This year stands to be one of the biggest years in influencer marketing history, as more brands continue adopt the highly effective marketing practice. Nobody knows the industry quite like the influencers on the front line, which is why we asked our network of mom influencers, who reach more than 250 million on social media every day, what trends they’ve noticed over the last year and what predictions they have for influencer marketing in 2017.
Here are a few key takeaways!
Influencers choose Instagram Stories over Snapchat.
Approximately 54 percent of our influencers say that video was the top trend that emerged in 2016. This includes Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Live video.
According to our survey, influencers are more likely to choose Instagram over Snapchat for posting Stories. This is because on Instagram, they’ve already developed a following, making it easier to engage with a built-in audience. Now that Instagram Stories feature nearly all of the capabilities that Snapchat offers, influencers have little reason to put energy into building a following on Snapchat. Some, however, admit to using Snapchat for personal use only. As one influencer put it, “I like Snapchat, but I have not figured out how to use it for the betterment of my blog. Personally, it’s great, but professionally, it doesn’t really hit the mark.”
For influencers, Instagram is the preferred platform platform to engage with followers, while Facebook remains a great way to interact with friends and promote content.
If you’re on multiple social platforms, you may find yourself going to different social channels for different reasons. That’s why we wanted to know our influencers’ thoughts on the best ways to use each platform. They reported that they find Facebook is the best platform for promoting blog posts, sharing live correspondence, video and keeping in touch with friends and family. But when it comes to engaging with followers, 31 percent listed Instagram as the top choice. Pinterest rose to the top as the best platform for sharing food- and recipe-related content, and Twitter was considered the most effective platform for engaging with brands.
Online platforms help streamline project management, but they shouldn’t take the place of working with a direct contact — an influencer’s preferred method of participation.
Online platforms create value when they give influencers a central location to find all campaign-related information and see deadlines and their requirements, but fully automated platforms aren’t their preferred method of campaign management. Authentic relationships between influencers and agency/brands are still key to helping influencer marketing campaigns thrive.
Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said a central dashboard or platform with an agency or brand direct contact providing hands-on management of the program is their favorite way to participate in campaigns, as compared to only 12 percent who prefer a fully automated platform.
Our network of influencers mentioned that they loved working with hands-on agencies and brands because they have developed great relationships over time, which strengthens their investment in the campaigns. This relationship creates a feeling of working as a team, and influencers often noted they would spend more time on these campaigns. Each approach can have its place, depending on the campaign type, but influencers want to work with people and brands and get to know them — not automated systems.
They also noted that a benefit of online platforms is that all information is accessible at your fingertips. However, drawbacks of platforms included too much focus on numbers, which can lead to influencers with high-quality engaging content being overlooked, and platforms may not do as great of a job of finding influencers that align well with brands and their missions. Many noted that there needs to be a mix of both in influencer marketing in 2017.