There is a misconception that when brands start influencer campaigns that they must pin down the right people first. Though it’s helpful to know the type of influencer you would like to collaborate with, the next step is to consider which platforms your content should be featured on.
Not only will this give the campaign focus, it will also save time when researching the right influencers (they are not always present across all the social platforms available).
There is an array of social media platforms to choose from but for this blog post we will be considering the three most sought after by brands: Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
Each platform has its benefits and, when chosen wisely, can amplify the results of the campaign. If rushed or not thought through, the campaign is likely to flop, wasting time and money, but also potentially ruining the ongoing relationship with an influencer.
Here are some considerations when selecting the best match for your brand’s requirements.
Arguably the most popular social media platform for collaborations because of the versatility in the content that can be produced.
- Post: One or more pieces of content can be posted on the influencer’s ‘grid’ where it remains. This type of content is perfect for brands wanting to push a bigger message because of the large word count available alongside a single image, video (no longer than 30 seconds) or caracole.
- Reel: One or more pieces of content can be posted in the form of a short video (no longer than one minute). The video is shared with other Instagram users dependent on the viewer’s algorithm.
It’s also uploaded to the influencer’s Reels ‘grid’ where it remains. Reels are perfect for brands that want to produce visually striking content for quick hits. Audience engagement with this content is likely to grow over time, increasing brand exposure as it continues to circulate.
- Story: A form of content that lasts no longer than 24 hours. Each video is 15 seconds long. However a video that has been captured in a single shot is automatically transformed into shorter 15-second sequences side by side, making the video appear longer.
Story content can be video (most popular), an image or text. It’s possible to engage with audiences through polls, asking questions, and swipe up links to other webpages (only available to influencers with over 10,000 followers). Many brands use this form of content for product reviews, unboxings, gifting and competitions.
- IGTV: Ideal for those wanting to create live pieces of content for in-the-moment engagement. It’s also a great way to produce videos that are longer than one minute, making it ideal for tutorial or educational pieces.
These videos can also be uploaded to the influencer’s main ‘grid’ where the first 30 seconds can be viewed. Audiences can continue to watch the full video via the link provided.
Instagram is also a popular choice among brands because of its versatile demographics. In June 2021, it was dominated by viewers aged between 25–34 (32%), closely followed by 18–25-year-olds (24%) and those aged between 35–44 (19%).
Many influencers using Instagram also use other platforms such as TikTok or YouTube. This gives brands further flexibility regarding the choice of platforms on which they are visible.
As the latest social media platform available, it’s still considered by brands as being the highest risk. This is because it’s difficult to measure the quality of the engagement received.
When considering TikTok for content purposes, it’s important to remember that it was not built to be a platform for brand messaging. Instead, it produces fun content in the form of short videos up to three minutes long.
The platform works using an algorithm system. The more videos individuals watch and engage with, the more targeted their content becomes. The theory is that over time, users receive the content they want to see.
The message behind each video created can be anything providing the content is visually captivating, otherwise it will be ignored and not shown to as many users. Bear in mind the audience demographics versus the people you want to engage with.
TikTok users are typically younger than those that use Instagram (26% between the age of 18–24 in the UK, 2019), with a higher female population.
If your brand targets young females and the ROI focus is targeted towards generating brand exposure, as opposed to specific KPIs like sales and website traffic, then TikTok is worth considering.
Most brands are more comfortable working with YouTube content because of the length of time it has been around. It’s also arguably the best platform for more informative videos, with many brands owning dedicated channels.
Audiences that engage with social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are looking for quick, on-point content.
Those who use YouTube tend to be looking for something specific or they already have a keen interest in whatever the influencer produces. The engagement is more targeted and it’s advisable to approach only those influencers that naturally fit your brand’s messaging and sentiment.
YouTube is exclusively video content with the added bonus of written descriptions (where links and further information can be found). The content topic can be versatile.
Brands use this platform for product reviews, unboxings and how-to-use guides. It’s also a great opportunity to create more discussion-led content with YouTube live sessions.
Choosing the right platform for your brand
Each social media platform offers alternative content types that can be produced to meet different objectives. Until your brand is experienced in working with influencers and creating content that their followers will engage with, do consult your public relations team. Exploring this avenue of targeted audience interaction can be rewarding, but you must consider:
- What content you want
- Who you’re targeting
- Which platform will benefit your brand the most
To find out more about different types of influencers, read Fi Todd’s blog post or learn more about Wildfire’s B2C influencer relations credentials.