Influencer marketing has had its ups and downs, yet its ability to drive awareness and sales for brands is undeniable. However, executing a successful creator campaign may not be as easy as you may think. The Drum asked three experts what they think marketers need to know about the rapidly evolving practice today.
1. Understand that influencers are not platform agnostic
Creators are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, meaning most are more adept at creating sponsored content for one platform above others. This is something that brands and marketers must understand in order to strategize and execute a successful campaign.
“If you’re going to leverage every platform, don’t count on one influencer to deliver across all platforms,” says Evy Lyons, chief marketing officer of San Francisco influencer marketing software firm Traackr. “Don’t force an influencer to post a TikTok if it’s not in their wheelhouse. It’s so important that your content fits within that influencer’s style and ethos, or conversely, work with influencers who have the ability to shift their style by platform.”
Successful creator campaigns can be harder to carry out than expected / Credit: Adobe Stock
2. Take the time to learn each platform’s nuances
Meta companies Instagram and Facebook have recently taken a TikTok-adjacent approach by introducing more short-form, vertical video content to their platforms. That being said, a well-performing campaign video on TikTok may not work as an Instagram Reel or YouTube short.
“Some brands and companies are not spending enough time on social media and apps to understand what people actually want to see. Each app has different audience expectations and ways to do things – and it’s important to be on top of those differences,” says Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Influencer Marketing Factory, an agency specializing in YouTube, TikTok and Instagram content.” “If the company has the capacity, they should dedicate one person to study different trends and layers of references on each platform.”
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3. Listen to what creators have to say about their audience
One of the perks of social media is the immediate response content gets from its audience. This informs creators on how to elegantly create sponsored content that will resonate with their audience as well as a brand’s target demographic.
“The brands who get it right and do it best are leveraging the insights and the real-time feedback inputs that creators are receiving, in terms of what audiences like, what they want to hear and what they will respond to,” says Ryan Stern , founder and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based social media content agency, Collectively. “That’s where the magic happens: when brands stop and listen to what creators are taking in and how they’re playing it back, versus taking a more traditional brand communication push model and trying to make that work for a feed.”
4. Be wary of BeReal – at least for now
As leading social media platforms continue to evolve, so, too does influencer marketing. However, Stern and Bogliari advise marketers to focus their attention on the tried-and-true platforms rather than recent trends, like anti-filter, anti-influencer social media app BeReal.
“All platforms are important to know and can provide a lot of value. We’ll see where BeReal. goes. For now, it’s too early to tell, but when it comes to influencer marketing, it’s about connecting brands with an audience. For communities where there’s a general hesitation to connect with brands in a commercial way, I don’t see it as a place that I can recommend brands to focus on. There are other places where those relationships are celebrated authentically,” says Stern.
Bereal. and other new apps are a bit of a bet. When you think about it, Bereal. is all about ‘being real,’ and people are going there because they’re sick of seeing ads. Therefore, promotional content might not be well received,” adds Bogliari.
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