with the freedom to talk about their unique experiences with your products and services in their voice & their language will connect and drive results you’re looking for.
6. MEASURE YOUTUBE LIKE A CHAMP
It’s 2020 (or we need to update our damn website!) & if you aren’t measuring your campaigns beyond likes, shares, and comments -- you aren’t doing it right. And while measurement isn’t a one size fits all exercise (we see you acquisition team. Oh, helllllooooo branding team. Shocking that y’all are looking at different metrics) -- there are certainly trends and fundamentals that need to be factored in. Like how are you counting the guy who watches a YouTube video with your ad in it & then converts 5 days later when something happens in his life that triggers the need for buying your product...but he does not include the vanity URL? Of course we can help with this but no matter what you’re doing here be sure you’re smart and scientific with your influencer marketing measurement. Or don’t be...but don’t come complaining to us about losing to your competitors.
7. BE MINDFUL IN CURRENT TIMES
To say times are unusual is to say that oxygen is part of air….so let’s make sure we’re thoughtful and empathetic in our communications. While mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing community, its importance is paramount when running influencer marketing campaigns. Influencers offer a way to connect with consumers, but in a way that personalizes their experience with your brand. Keep messaging brief and personal to arm creators with the tools for success. With limited clear instructions, creators can effectively communicate with their viewers and, in turn, help your brand connect with consumers in a way that’s human and engaging. The road ahead may be rocky, but you can rest assured knowing that you've humanized your brand experience — even if only a little.