As viral video star Zach King put it, “You need to be in the right platforms,” challenging the popular opinion that influencers and brands need to be everywhere at once. Taking a selective, more strategic approach to using the right mix of platforms, as opposed to a scattershot approach across any and all platforms, remains vital to create a successful influencer program.
Influencer marketing has become essential, dubbed by some as an integral element of every marketing campaign. Brands recognize the power of partnering with creators to reach a targeted audience in an authentic way.
While 74% of audiences had stronger brand recognition and felt more positively about the brand as a result of an influencer integration, one brand integration usually isn’t going to deliver the scale you’d like to see. In fact, sticking with just a single platform might not be the best way to communicate your full message toyour target audience.
By understanding the pros and cons of each platform, brands can tell the same story from different vantage points, allocate budgets more effectively, and leverage platform diversity to create powerful and coherent influencer campaigns.
Each platform provides unique advantages and disadvantages. These are largely based on content type and audience composition. So let’s dive into the most important platforms for creating a comprehensive influencer campaign. We’ll focus on the advantages of each platform and illustrate why it’s so important to leverage a holistic approach for your brand.
At its core, YouTube encompasses a number of influencer verticals or audience groups that have common interests. It offers massive, consistent reach for brands who are looking to connect with these respective, like-minded audiences.
It’s an ideal platform for conveying in-depth messaging and achieving specific brand KPIs (such as views, clicks, etc.), given how versatile the platform is and how brands can optimize its content.
Brands can effectively utilize the platform to fuel anticipation for a product or provide useful product information, in an easily digestible manner. In fact, most audiences research products on YouTube prior to purchase, with 53% of YouTube users claiming the platform helped make a purchasing decision.
In short, YouTube is a highly impactful platform that offers in depth, educational, long-form content to a mass audience that highlights the application of products and services into everyday life.
Amazon-owned Twitch provides streamers and visitors an opportunity to watch and talk about video games and other content. A younger platform with a growing audience, the platform is highly invested in gaming. In fact, Twitch is now averaging approximately one million viewers at a given time, which is more viewers than some major cable networks.
The platform allows audiences to interact with each other in real-time – discussing their shared passion for gaming, pop culture and life. It’s an entertaining and honest medium of discovery that tends to drive purchase intent.
Each streamer has a loyal & engaged audience that regularly watches or even pays to be a member of their community. Brands work with Twitch influencers to play their respective games, drink their recommended energy beverages, or utilize their preferred noise-canceling headsets, who invite their audiences to do the same.
Diving deeper into that level of engagement, specific to gaming, it’s important to note that the Twitch audience is highly engaged with multiplayer content, influencers who play games at the expert level, and games that have high re-playability.
It’s also prudent for marketers to work with Twitch if your objective is to reach a broad audience. This is due to the Ranking System that it offers, which features top viewed games. As brands work with influencers with the goal of getting a high concurrent view count (a strong predictor of audience reach), Twitch will feature the game. When the game is featured, the broader Twitch audiences can see the game on Twitch’s front page, resulting in more viewership for the campaign as a whole.
Twitch offers interaction with a loyal, engaged audience. It particularly makes sense for gaming companies who are interested in a platform for influencer endorsements that’s housed in an authentic play experience. If you can successfully get your game to be featured on Twitch, then you’re bound to draw in new audiences and create hype around your game.
Instagram is an ideal platform for shorter form content. The platform offers consistent reach, high engagement, live interaction and immediacy.
Utilizing Instagram Stories is a particularly powerful tactic for reaching a large portion of an influencer’s followers quickly. With the ability to tag another channel via a mention and link out, brands can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to a specified site or alternate channel and ultimately boost reach.
To capitalize on current trends, marketers should also consider incorporating their messaging into influencer Story videos with Polls. Polls allow influencers to get audience feedback on simple questions in a matter of seconds, so fans are instantly part of the conversation.Here are three tactics to incorporate Instagram Stories into your campaign:
- “Swipe up”– this feature generates high engagement rates, whereas images posted to Instagram do not allow for viewers to click a link (except in their bios, meaning, a brand’s URL would need to be in an influencer’s bio line, which is not always cost effective, given that many influencers are not always open to this approach)
- Engagement – Stories have the highest engagement rates (i.e. opens, swipe ups) and can drive traffic better than any other type of post (i.e. images or videos, which typically generate likes and comments, rather than clicks). Generally speaking, IG story click-through-rates are nearly triple that of YouTube.
- Urgency – since Instagram Stories are only live for a 24 hour period, they create a sense of immediacy and urgency on the part of the audience
The proliferation of Instagram Stories has proven its inherent marketing effectiveness, not only in the minds of brands, but also for influencers and consumers as well.
The Wrap Up
While it is widely understood that brands need to tailor their message to match the distribution platform, the influencer space is often considered as a single entity. In reality, the space spans across several social platforms and features various content types, with advantages and disadvantages to each.
For larger campaigns, a single platform will not capture your audience. It’s therefore crucial that you don’t relegate yourself to a single platform approach. Brands who can clearly distinguish between the right content, the right platforms, and the right measurements, can actually leverage this diversity to create powerful and coherent branded campaigns across the influencer space. This holistic approach is the gold standard and the winning recipe of influencer marketing. Go get ‘em.
By Lilli Davis Kim, Senior Account Manager, and James Myrick, Director, Client Services.