4 Tips for Influencer Marketing: How to Supercharge Your Programs with Creator Content
Social Shopping is having a *Moment.* As platforms and consumer behavior continue to evolve, influencers and creators are becoming more important for brands looking to reach and engage with their customers.
Before 2020, brands and retailers were at various levels of maturity with their omnichannel, digital-first programs, with in-store remaining a large focus for most consumer brands. As a result of the pandemic, social media became the key tool for brands to reach and engage with consumers, accelerating digital transformation for many businesses.
As in-store shopping slowly returns to the mix, e-commerce will likely not be slowing down. In fact, experts predict that mobile purchases are set to take over 53.7% of the market in 2021.
At MagicLinks, we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and the creator economy is only going to continue to grow, with influencers at the center. Here’s why:
Shifting Consumer Behavior
Consumer behaviors have massively shifted, not only due to the pandemic but also because we are all increasingly living in digitally-encompassed lives. While consumers are spending more and more time on digital platforms, they also crave more authentic, engaging experiences online. Enter: Influencers.
Social commerce is appealing to consumers because it elicits similar feelings normally experienced while shopping in-store through a virtual, convenient experience. On top of that, consumers may be engaging directly with influencers and peers during the process, interacting, and creating connections. Social commerce especially makes sense for brands with tangible products like beauty, fashion, electronics, and home.
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More consumers report buying based on influencer recommendations than ever before – 61% of consumers report trusting influencers vs. only 38% for brands. And we’ve seen the proof. Our end-to-end influencer marketing platform allows both influencers and brands to see exactly how authentic influencer-created content is driving engagement and sales.
We see brands drive serious engagement on social with video content on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Each of these social channels is competing to keep users in-platform for longer and longer, while also offering incentives to creators for interesting content that resonates highly with their followers – making social media a high octane vehicle to reach target audiences at scale.
Brands Are Betting on Influencer Marketing
A whopping 68% of marketers are planning to use TikTok for influencer marketing as of March 2021, up from only 16% in Feb 2020, according to insiderintelligence.com.
Social shopping content is on the rise
Every platform seems to be testing and releasing new ways for consumers to buy directly within their favorite social space. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok are all adding tools to help brands and creators sell products within their apps, and consumers are into it!
The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt alone currently has 2.6 Billion views and counting!
Users in the US and UK are adopting social shopping more than ever, while consumers in China have fully embraced social shopping since well before 2019. By working with an influencer technology partner like MagicLinks, brands can track organic sales and reach across influencers and platforms.
Live shopping experiences are also increasing in popularity (and also already adopted in China years ago) with live shopping platforms teaming up with brands to create unique experiences for shoppers. Consumers can “shop with” their favorite influencers in real-time, such as our recent activation with Forever21 x Afterpay. Even Pinterest has jumped into the live shopping game with new streaming functionality.
The newer generations of consumers are digital natives, and more and more likely to spend time and shop on social media. As each platform evolves, this experience will become more seamless, blurring the lines between entertainment and commerce.
How can your brand add influencer content marketing to your digital strategy?
1 Choosing Influencers with Brand fit = 2X ROI
Don’t just go after numbers. Follower counts can be inflated or mostly bots, and volume won’t matter if none of that audience is interested in your brand and products. That’s why we built our Match Intelligence™ technology to analyze 20k+ influencer accounts and over $1B GMV in transactional data to surface the individuals who are most likely to drive impact for your brand.
In fact, influencer campaigns using Match Intelligence™ typically result in at least 2x the ROI that brands normally see with their influencer marketing campaigns.
The NetNet: Stop bulk messaging creators who have no interest in your products. Surface influencers who are most likely to increase engagement, drive trials and improve conversion rates, or better yet – let us take care of it for you with our full-service casting capabilities.
2 Extend the life and reach of branded content with paid media
TikTok’s tagline – “Don’t make ads, make TikToks,” speaks to the power of authentic, channel-friendly content – content that feels “at home” on the respective channel it is viewed. When influencer content feels organic, viewers are more likely to be receptive with increased brand affinity. Distribute sponsored influencer content with paid ads to boost that reach and multiply value.
You can make live-streamed and short-form content work harder for you as platform-friendly repurposed content. Sponsored video content can be boosted with paid amplification for a larger ROI. The key is to understand and select the high-performing content to amplify.
“Whitelisted” content – ads that come “from” the influencer’s account but have paid media spend behind them – outperform more “polished” ads from brand accounts.
At MagicLinks, we work with our brand partners to amplify and boost custom content across platforms, to achieve even more out of that social capital. We measure and analyze data from influencer campaigns for our partners and select top-performing creative and optimize it for campaigns based on brand strategy.
3 Don’t sleep on organic influencer activation
Get your products in front of over 20,000 pre-vetted influencers: join a social commerce platform like MagicLinks that drives “always-on” traffic for over 5000 brands. Our end-to-end influencer marketing solution gives brands a way to reach our influencers’ audience of over 250M shoppers through user-generated content, or UGC.
Why is organic UGC so powerful? It’s all about authenticity. Sure, creators are receiving a small commission for every sale they drive, but they are hand-selecting their favorite products to share with their niche audiences, who will likely find that product interesting as well.
Network and editorial placements (such as our weekly influencer newsletter with a distribution of over 20,000 vetted content creators) are another way to get in front of key opinion leaders who are excited to share your products with their communities on social.
If your influencer marketing budget is lean, you can stretch it by product seeding, or “gifting.” This approach works best for “lovable” products – items with a high consumer sentiment so that influencers are more likely to amplify their positive opinions with their followers.
In an ever-changing and increasingly crowded digital marketplace, reaching the right audience will continue to be a challenge for brands. Getting your products in front of a strong creator network like MagicLinks is a great way to reach a highly engaged, pre-targeted audience.
4 Trust The Creators
Best practices for social media vary by channel, which is why partnering with experienced creators is so valuable. This is where influencer-created content really shines. Influencer content is highly curated and focused for their audience, on their platform. Influencers understand their niche audiences best and are great sources of user-generated content that is highly authentic and relevant to those audiences. And they’re so creative! When sponsoring influencers, provide them with guidance, top messages, and brand story highlights, but try not to micromanage.
Influencers value brands that allow them to do what they do best – create. And with pre-vetted, brand-safe creators with proven track records, you can rest easy knowing they are approaching the partnership with professionalism.
Creators and their content continue to drive the growth of social commerce across channels like YouTube and TikTok. We built a platform that integrates with all social platforms and provides one-click affiliate solutions for influencers to easily refer their followers to their favorite products and brands.
Our network of over 20,000 influencers has driven x and y results for Fortune 500 brands around the world. To learn more about how we can help you meet your ROAS, Sales, and Brand Lift goals, get in touch here.