Part 1 in our 2018 Influencer Marketing Quarterly Trend Report

This year, we’ve seen a push for original video content across all social platforms. From Facebook Watch to Instagram’s IGTV and YouTube’s Originals, it’s no surprise that by 2019, video is estimated to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. With 80% of brands planning to boost video spending in 2018, video has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for marketers. 96% of viewers find video helpful when making purchase decisions online and,1 in 4 customers actually lose interest in a company if they don’t have video, making the engagement rates for video much higher than for static content.
We also know that today’s consumers‘ TV-watching habits have become increasingly digital. Pair this with social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram investing in new tools to create, test, and optimize video content, and it’s easy to understand why many marketers have begun re-allocating their TV budgets to online channels in addition to creating video-supported influencer marketing programs.


Let’s take a look at the some of the platforms paving the way for original video content:

1. Instagram

Over the past few months, Instagram has released a variety of new features and platform updates streamlining the video creation process – the most notable being IGTV. From both consumption and content creation standpoints, IGTV is in direct competition with YouTube, which just announced it has more than1.9 billion monthly logged-in users and is already well established as a place for creators to distribute long-form video.
Although there are no ads native to IGTV (yet), it’s expected that Instagram will build out a monetization option for content creators in the near future, potentially including ad revenue shares. Ads aside, there are still some key differences between IGTV and YouTube as products, the biggest being their approaches to formatting. Unlike video on YouTube that is optimized for desktop-viewing, IGTV video content is optimized to fit how users watch video on their phones – with full-screen vertical videos.
For the most part, social media influencers are still unsure of whether this feature will take off, but they’re willing to test it out.“Test” is the key word here – they aren’t willing to put a ton of effort into building out custom content for this feature and they are typically repurposing content they already have.

Marketers should consider IGTV a test & learn opportunity, especially if:

  • The brand has an existing, well-defined video strategy (owned or in collaboration with content creators), that has access to the creative resources necessary for long-form video storytelling. Example: Huckberry.
  • The brand has a robust Instagram marketing strategy, particularly in verticals where long-form content is a proven performer on other platforms (look to YouTube, podcasts for insights): food (cooking), beauty (tutorials), gaming (reviews, e-sport coverage), fitness (routines), fashion/retail (unboxing video/review/exclusives), travel (extreme / exclusive experiences), media/entertainment (bts, AMAs, watch parties). Example: Sezane, DanniJo.
  • Consumers that are highly engaged with partnered influencers’ or creators’ (10k+ followers) Instagram Stories.
    • Benchmark users’ behavior based on Stories metrics: Forward, Back, Replies, Exited, Next Story, Link Opens to get an initial understanding of the type of content and length of video that would be most relevant to your target audience. Example: Brighton Keller for Nordstrom.

To get started with IGTV:

  • Repurpose existing video programming or high-performing (relevant) Instagram Stories to start, editing as needed for 4:5 vertical format.
  • Think of Instagram Stories as IGTV pilots. Use insights from high-performing Instagram Stories as indicators of audience and consumer interest and business value, first collaborating with creators to brainstorm and then rapidly test ideas for longer-form programming. Start testing incremental IGTV programming and recurring segments, incorporating multiple feedback loops by leveraging IG Stories and polls in tandem with IGTV programming to better understand consumers‘ preferences.

2. YouTube

Despite Instagram’s major IGTV launch, YouTube still remains the king of video – after all, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook. YouTube has not only introduced a slate of ad-supported Originals programming from Hollywood talent and creators to its NewsFronts presentation, but it has also announced partnerships with third-party tools like MOAT and Nielsen Catalina Solutions that enable marketers to measure the effectiveness of YouTube campaigns in terms of viewability and sales lift, among other metrics. Consider this the impact of the “Marc Pritchard Effect,” and why he’s willing to give the platform a second look. Lastly, YouTube has also introduced new monetization tools, helping creators to generate revenue in areas beyond advertising, like subscriptions and product merchandise.

Image of YouTube Originals Programming

Influencers, however, have quite a different opinion of YouTube. According to Mavrck’s Influencer POV Report, YouTube came in last in the influencer platform use rankings. Only 33 percent of respondents use YouTube as a way to engage fans and followers, and the average likeliness of recommending YouTube to other influencers as a way to engage fans and followers is 5.5.


Make it Work

Regardless of which platform is “winning” the video war, video content (both long- and short-form) continues to be an opportunity for marketers to engage with consumers and relay information. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. Not only do videos grab people’s immediate attention, but they keep it – videos get 1,200% more shares than text and images combined. After an influencer shares, likes, or comments on a video, 59% of people said they are more likely to watch it. And with so many platforms investing so heavily in original video content, the help of influencers and content creators will be required for marketers to create a high volume of authentic video content cost-efficiently. If you want to engage consumers and relay information, video is an effective method.

Experiment with video of all shapes and sizes – With the possibility of a long-form video revolution on the Instagram horizon, brands should begin working with influencers to experiment with this new content length. Brands can think about working with influencers to hold live video sessions like Q&A’s, tutorials, webinars, or IGTV exclusive segments. Then, use the link-out option to repurpose IGTV video content across multiple touch points.

Rely on video curation from influencers – With platforms like YouTube releasing new tools that allow for video testing and measurement, brands should be leveraging influencers for video content creation, co-creation, or just ideation or feedback.

What’s Next?

It’s likely that we’ll see more brands and influencers begin to dabble in more live video formats, as they should. Facebook reported that users spend three times more time watching a live video than non-live content. This year, countless social media platforms have launched live video features, creating a plethora of possibilities for brand content, influencer partnerships, and target audience engagement.
When it comes to creating compelling content in real-time, things can get complicated. The ability to go live with anyone is high risk, high reward. In order for brands to have success with “live” features, proper marketing strategy planning is necessary.  Looking for inspiration? Influencers can co-host programming together, run Q&As with followers, share dual perspectives from high-interest events, etc.
Download our latest 2018 Influencer Marketing Quarterly Trend Report to learn about some of the key social media updates and trends affecting the influencer marketing sphere.