So you’re convinced! Influencer marketing is worth testing.
Your first decision is now to choose which social media channels you want to sponsor content on – and, without sugar coating, it’s going to define your whole campaign.
Because not only does each channel convey a different feeling for users, which will envelop your marketing, but also because the channels you pick are going to be the basis for determining what ROIs you can expect.
In a nutshell your choice of channels will depend on your brand industry and whether your campaign is highly sales driven or if it is more geared towards branding.
In this article we discuss the pros and cons of the most popular channels for influencer marketing campaigns.
Social Media Channels’ Potential (reach vs # of influencers)
*Data via www.sponsokit.com
- Great for engagement and sales
- Good ROIs possible immediately – and results are easily measured
- Your target market is almost definitely watching (particularly 16-30 year olds)
- Especially good for gaming, fashion, beauty, entertainment
- Not content you’ll want to reuse in other advertising campaigns
YouTube is a great all-round channel for influencer marketing.
Videos tend to generate more engagements (likes, comments, shares) and clicks than static posts because the viewers’ attention is held for a longer period of time.
The channel is more authentic than some other channels too as the content focuses on being ‘real’ and reflective of the influencer’s true opinion.
Although this usually makes them relatively low in cinematic quality and it might not be content you want to reuse in other advertising campaigns.
YouTube also lets you see more demographics of the influencer’s audience than other channels – what country his viewers are in, what proportion are male/female, the age range – enabling you to more accurately get an influencer with reach into your target market.
And you can track exactly how successful your campaign has been by incorporating a unique tracking link in the video description – you can see the precise number of people that came to your website after watching the video.
In addition you know how many people really watched your video, rather than trying to estimate based on the number of subscribers the YouTuber has, as you would have to for Instagram for example.
- Great for engagement and branding
- Your target market is almost definitely on here (particularly 16-30 year olds)
- (With permission) you can reuse the images
- Especially good for lifestyle, fitness, beauty, fashion, food
- Not good for immediate sales – and no analytics
Instagram is probably the best channel for branding.
While you most likely will not get good ROIs immediately (as is possible with YouTube), you are getting very high quality images – which you can reuse in future advertising campaigns.
The channel has a more luxury and expensive feel to it.
But Instagram doesn’t allow the influencer to share any of the analytics with anyone external.
Which means you will only see the public data – likes and comments.
However, for brands it has the draw back of not being able to include a call to action or even a link with the post, so you will not be able to see how many people come to your website after having seen it – making it very difficult to measure your ROI.
- Great for branding
- Young people – up to 20 years old – are on here (a lot of them!)
- Not good for sales or engagement as nothing viewer can click
Snapchat is arguably the fastest growing social media channel – and this is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future, especially after the closure of Vine last week.
A staggering 99 per cent of young people in the US are on Snapchat every day – so it’s super powerful within this age group.
In fact, if you are targeting young people, you are more likely to reach them on Snapchat than Facebook these days.
It’s a fun, user-centric channel for creating and sharing personal video/photo logs.
Snapchat has the advantage of being very simple and the story feature lends itself well to influencer marketing.
Another interesting campaign idea gaining popularity is for brands to hand over their Snapchat account to an influencer for a week and allow them to post their stories on the brand account.
It’s called a takeover and so far it’s proving an effective way of rapidly increasing followers and impressions, of course it comes with an element of risk, but this risk is mitigated if the influencer is chosen wisely.
However, there is nothing clickable on a Snapchat post, which again makes it hard to foster engagements, generate sales or measure ROIs.
Although Snapchat influencers can report back to brands the number of views and screenshots.
- Great for engagement and branding
- Your target market is almost definitely on here (particularly over 25s)
- Analytics including reach and engagements available through Facebook
- Best campaigns sponsor many micro influencers at once which is a lot of work
- Facbook has strict policies about sponsored posts
Facebook is the biggest, most versatile and cheapest cost per impression channel on the web.
It’s considered by users a news channel where they keep up with their friends and family, as well as discuss politics and current social issues.
But companies’ articles are taking over their feed and it’s not the channel where they share things every day any more.
In terms of influencers, usually Facebook is the second or third channel of an influencer and they use it to promote their content on their other channels.
The average post life in a person’s news feed is around 22 hours.
In its recent rules change, the channel made it compulsory for influencers to state when a post is sponsored and tag the brand.
The brand is then able to share the post easily on its own page and can get the analytics, including reach and engagements, from Facebook.
This change lends itself readily to brands working with several different micro influencers at once, because brands can show their customers that they are being talked about widely.
But finding these micro influencers is a lot of work, and following up on all the activity would require a significant amount of organisation and time.
The newly launched Facebook Live presents something of an opportunity for influencer marketing too, but is tough to plan a campaign around.
Being ‘live’ presents more of a risk for things going wrong or brands not getting the video they envisioned.
- Great for engagement
- Users are middle aged and older (over 30s)
- Real time news feed
Twitter is used mostly in English speaking countries, especially the US and UK.
It allows for posts of almost any kind including: short text, videos, images, links, polls – pretty much any thing you can think of.
The channel is a great way of interacting with you target market, by retweeting, liking and sharing people talking about your brand or product you can quickly spread the word.
Hashtags also provide a mechanism for promoting your content – potentially getting it trending or going viral – and enabling your target market to effectively talk about your brand/product in a cohesive manner.
But it’s important to keep in mind that while a tweet can go viral, in general a single tweet has a low engagement rate because of the real-time nature of the channel compared to YouTube for example.
Posts disappear down the timeline in a flash. This makes it hard for an influencer to hold their audience’s attention long enough for them to act on the post.
But also, in a similar way that today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chips wrapping, so a post of Twitter probably won’t carry the same value as a post on Instagram – Twitter is a news and gossip channel.
- If your brand has anything to do with gaming, you need to be on here
Amazon’s Twitch is specifically for gamers, people interested in gaming know this channel, use this channel and if you’re a gaming brand and you’re not on here – you should be!
You can run a campaign that maximises your engagement, sales and branding opportunities by working with multi-channel influencers.
As we suggest in our tips on writing an influencer brief that gets you sales, it is a good idea to teaser your content on another channel before it goes live to raise your target market’s interest and boost average views.
But it is equally possible, and can be advantageous, to plan a whole campaign around a cross-channel content creator. It’s more work, but usually a bigger pay-off.
Choosing a channel is not the be all and end all of your campaign – in influencer marketing the content will always be king – but it’s good to keep in mind your campaign goal when you decide which one(s) to go for as some channels lend themselves especially well to sales and others to branding.