27 Feb Why Online Video is The Best Bet for Your Influencer Marketing Spend
In the last five years, Influencer Marketing, once a little piece of the marketing pie, now receives dedicated budgets from large companies. It started primarily with bloggers — think product reviews and mom blogs, and then evolved with the rise of social media into more of a native experience.
Food and fashion are huge on Instagram, B2B is predominantly on Twitter and LinkedIn, while Facebook and Snapchat are strong for B2C. Parenting is still strongest on blogs.
Technology has been a huge driver in the rise of social influencer marketing.
A little history.
Long-form blogging hit its peak around 2010. If you think about it, the timing makes sense; reading long-form blog posts was still very much a thing to do as people spent a considerable amount of time in front of a desktop computer or PC. However, time in front of a desktop or PC has been waning with the rise of Smartphones. Social’s rise then took certain verticals by storm. Fashion and food were dominant on Instagram because if a picture is worth a thousand words, why settle for a blog post of only 350-700 words? The answer is because it’s easy to explain a concept (a dish or an outfit) in one photo where most industries (eg, video gaming) do not have that luxury. Instagram was made solely for the Smartphone so this was not possible in the PC/Desktop era.
Pictures create an emotional connection — something really challenging for writers in a day and age where most people don’t read (sad fact). As a result, marketers have continued to allocate more of their budget to these channels.
But returns from blogging and social media opportunities are typically short-lived and often tricky to measure. Blog posts stay on page one generally about three days, less so for blogs that have multiple categories and look like publisher websites (think NY Times with multiple categories and posts created for specific categories). After the post moves off of page one, views tend to drop off a cliff.
The same goes for social media: the post goes live, the audience sees it, likes it or comments on it — possibly takes an action in certain cases, and then the audience has moved on to the next thing. Our society seeks instant gratification and has been trained to eagerly anticipate what’s next. Some Instagrammers who are protective of their wall will only run a sponsored post for 12 hours or less which illustrates the ephemeral nature of the opportunity. But they STILL command large dollar budgets for these short-lived advertisements, so it must work!
Of all the social platforms the one I want to discuss is YouTube. I believe YouTube will surpass every other medium in 2017 as the dominant influencer marketing channel. Why? Because it so closely resembles TV, and is perfect for modern audiences.
People watch TV and movies on their own time. There’s no more huddling around the TV at 9 pm on a Thursday to watch a hit show. Now, people connect to the shows they want, when they want.
Enter the rise of YouTube.
The goal of Influencer Marketing is to tell a story to an engaged audience and influence decisions, plain and simple.
That’s YouTube. But why?
I’ll make a few statements below that every marketer must have answered before agreeing to put money behind an opportunity.
Video is the next big thing online. Cisco reports that >80% of content consumed online by 2020 will be video.
Online video allows brands to create an emotional connection with consumers and get a clear message across to them. That’s comparable to :30 second TV spots — or infomercials, which have done an amazing job doing just that — creating an emotional connection — with their intended audience.
YouTube has it all.
Content creators have built-in, loyal audiences known as “Subscribers.” It is video, the fast-growing form of content consumed online. Video already is dominant on mobile and only getting bigger. This type of content facilitates a brand’s ability to get its message across in a clear, emotional manner.
The beauty of YouTube videos is not only an instantaneous response but because YouTube is a search engine — the second largest behind Google, views continue to accrue in perpetuity!
And a lesser known part but one of huge importance: you can add links in the description. This is why I believe YouTube will dominate other advertising platforms moving forward: clicks are qualified and yield real results. I have seen campaigns with a click thru rate in the 1% range, which is 5-7x greater than traditional display campaigns.
That is a huge benefit for any sponsor that wants a key influencer to tell their story, engender trust with his/her audience and also receive measurable results that impact the bottom line and not just likes or shares.