It is pretty clear by now that influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands within all industries have embraced the tactic as a core pillar of their marketing efforts. They continue to shift more and more of their investments toward influencers who are an authentic fit, making it a $14 billion industry in 2021.1
In order to thrive in this competitive space, both brands and influencers need to constantly innovate. There is no such thing as “the old standby” in the world of influencer marketing. Success requires keeping your finger on the pulse of where and how your target audiences spend their time, what they care about and who they trust.
At Ad Results Media, we have seen firsthand through our work with clients that creativity generates business results that matter. That is why we advise our clients on how to select and partner with influencers in the audio and YouTube space, particularly those who specialize in creativity on their respective platforms. While the term “creator” was originally coined to describe the world of YouTubers, today we believe it more eloquently describes people of influence who take pride in their content creation and infuse creativity prominently in all that they do.
A recent study conducted by Tribe Group found that 82% of consumers say they’re very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow, and 67% say they had no negative reaction to sponsored influencer content whatsoever. Further substantiating the results that we have seen with our own clients, the research has also shown that 37% of consumers felt that if influencer content was authentic and high-quality it didn’t matter at all if it was sponsored.2
We believe that mastering the future of the creator partnerships includes finding people with a shared sense of creativity, absolute dedication to creating a superior product or experience for their followers and leaning into the fastest-growing platforms.
Choosing among influencer platforms
Brand marketers often struggle to narrow down the list of platforms they want to invest in because there are just so many great options to choose from. While creators and Instagram often go hand in hand, at Ad Results Media we believe the top priority platforms that deliver on creativity are podcasts, YouTube, TikTok and Clubhouse. While these platforms are all significantly different from one another, they all let the creativity and content from their creator community shine.
Here are some key learnings and best practices that we have developed for each platform to maximize the impact of creator engagements for brands.
1. Podcasts on YouTube. YouTubers with Podcasts, and YouTubers who endorse brands. Triple thumbs up.
Who would have ever thought that a purely audio format like podcasts would have found its next great distribution vehicle on the world’s largest video platform? But that is exactly what happened. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Florida, 70.2% of all podcast listenership occurs on YouTube with only 33.9% on Spotify, 32.6% on iTunes and 22.8% on Google Play Music.3
But once you begin to think about it a little more, its starts to make more sense. Both podcasts and YouTube videos are generally considered long-form content and the success of both are almost wholly dependent on the charisma of the primary host(s). Podcasters and YouTube creators are excellent storytellers, conversationalists and interviewers.
We recommend taking advantage of the authentic and organic endorsements these two platforms provide in service of your brand’s marketing. Make sure to select creators who take pride in the composition of the content, appeal to the crossover and incremental audiences on both platforms and think creatively when it comes to multi-platform brand campaigns.
2. Keep Clubhouse fun. After all, it’s a club!
Clubhouse is an audio-only platform with no shiny visuals. Therefore a Clubhouse room needs to stand squarely on the merits of its conversation. And it is growing fast! The app had 14.2 million global downloads as of April 2021,4 but it has been reported that it’s gained another 10 million since then.5
Brands that find success on Clubhouse usually start by partnering with Clubhouse creators that know how to work their figurative room. They need to keep a tight and inspiring calendar of topics for their discussions that they know will interest their followers. They also need to recruit and host compelling guests who not only are experts but also natural communicators and storytellers.
We don’t often recommend that brands create their own clubs or rooms on Clubhouse, but rather find the right partners that make the conversation fun.
3. TikTok, which is all about creativity. In fact, the more creative the better. That is why brands have decided not to go it alone on TikTok and instead build their presence on the platform through creator partnerships. One of the biggest mistakes that brands make on TikTok is to run paid ads that are simply resized versions of social or videos ads. The audiences on TikTok want to see people as they swipe up. In fact, they want to see people who are dancing, pointing, changing outfits 18 times in 30 seconds and basically doing things that look like magic.
According to eMarketer, TikTok will grow a whopping 18.3% this year.6 Most people look to TikTok as an escapist platform that they turn to for entertainment, so let loose! Find some creators for potential partners and conduct a thorough vetting of the background, character and content quality, but be sure to let them shine a light on your brand in a way that is uniquely “them.”
We are incredibly excited about the future of creator partnerships and the new and emergent platforms that are driving them. For a consultation from the Ad Results Media team on how to best take advantage of these opportunities, please contact us.