Influence marketing: what changed in 2019?

The last few years have been the witnesses of the evolution of global digital marketing, with the apparition of new tendencies and new ways to advertise online. 360-degree and VR videos now catch our attention on social media whereas influencers have conquered the world. After our top 5 marketing methods for mobile apps, here is one that works with any type of product or service: influence marketing.

What is influence marketing and why is it successful?

What we called influence or influencer marketing refers to a form of social media marketing. It involves the promotion and product placement from influencers. This term qualifies people who can affect the purchase decision of others by promoting or recommending a product or service on social media. They can be a celebrity, an expert, an organization or random individuals. These new spokespersons and ambassadors are a great way to attract potential buyers. Because we spend more and more time looking at our social media rather than television or magazines.

A study conducted by The Morning Consult showed that influencers are now everywhere! Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or even Tik Tok (mainly used by the 13 to 16 years old), these profiles are visible on all the social media you can think of, influencing every age group. Actually, the more the users are young, the more they follow influencers and 72% of the 13-38 years old follow influencers. For the video games industry, the live streaming platform became a new influencers network and a new opportunity to advertise online.

Macro or micro influencers: what is best for your social media marketing strategy

Most of the societies prioritize influence campaigns with macro influencers who are often famous with tens of thousands to millions of subscribers. These partnerships offer very strong visibility but may not be the best option when it comes to engagement. Try it yourself! You can generate the engagement rate with a simple click thanks to the Tanke calculator. You will see that small accounts have a better rate than bigger ones.

instagram insights

Indeed, what we call micro influencers have smaller accounts (less than 10,000 followers). However, they also tend to devote more effort to the content they create for a brand since they do not make as many collaborations. It is easier to believe and trust a micro influencer because he is more likely to have bought or used the product or service. They show more authenticity and this is exactly what attracts more engagement. Even if the reach is not as high as macro influencers’. One of the other pros of micro influencers is obviously their cheaper cost. Some of them will even make the post for free as long as they do not pay the featured products.

It is true that macro influencers’ Instagram accounts allow to use the “swipe up” function, thus offering a direct link to the featured product. Nevertheless, you will easily find some tricks to do so on accounts that have less than the necessary 10k followers and micro influencers can still tag the brand on their stories using the mention tool.

Facebook Brands Collabs Manager: a significant extension for the influencer marketing platform

Good news for the companies and agencies willing to work with influencers! Facebook chose to expand the platform « Facebook Brands Collabs Manager » to include Instagram creators. The aim is to put influencers and advertisers in touch through the creation of a significant database. The platform also allows all the influencers to share information on their audience as well as their insights and KPIs. As for the brands, they are able to directly share briefings with them. The biggest asset of this new tool is all these statistics will be certified by Instagram. A great solution to tackle some frequent issues such as fake followers and likes.

Moreover, you may have heard about the disappearance of the likes on Instagram? Well, “Facebook Brands Collabs Manager” allows the advertisers to access this KPI easily. This decision can satisfy everybody. It did have an impact on the number of followers, comments and likes for the influencers at first. But they can now feel less pressure and be more creative. For Instagram users in general, the suppression of the likes allows them to stop comparing each other which is in the long term harmful for their mental health.

screenshot of facebook brand collabs messengerHowever, the neglected part of this new tool will probably be the other influencer marketing platforms such as Upfluence and the influence agencies that are more and more numerous. The clients also might stop working with these agencies to save some money. Moreover, Facebook has a reputation that small agencies do not necessarily have. It is the observation among the influencers. Indeed, thanks to this new dashboard, they will be able to find and manage brand deals without calling on an agent.

A new advertising format on Instagram for influencers’ sponsored content

It is called “Branded content ads”. Thanks to this new format, companies can now add ad campaigns using the content created by the influencers<.b> they are working with. This way, they can have an impact on their target audience. Indeed, many parameters are customizable when creating, e.g. the target countries, the age, the gender of the interests. These ads can appear in the feed as well as in the Stories section.

This evolution also enhances the role of the influencers since the scope of their content will be even more significant. They are not creating content only for their followers anymore, but also for the brand’s target audience. These ads are marked “Sponsored” like any other ad on this application. Hence, the user can read the message “Paid partnership with” just before the captions.

The least we can say is that 2019 has been the year of evolution in terms of influence marketing. So here is a last advice: keep an open eye in 2020!

Written by Déborah Gaillard, CAWEB Master’s