Influencer marketing and short-form video content are the two heroes of social media right now.
After all, both have enormous potential to speak to consumers across boundaries and gather large numbers of curious and motivated followers.
These two trends were once thought of as separate opportunities.
With the rise of short-form platforms such as TikTok, however, they’re beginning to converge—and could be even more potent when paired together.
With that opportunity up for grabs, how can marketers capitalize?
How Influencers and Video Marketing Joined Forces
Despite all odds, influencer marketing has remained steady during the past year, with brands set to spend up to $15 billion on these endeavors by 2022.
Clearly, these creators aren’t going anywhere.
As they make platforms such as Instagram and TikTok their own, these influencers are also increasingly taking to video to engage their followings.
They use content to develop a distinctive personal brand over time, and followers get to see how the creator changes and feel involved in the creator’s life.
Video is a natural medium for this art form.
Influencers maintain that video garners higher engagement and performs better with social media algorithms.
People prefer video, and research has found that 72% of consumers would rather watch a short video about a service or product than read about it.
This isn’t just because video is easier to consume, either.
Video helps people relate to products and puts faces to brand names.
Even low-budget video is incredibly compelling and builds credibility.
In a combined strategy, video-based influencer marketing is truly powerful, bringing content to new audiences, helping them engage and relate, and expanding networks of followers.
4 Ways to Collaborate on Influential Video Content
In your daily mission to create content for your audience, working with influencers on video marketing could help you achieve your goals more effectively.
Here are a few ways to make this collaborative approach work:
Pursue a relationship that fits
Finding the right influencer to represent your brand is half the challenge. Influencers need to align with your content marketing goals and your vision. They need to understand and, to some extent, embody your product. They also need to speak to an audience of people who are likely to end up in your funnel.
The only way to do this effectively is to carefully screen possible candidates. Think of this as a good hiring process: find out what drives them and how they would represent your brand to their followers. You could even use a social intelligence platform to help you sort through potential matches
Of course, you’ll also want to ask pointed questions once you’ve whittled down your list of candidates. Possible questions to ask might include, “How would you describe your audience?” or “What themes or topics do you cover most often in your content?” Remember: The goal is to make sure the influencer is a natural fit for your brand and that his or her audience overlaps with your target audience.
Strike a balance between control and freedom
You’ll want to give your influencers all the information they need to understand your brand. Without providing clear instructions, you might end up with content that’s inaccurate or doesn’t convey the message you were hoping for.
At the same time, remember that these influencers have an audience for a reason. With that in mind, allow influencers to put their own style and spin on your content, but make sure they follow brand guidelines so everything they put out for you aligns somewhat with your branding. Think of the relationship between whiskey brands Lagavulin and Oban and actor Nick Offerman, for example. Offerman uses his quintessential sarcastic tone in their content, but he also personifies the branding perfectly.
Align their content with your goals
When planning video content alongside your influencers, you want to take a goals-first approach. Align on the goals and key points that the content needs to hit. Then, follow the results closely to spot the factors that lead to success.
Likewise, understand that a good campaign and a good lab experiment aren’t too different. What KPIs are you looking to hit with this piece of content? Are you going for more leads, higher engagement, or extra social media followers, for instance? Without pinning new content to measurable goals, your campaign is likely to fall flat.
Let’s say you’re looking to drive downloads to a gated piece of content with your influencer marketing endeavors.
Be sure to track downloads per influencer to gauge success following your campaign launch.
Which audiences were more receptive? Which influencer seemed to mesh most effectively with your brand?
When Gymshark launched its “Change Your Life” challenge, for example, it measured social reach and engagement across six different influencer channels, allowing the brand to get more targeted insight into which audiences engaged most with their content.
Engage with your audience via your influencer
Creators can be great voices to represent your brand, but the conversation should really be a three-way one. As consumers interact with the influencers they follow, you can engage with them in turn, piquing their interest and boosting their understanding of your product or service.
Every little step you take to move viewers closer to purchase matters. That might mean responding to every question follower posts about a product or offering discounts in the comments section to people who are involving others in the conversation.
Likewise, your influencer can also help plug or contribute to user-generated content campaigns if your products are particularly photogenic.
Lush is just one company that’s gathered a treasure trove of fan content, for instance, and it populated this collection with user-generated content sent in by microinfluencers on branded hashtags or Instagram tags.
Video Content + Infleuncers = Brand Success
This has brought the brand many benefits, including securing a cadre of long-term fans.
By carefully selecting and working with influencers to create and boost your video content, you can harness the best of two burgeoning worlds.
Set your goals and be ready to stretch them—this strategic approach could certainly go viral.