Last week, The Motherhood’s team had the opportunity to virtually attend Social Media Week NYC 2017 (#SMWNYC), where social media experts shared industry news, trends, best practices and insights. Here, we recap some of the most talked-about topics during the event: influencer marketing and video.

How Influencer Marketing is Evolving

It’s no surprise that we firmly believe in the effectiveness of influencer marketing – a billion-dollar industry in the U.S. that is estimated to climb to $5-10 billion by 2020. The evolution of this discipline was a much-discussed topic at Social Media Week NYC.

Maximizing Spend with Micro-influencers: While many marketers continue to prioritize reach, savvy brands and agencies have begun to recognize the significant impact that micro-influencers (those with smaller reach but greater audience trust) have on engagement – and engagement with the right audience, too.

We believe greatly in the power of working with micro-influencers at scale, and we were thrilled to see this approach reinforced at Social Media Week NYC. Giordano Contestabile, CEO, Bloglovin’, shared an interesting case study that compared the performance of 25 micro-influencers versus one top-tier influencer. The two groups had the same overall reach, but the group of 25 micro-influencers produced double the number of likes and comments on their sponsored content compared to the one top-tier influencer.

Defining Measurement/ROI: Many speakers noted the challenge of capturing the efficacy of influencer marketing in existing industry terms. While there are formulas to translate influencer marketing metrics into familiar forms of measurement for other forms of media, it’s up to industry leaders to help articulate and define the value proposition of influencers. Measurement even varies by social platform. Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO of Adaptly, shared that what “counts” as a view is even different across platforms.

Takeaways from Social Media Week NYC

Experimenting with Engagement: Ken Blom, Buzzfeed’s Director of Branded Content Distribution, explained that for so long, social networks have been oriented in a “north-south” (up-and-down) manner. Now, with the introduction of Instagram’s galleries, there is an attempt to stop users in their feeds to swipe in an “east-west” or left-to-right manner.

Investing in Pay-for-Play: As social media platforms’ algorithms change and organic content becomes less visible, brands and influencers are putting more dollars behind their content in order to compete for views. Meg Shedding, Director of Product Marketing for Fullscreen, illustrated this shift clearly:

Takeaways from Social Media Week NYC

Looking into the Future of Video

Across every major social platform, video consumption continues to rise. In fact, Cisco predicts that by 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85 percent of search traffic in the U.S. A number of speakers at #SMWNYC shared interesting insights on the prevalence of video:

  • 600 million people use Instagram monthly, and the consumption of video on mobile has jumped from 15 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2016 (Jeff Taylor, Instagram’s Regional Product Marketing Manager).
  • Consumers spend 45 minutes a day viewing video on smartphones (Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO of Adaptly).
  • Any time Brit + Co embeds a 30-second video near a product on their site, they see 300 percent more conversion on that product or service (Brit Morin, CEO and Founder, Brit + Co).
  • Social is going head-to-head with TV for ad dollars:
    • Snapchat reached 41 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S., compared to just six percent by the average TV channel, and 60 percent of people prefer online video platforms to live TV (Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO of Adaptly).
    • YouTube has surpassed one billion hours viewed per day. TV viewership has flat lined; digital video has become the primary use case for anything that moves for advertisers. (Ian Schafer, Founder and Chairman, Deep Focus).

Industry leaders shared their thoughts on some changes coming to video technology, too. According to Ian Schafer, YouTube has plans to roll out unskippable pre-roll ads, and Facebook will soon introduce mid-roll ads, ensuring that advertisers fully reach their intended audience.

On the flip side, Brit Morin explained that her company is creating an adjuster-controlled technology that will allow a user to slow down or speed up a vertical video on mobile so the user can better control the experience to suit his or her needs.

Stay tuned for more insights from Social Media Week NYC that we’ll share next week!