How To Nail Your 2018 Influencer Marketing Strategy
2017 is without a doubt the year of the influencer. We saw YouTube superstarJake Paulsurrounded by mob-like crowds, the marriage between megaInstagram influencers@boywithnojob and @girlwithnojob, and Gen Z creator networkMusical.lyacquired forone billion dollars. With75%of the next generation aspiring to become YouTube and Vlogging stars, the future of influencer marketing is extremely bright.
As each social platform is different, it’s imperative to think strategically about your influencer marketing budget and plan for 2018. Influencers provide a variety of results including an increase of new followers, brand awareness, user acquisition, purchase intent, downloads or direct sales.
How do you start?
Working with influencers is not a one size fits all decision. You can either invest in micro-influencers in your niche or big-budget large-scale influencers. With lesser-known influencers, you can direct message them on social media or email them; however, with influencers with 100,000 followers or more, it’s more likely that they’re featured on marketplace platforms or represented by managers or agencies.
When reaching out to influencers, it’s important to show that you’ve researched your prospective influencers, since the content will need to align with your brand and message. Another part of your research is to make sure that their influence is valid. To do this, you can go through their followers and make sure they’re no spam bots, see if they have a verified blue check mark or a valid URL in bio, healthy post engagement relative to their followers, and a high amount of quality content.
Now that you’ve considered your target influencers, here are the ways you’d invest in a specific platform.
YouTube was the first social network where influencers were able to cultivate audience communities and provide value through video content. Now with 30 million daily visitors and 300 hours of content uploaded each minute, YouTube is a powerful search engine and content platform.
Because of this, influencers know which kinds of videos optimize the best. With this knowledge-base, brands can work with the influencers to showcase product reviews, clothing haul videos (where influencers show what new items they bought), and unboxing of new products.
Sean Timberlake, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Sun Basket, a meal kit delivery service, has seen their investment in YouTube influencers pay off, “YouTube has become a powerful tool to educate and inform potential customers for us. Influencers are a big part of our social strategy because the act of an influencer unboxing a meal kit has led our customers to follow suit. It’s so fun to watch the user-generated videos and share in their excitement, as they unbox ingredients to cook healthy, delicious meals.”
Scrolling through your feed or checking the explore section, there’s no shortage of influencers. Whether it’s health, fashion, lifestyle, parenting, comedy -- you name it -- the Instagram influencer game is strong and, in fact, projected to be a two billion dollar market by 2019. As influencers favor Instagram and post 6.4 times a day over 5.5 from Snapchat, these power users understand the platform and can help take your brand to the next level.
They can do so through product and brand storytelling with grid photos, a carousel of content videos and photos, boomerangs, short videos, as well as, on Instagram Stories (with the ability to swipe up on content to a website link to learn more) and Instagram Live. Since influencers know how to produce worthy-content they can execute on contests, interviews, channel takeovers, product reviews, or capture the perfect photo that will optimize for likes and views.
Until recently, Snapchat historically hasn’t catered towards creators. With the exponential growth of Instagram Stories and need for more discoverability and users, Snapchat is making it easier in 2018 for creators to monetize and further brand partnerships.
As teens still prefer Snapchat to Instagram, now is the time to start building relationships with Snapchat influencers. Snapchat influencer and Creative Strategist at Delmondo, Mike Metzler who has worked with numerous brands including UFC, Unicef, and Nascar excels on Snapchat because he creates content that’s native to the platform and the users’ experience.
He notes, “For my clients, I create content that doesn't look out of place, especially now that ads are more prevalent on Snapchat. If you put a very polished piece of animation or video, it's not going to fit with everything else in your feed. When I post very detailed, interactive animation sequences for my clients, I create all the assets on the Snapchat platform by drawing them in-app. Most people are physically tapping through stories, so I try to incorporate that interactivity into my storytelling to give viewers a more enjoyable experience. Because like it or not, tapping through someone's story is almost second nature to most of us now.”
The Millennial and Gen Z generations view social media influencers as trustworthy and authentic celebrities. By having a concrete influencer strategy targeted to your audience, you can find valuable results in your investment.