Peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher, Batman and Robin, Instagram and influencers; each of them are perfectly suited partners but don’t have to exclusively be.
As the visual-first platform, Instagram allows creators to showcase their unique talents and styles to a higher percentage of their followers than other social channels. A picture was, indeed, worth more than a thousand words and, because of it, Instagram is often chosen as the primary—or even exclusive—platform for branded influencer campaigns.
Strong, strategic partnerships between brands and creators, however, leverage multiple platforms to deliver key campaign messages. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all offer powerful tools for content distribution and follower engagement. And, for globally-minded brands, these platforms are more popular than Instagram in developing mass-markets like India and Mexico.
Rather than instinctively relying on Instagram, a campaign team should select platforms based on target audience and reach goals and calibrate a multi-platform strategy to optimize and diversify their reach of them.
Platform Strategies to Keep in Mind
For some segments of the global online population, influencers are the new movie stars. If a brand snagged Timothée Chalamet for a campaign, would they only use him on Instagram? Probably not. Think outside the Instagram box about where and how influencers can supercharge a marketing effort.
- Influencers as Talent: In addition to pure content creation, think about influencers as talent in content productions. Consider how you’d choose and implement talent in a traditional campaign—now replace “talent” with influencer. Need a host for a new podcast? Use an influencer. Looking for a mom in your new commercial? Use an influencer.
- Product Placement: Never forget about the simplicity and effectiveness of product placement. Partnering with an influencer to showcase an item or service is an easy, efficient and effective way to build recognition for your brand.
- Whitelisting: For a balanced media approach, supplement any organic influencer content with a paid strategy to ensure reach - especially on “noisy” platforms like Twitter.
Content Ideas By Platform
Every social platform offers an influencer campaign different ways of communicating with and engaging the target audience.
A few content concepts for non-Instagram channels include:
- Unboxes, reviews, and hauls
- Long-form narrative storytelling
- Promote DR ads against influencer videos
A great example of this is Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner campaign. They worked with multiple influencers from adventure photographers to professional athletes, who then created videos like this:
- Promote influencer tweets through whitelisting, so that the messaging comes from the creator but has brand association attached
- Plan influencer content to coincide with live events like award shows, tv premieres, movie releases, when Twitter attention is at its highest
- Use Twitter threads to increase reach of campaign messaging, if posting organically
T-Mobile has partnered with influencers for their #TMobileTuesday campaign, like this example from YouTuber KBURTON. These whitelisted tweets improve brand awareness without T-Mobile promoting the content themselves.
- Create a lens or filter, which influencers will amplify by using it themselves and encouraging their audiences to try it out; their followers can even Snap it back to them for added UGC generation
- Consider the Snapchat Storytellers pilot program, which introduces brands to five of the app’s most popular content makers, including Mplatco, Cyrene Q and Shonduras
- Engage influencers for both content creation and creative direction, based on the expertise they’ve gained while gathering audiences of millions on the platform
- Produce Linkedin articles—long-form content like a blog—for sharing on the influencers’ page and via organic and promoted content from their account
- Share your company’s original and owned content like white papers, blog posts, events, product demos on the influencers’ page
BEHR Paint recently partnered with Inspired By This for a DIY-focused campaign that included posting to LinkedIn.
- Sponsor streams by top gamers on the platform
- Engage with the influencer’s audience via live chat during streams
- Leverage Pinterest’s internal team to connect with great influencers
- Engage influencers to help you curate and produce platform-optimized content for your brand’s boards
This partnership between Blackberry Babe and VitaCoco and Fiji Water focused on recipe development and a Pinterest-focused strategy.
- Invite influencers to create and share reviews of your products with links to purchase the product
- Take over the influencer’s blog homepage with a spread of dynamic ads
This is a popular choice for food companies. These partnerships with food bloggers typically involve developing a recipe with the company’s product, and often include a social media post to further boost brand awareness.
- Sponsor an episode or an entire season as a “presenting sponsor”
- Place one-off ad within podcast episodes
- Engage influencers in creating “native” ads within episodes, i.e. extended discussions in the form of a product review that relates to the podcast theme
- Launch an exclusive new podcast in partnership with an influencer
- Here’s an example from Casper
Social platforms revolutionized the ways that brands reached consumers. Then, social influencers ushered in a second revolution by reshaping what “celebrity” means. This second revolution is taking place across many social channels, which offer powerful and unique formats for engaging specific audiences.
No two campaigns are exactly alike. As such, avoid a “templated” platform strategy, and instead choose channels based on who the campaign is meant to reach and what type of content the creator is most comfortable with. Most platform strategies for influencer campaigns will include Instagram, but brands should consider a mix of other platforms to diversify and amplify the way they engage creatively with their audience.