Bloggers, photographers, YouTubers: influencers wear various hats. Their talent and creativity are remarkable. So much so that 51% of marketers admit that content created for them by influencers performs better than their own branded content (source: Linqia, 2018). Therefore it’s tempting to use these geniuses. But which profile should you prefer? Is it better to order a video, a blog post or a series of photos? Let’s have a look at the strengths of each type of content.
Sponsored articles, often the most effective
They’re the oldest form of native advertising, but their effectiveness hasn’t declined over the years. It’s even gaining in popularity, as brands are finding it increasingly difficult to guarantee media coverage for their launches.
If blogs seem passé, think again! Bloggers have a huge impact on the buying intentions of their audience. For example, a 2016 study by Collective Bias confirmed their influence: 30% of consumers say they’re influenced by the recommendations of bloggers, versus only 3% if the recommendation comes from a celebrity. More specifically, 34.4% of men say they are influenced by blog tests for their electronics purchases.
For women, an Influencer Central study of 400 consumers revealed the profiles with the most influence on the female audience. Here are the influencers with the greatest impact on their discovery of new products and their purchasing decisions:
- Friends and family
- Mom bloggers
- Official social accounts of their favorite brands
- Favorite Users on Pinterest (Pinners)
- Favorite Users on Instagram
- Fashion bloggers
- Preferred organizations
- Official company accounts of their favorite resellers
- Experts and celebrities
As long as the sponsored article is clearly shown as such, internet users, millennials in particular, will show as much interest in this content as the rest of the native editorial content. Indeed, the New York Times revealed that its online readers spent as much time on regular articles as on sponsored content.
If you still need convincing; when the Native Advertising Institute conducted a survey of US and European advertisers on the most effective form of native advertising, 77% placed online sponsored articles before printed public announcements and video.
Photos, for maximum commitment
Influencer marketing has experienced a tremendous democratization thanks to Instagram, especially thanks to the pro-activity of companies from the food, fashion and travel industries. The photo format lends itself well to product recommendations or the promotion of tourist destinations. The phenomenon has made thousands of influencers wealthy, to the brink of overheating.
It must be recognized that Instagram remains the preferred platform of influencers because of its ease of use, its mass market reach, and the high level of interaction with internet users. A study by Bloglovin revealed that 59% of micro-influencers consider the photo network as the best vehicle for engagement with their audience.
The enthusiasm is less unanimous with advertisers. Facebook (Instagram owner) has a habit of regularly updating Instagram’s social algorithm. 42% of advertisers say they’re worried about the latest update, which is likely to lower the reach of big influencers (source: Linqia, 2018). To be followed so.
Video, especially to reach male audiences
In early 2017, Mark Zuckerberg declared “I see video as a” mega trend “. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps (editor’s note: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp)”. Since then, videos autoplay on Facebook, stories have made a sensational debut on Instagram (as well as on Messenger, with less success), and we’ve even seen the launch of IGTV, a mobile response at the all powerful YouTube. Mark was right: according to a study by the digital agency WebpageFX, by 2019, 80% of the content consumed online will be video.
The future will tell if Facebook’s foray into the video arena will be a massive success, as IGTV has yet to prove itself. But already, the established YouTube platform has proven effective for influencer marketing. The video network is thus the second most influential platform, with 18% of users saying they are influenced by YouTube for their purchases (Source: Collective Biais).
Men are most influenced by the video format, as much as 22.8%, against only 13.9% of women (who probably are more followers of the photo format on Instagram). It’s a big enough difference that you need to keep it in mind when you decide which media to use for your next influencer campaign, depending on your target audience.
Finally, a recent study by Google (so to be taken with a pinch of salt as the company owns YouTube) reveals that 70% of teenagers are more influenced by YouTube than traditional celebrities. So now you know!
And Twitter in all that?
By the way, one network visibly missing from this article: Twitter. According to the same study by Collective Bias (quoted several times in this article), Twitter is the least influential network, with only 2% of Internet users recognizing a power of persuasion on their online shopping decisions. It has to be said we can’t really develop a complete sales pitch in 280 characters. And the platform missed out on the move to video, with the abandon of Vine in 2016. In fact Twitter is more of a relay than a real platform for content influence.
In this regard, don’t think of platforms as silos that don’t communicate with each other. Feel free to republish the same content on multiple platforms. 81% of advertisers acknowledge recycling influencer content on other channels. A good way to increase the scope of the content and therefore the ROI…