Which social platform should you use for influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is growing enormously both in Sweden and globally, budget is increasingly moving from traditional marketing to Influencer marketing and online marketing, simply because it is where consumers are. They no longer sit with newspapers in their hands and at the post boxes, you can find “no advertising please” tags. Consumers try to dodge traditional advertising like the plague, and as a marketer, it is therefore important to think smart.
The social media platforms are many, and the number of Influencers is increasing every day. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the opportunities and the supply of them, and it can be difficult to get hold of this ever-changing industry. One question we often get is which platform you as a company or brand should invest in when it comes to just Influencer marketing? It is, of course, a complex issue where the answer varies from case to case.
All platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to think carefully before making your choice. There are a lot of platforms and new challenges appear every week. In this article, these are the challenges we will focus on.
Details to sort out before starting work on Influencer Marketing
Before thinking about which platform you want to focus on, it is important to define your target audience, and the purpose of the activity. When you as a company are defined, and you know who you are going to reach, you have a much better starting position for choosing the right platform, and clearer variables to use to weigh the platforms against each other. Some good questions to answer before you start thinking about which social platform you should use are:
- Who is our target audience?
- What is the purpose of the activity?
Below we will go through the platforms one by one and describe the target group as well as the type of campaigns and collaborations that best suit each platform, based on the target audience and purpose of the activity.
Instagram is the largest platform in Sweden after Facebook and the range of Influencers is huge. About 50% of Internet users today use Instagram. Age-wise, there are a huge number of users between 15-45, with a majority of women. Here there are Influencers in a variety of categories and with followers that differ, so important to find the right target group spectrum is to find an Influencer that attracts your particular audience. To get to know the influencer’s target audience, it is a good idea to study the followers.
Are the followers active and commenting? What kind of content do they like best? Do they comment in English or do the followers come from completely different countries? Also, look at the language and tone that Influencer usually writes in, if you want a specific market, then look for influencers writing in the local language – and get comments back in the same language.
What types of collaborations best suit Instagram?
Instagram is a great channel for building brand awareness because of its design. The material appears in our flow as we scroll through it, the picture takes up our entire screen in the phone and no other elements disturb us. Instagram is easy and easy-going and we are inspired and consume Instagram a lot.
The content that is created here becomes very easy to access and is easy to grasp. The picture quality is important and in combination with a good caption, Instagram becomes a way to quickly reach their target audience and with minimal effort from their quarters make an impression and create an interest and desire.
Keep it short
It is wise to go all in on the picture and keep the text in the post short. Instagram is not an app where we want to read a lot of text. So if you have a very complex product that needs a lot of explanation for understanding it – it may be more appropriate for you to choose other social media channels. But if you have a beautiful product that almost sells itself, the “love at first sight” factor is high on Instagram, and it is a perfect channel for branding and for creating powerful content with your product in focus.
Many use the app for inspiration, so the imagery is important and many great Instagram influencers are tremendously talented at the very aesthetic design, so sit back and let Influencers create the content because they know what is most appreciated by their followers! The engagement is also very high on Instagram compared to many other platforms. It’s easy to interact with the content here and like and comment, so it’s easy to create discussions and get people to engage and tag their friends, and this is great since they share the content with friends.
Build your own community
Enjoy the power and creativity of influencers to build your own social media! For the companies and brands that have their own Instagram account, collaborations on the channel are often effective for running new followers (and thus potential customers) to their own channels.
Feel free to arrange competitions where one of the events is to partly follow your account for inspiration, or ask influencers to just mention and tag you in their posts. If you have an attractive product and a well-run account then it will attract followers to your accounts without them having to push for it especially. Make sure that you agree with the influencers that you are allowed to republish their content in their own channels, you suddenly have a lot of great high-quality content which works extremely well among your target audience and for you to share and build your own channels around.
Instagram Stories – fast, moving, driving in one
When Instagram launched Instagram Stories, new opportunities for fast and live content were also opened, where the influencer shares more of their everyday life. It creates a more personal contact between influencers and followers which allows them to strengthen their relationships with their audience. And since the content disappears after 24h, it encourages followers to be active and keep an eye out for new Stories in order not to miss out on anything. The influencers who have a verified Instagram account, with a small blue symbol next to their name or over 10K followers can also link directly from Stories, a very easy way to redirect followers to your website, a campaign page or the AppStore. So if you are curious about it, keep an eye out for the Verified symbol or influences with over 10K followers.
One of the disadvantages of Instagram is that it is not possible to include clickable links in the usual Instagram posts, but the possibility that exists is to link in the bio, which means the profile.
It is therefore common for influencers in their text in sponsored posts to refer to their bio where people can click through to websites or campaigns.
Linking in the bio is a solution that usually works well, but all Influencers are not positive about exchanging links to their blog, Youtube channel or the like in order to link to collaborations, something you must of course respect. So if you want to drive sales and for example link to your website, a campaign page or Appstore, it may be worthwhile to look at other platforms or to get in touch with several Influencers to see if they are okay with linking in their bio. Then agree carefully on the conditions for, for example, how long the link should be in the bio so that there will be no misunderstandings.
Think about the target audience you want to reach
On Instagram you can reach an extremely broad target audience, here you can find everything from young teenagers to middle-aged followers, and Instagram is largely over the whole world today so you have a good chance of reaching different markets.
Think carefully about the target audience before so that you find Influencers who reach your target audience, rather think of several smaller Influencers with a highly targeted following, rather than huge accounts where the follower might become extremely inactive or unengaged.
Creative and beautiful images that inspire together with short and simple texts are preferable, so give Influencer’s little guidelines, but otherwise, give them free creative to create content that works best with their target audience. Instagram is great for building brand awareness, creating appealing content around your product and for driving engagement in example through competitions or by followers starting to tag each other in posts. Keep it simple, short, beautiful and inspiring! Complex products and advanced linking generally do better on other platforms.
Snapchat is a great platform that has grown immensely over the years, but the target group here is slightly younger than on the other platforms. 79% of 12-25 year-olds say they use Snapchat. If we look at the use in slightly higher ages, it is much lower with 28% among 26-35-year-olds and only 9% among 36-45-year-olds. If you want to reach a young target audience, this is thus a very effective channel for collaborations with influencers.
What types of collaborations best suit Snapchat?
Snapchat is the image and video app that takes temporary and “in the moment” content to brand new levels. Unlike for instance Instagram, Snapchat is about sharing what happens in the moment, and 24h later the material disappears – and there is something liberating about it! The app is loved by its users because it encourages more spontaneous, unplanned and personal material that invites to follow the influences “behind the scenes” in everyday life.
It is not as much prestige with posting material on Snapchat, but the whole idea is all it should feel spontaneous and honest. Images are visible for up to 10 seconds, and movie clips can be a maximum of 10 seconds long, so too complex products are difficult to market on Snapchat as time is so short. For simple products, however, Snapchat is a very good channel to let an influencer demonstrate or try your product in a fun and easy way. Snapchat among the best platforms for building brand awareness and attracting new followers to the company’s own account.
In order to make campaigns at Snapchat, as a company, you want to sit back and trust that the influencer knows their followers and knows what to do, because there is no possibility of preview, but the material is created in the moment and then published directly on the influencer’s Story and it then appears in the app of the followers. The whole feeling and tone of the Snapchat are very easy-going and unseen, so a laugh or a slight misrepresentation gives a more genuine feel to the post than it destroys – so give them creative freedom and let the influencer do what they are best at – create good content!
Young people spend less time on traditional TV and viewing is moved online, and Youtube is one of the platforms that grow most. A few years ago, Youtube was a platform where we watched funny clips or old music videos, but today it is a platform where influencers bloom and have up to millions of subscribers with extremely high engagement. The target audience on Youtube is relatively young but at the same time, it is constantly growing in an even higher age range.
Many Influencers speak in their mother tongue and since the subscribers are dependent on understanding the language, you can find many Influencers here with incredibly high national reach. When it comes to, for example, the English-speaking countries, this is, of course, more difficult, but a good idea is to go through the comments and look at what the subscribers are and from where the majority seems to come. Youtube also lets Influencer get a good insight into demographics and data for their subscribers, so email and check if they want to share the data, and you can get a good insight into who you actually reach.
What types of collaborations best suit Youtube?
Unlike Instagram and Snapchat that we discussed above, Youtube is a great platform for you if you have a more complex product! Videos on Youtube are usually at least a few minutes long, so there is plenty of time to show and tell how products work and when it comes to influencer marketing, for the influencers themselves to share their experiences with it. You can have the influences create both whole clips and parts of videos, depending on the budget and how much time is needed to share information about your product. Here, you also have the possibility of linking if you want to attract traffic to your website, sales via your webshop or downloads in Appstore. This makes Youtube the top both for driving sales and app downloads, but also for building brand awareness.
The cost of working with Youtube influencers is generally higher than on many other channels, but this is because there’s generally more work with making a good YouTube video, and the engagement tends to be high because of the relationship the format allows Influencer to build up to their subscribers. It is also important to keep in mind that, as mentioned, there is an incredible amount of work behind a video production where many hours have been spent writing script or outline, putting in light and camera, filming, cutting, editing, exporting, uploading and so on. Youtubers are thus in that sense a production company in a single person, so take that into account when it comes to negotiating compensation – think what costs you save on not having to invest in a huge production!
Blogging became big between early 2000 to 2010. Today, the majority of people on internet users read blogs sometime. Blogs are still strong and popular today, and about 40% today state that they are reading one or more blogs.
The are range of people who read blogs varies but most of the blog readers can be found in the age range of 16-55 years. Blogs are one of the platforms where a slightly older target group is very active, worth keeping in mind for those who have a target group that is over 35, a target group who might otherwise be more difficult to reach.
As with all platforms, it goes without saying that you should find a blogger whose readers are in accordance with your target group, so check out who is commenting on the posts to get an idea of who the readers are. Many blog platforms also make it possible for the blogger to take part in demographics data, please ask for print screens on this, and you can ensure that it will be a good match.
What types of collaborations best suit blogs?
Just like on Youtube, the blog is perfect for you with a slightly more complex product, here, there is room to tell a story in-depth about the product and show several pictures. The blog is perhaps also the platform where linking can be made in the best and easiest way, and where several links can be included in the same post without it in any way becoming messy or affecting the reader experience negatively. Perfect for anyone who wants to drive traffic to their website or webshop!
Because of the blog’s format where a blogger often writes long texts and shares many pictures, the blogger often gets a very personal relationship with their readers. Many bloggers have been blogging for many years and have built up their reader relationship which has become a very devoted audience that takes on and really embraces their tips. The blogger and their readers often have a strong relationship and the influence that some bloggers have is incredible, and therefore, they are able to generate amazing results.
The blog is also a great channel for anyone who wants to improve SEO. When a blogger includes post links to your website or webshop, you rank higher with Google, which means you get higher up when someone searches for words related to your product or service. This means that you have a good chance of increasing the organic traffic as more people simply find you when they search. The more bloggers with high traffic on their blog linking to you, the higher you will end up in Google’s ranking.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. Just over 70% of internet users state that they use Facebook. The target group is enormously wide and the spread between different ages and genders is great. Facebook is one of the channels where you more easily reach a slightly older target group which is worth keeping in mind if you want to reach a target group that is over 35 years old.
What types of collaborations best suit Facebook?
Despite the fact that the target group on Facebook is very wide and that the users are many, Facebook today is perhaps not considered the hottest of the social media platforms. Many influencers share material on their Facebook, but most do not create exclusive content for the channel. Our experiences of, for example, blog posts shared by influencers on their Facebook pages are generally very good. If you also add sponsorship to push these posts, they can generate a lot of traffic at low CTR% and CPC levels (click-through rate and cost-per-click).
Linking on Facebook – works but has its disadvantages
Facebook is a channel where linking works well directly in the posts, so the opportunities to drive traffic to your website or webshop are good. If you have your own Facebook page that you would like to have more followers then competition on Facebook is easy to organize and get great reach on – both with or without sponsorship.
The disadvantage of linking on Facebook is that your post will not receive the same organic spread as if you had avoided linking. The network usually always disadvantages posts that link away from just Facebook in order to keep the users staying on Facebook. Therefore, link posts generate fewer views and reach which is something that quickly reveals itself when you compare the range among posts containing links or not.
Build credibility through association principle
Many Facebook users today find that the feed is largely absorbed by advertising and sponsored content, so in order to cut through the noise, it is of great importance that the content created is perceived as personal and genuine to the recipient. However, for an experienced influencer who knows their target audience as a sender, this happens automatically. When looking at companies’ own sponsored ads on Facebook and compared to influencers’ posts shared by companies, the results are very good in general for influencer content, even if the company is the sender.
The conclusion is therefore that you want to let a credible influencer mediate your content and then share his content in his own channels – it is then perceived as more credible when an influencer tells about the benefits of your product than if you do it yourself.
There are, of course, many exceptions, but if we speak very generally, you can say that the younger target audience, teenagers and young adults are best reached on Youtube, Snapchat and Instagram, while a slightly older target group is more easily reached via blogs and Facebook, but recently also via Instagram, then with niche influencers such as home cooking, food or certain types of celebrities. Simple and stylish products whose concept is easy to grasp make themselves very good on Instagram (as well as building your own community) and Snapchat where the content is limited, while more complex products that require longer stories and demonstrations make the most of channels like Youtube and blogs.
The platforms all have their strengths and weaknesses – so most importantly, they have clearly defined their target audience and then their purpose with the intended activity before choosing a platform to focus on. Despite solid research and believing that you have found the optimal platform, you need to test and evaluate the results and in that way finally finding his golden strategy with influencers and the platforms that work best for you.
Dare to test and see it as a learning process where you will ultimately find a strategy based on experience and list can gain many advantages over the competitors. One thing is certain, influencers are here to stay and their impact and reach are increasing every day. Think smart, see the opportunities, dare, and take advantage of this exciting and fast-growing industry and marketing method.
This article has been written by a contributor for VeloceNetwork.