- Instagram and blogs are seeing greater partnership activity between social influencers and marketers this year, according to a study released today by influencer marketing platform Activate and shared with Mobile Marketer. Eighty-eight percent of influencers and 92% of marketers said they plan to use the image-sharing platform for more campaigns than last year.
- Meanwhile, 89% of influencers and 86% of marketers reported using Snapchat less for influencer marketing campaigns than they did last year. YouTube and Twitter have steadily lost appeal among influencers, though Facebook and Pinterest haven't suffered much in partnership activity for influencers and marketers, the study found.
- Marketers and influencers are working as campaign partners for longer periods, the survey found. About half of marketers (51%) are now working with influencers for six months or longer, while 37% of influencers said they're beginning to partner with brands for longer periods rather than one-time campaigns.
Putting influencers at the heart of a marketing strategy continues to be a growing trend that Activate's study suggests is shaping how marketers and influencers leverage social media to engage audiences and promote products or services. Instagram and blogs are accessible platforms for social influencers and marketers, while YouTube and Snapchat have seen decreased interest because of platform-specific challenges. While video is growing in popularity, producing high-quality YouTube content requires greater production skills and access to specialized equipment compared to other social platforms that offer video and aim to connect with on-the-go mobile users. Snapchat has generally low barriers to entry but faces other concerns from brands and influencers, such as difficulty with tracking metrics and insufficient support for discovering influencers.
A separate study from January found that influencer marketing on Instagram jumped 198% in 2017, signaling that the platform is a powerhouse of digital word-of-mouth. Instagram Stories, which show a sequence of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, and Instagram Stories Highlights appear to be popular among brands and influencers, but other features on the platform, such as Instagram Polls, may be underutilized, per Activate. The company found an engagement rate of 12%-15% in its testing of Instagram Polls, which is relatively high compared to static Instagram posts, Instagram Live and other kinds of posts on the platform. This signals that brands and influencers may want to consider using Instagram Polls to engage with audiences and learn more about their opinions directly from the source.
The study's results also suggest that brands and influencers see growing interest in establishing longer-term partnerships, which give influencers more stable work and shield their followers from a parade of sponsored collaborations with many brands. Marketers, then, can use these relationships to secure an influencer with whom they can build a long-term narrative and leverage as a true brand ambassador. This trend toward longer-term partnerships is expected to grow in the coming years, Activate estimates.