If you close your eyes and think about influencer marketing, you most likely picture scrolling through an Instagram feed and coming across a photo that seems overly staged and likely inauthentic, while still being aspirational to you. Scrolling further, you see the lifestyle influencer that shares how sponsored products fit perfectly in their everyday life, showcased in a high-quality, “made-for-Instagram” photo. 

Yes, you should be investing in influencer marketing just as other brands in your industry are (maybe even some of your direct competitors), but that doesn’t mean you have to activate influencers the same way as them. The majority of creators and influencer marketing platforms are continuing to focus their campaign efforts primarily on Instagram, with nearly four in five brands predominantly choosing to leverage Instagram campaigns over the other social networks, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. By diversifying their influencer marketing strategy and tapping into other social networks, marketers and creators are able to maintain a high level of influence on the direction of the industry, as well as take advantage of several important benefits.

Key Benefits of Activating Influencers Outside of Instagram

So how else can your brand benefit by stepping out of the Instagram comfort zone?

Achieving Alternative Goals – Expanding your campaigns to incorporate other social networks allows you to tap into influencers to drive toward additional goals. For example, users leverage Pinterest to discover new products when they are further along in the purchase cycle, so it is a strong channel for driving e-commerce sales. According to the 2019 Pinterest Seasonal Insights report,  “83 percent of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest” (GfK, US, Pinterest Path to Purchase Study among Weekly Pinners who use Pinterest in the Category, Nov 2018).

Competitive Influencer Rates – You should be measuring your influencer marketing campaigns using efficiency metrics such as Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) or Cost Per Engagement (CPE). With fewer brands activating on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or emerging networks like TikTok compared to Instagram, you can achieve better cost efficiency via lower influencer collaboration rates. Influencer campaigns that focus on Pinterest as the primary content requirement are rare despite many creators having hundreds of thousands of followers and driving significant engagement, while offering low-cost incentive rates. 

Reaching a New Audience – There are a variety of users who choose to spend their time on networks outside of just Instagram. Reaching them before your competition allows you to target a whole new consumer persona for your brand. For example, if you’re trying to reach a highly-engaged male demographic for the first time, consider Twitch, where 65 percent of users are male and they are not only gamers. 

Develop an Innovative Strategy – Yes, it may require a more creative approach to go live with your brand on a network like Twitch, but don’t let that stop you. A new social network is a chance to also diversify your strategy and be innovative with your messaging. Consider using influencers to share more about your brand in an authentic behind-the-scenes or day-in-the-life style post. By tapping into different social networks, you can explore aligning your brand with an “influence for good” message, empowering creators to #CreateForGood on a network that allows for sharing long-form stories like YouTube or blogs. Additionally, activating on a channel outside of Instagram will help your brand stand out from your competitors, catching the eye of influencers who are looking for brands to work with that are willing to be creative, disruptive and exploratory – just like they are everyday. 

3 Networks to Try Now 

Now you may be asking yourself, which three networks outside of Instagram should you activate influencers on first?

Pinterest

  • Unlike most other social networks that offer content feeds, Pinterest is a discovery tool that allows users to search for inspirational ideas and enables creators to post evergreen content, specially optimized to show up in relevant search results. It’s a powerful search engine and digital pinboard used for organizing content, all rolled up into one.
  • Proportionately, Pinterest drives more referral traffic to shopping sites than other social platforms do and 90 percent of Pinners say Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase. Not only does Pinterest content last 1,690x longer than the average Instagram post, but Pinners actively engage with a piece of content for an average of 110 days after it’s published. 
  • High-quality pins can continue to garner repins and engagement for a year or more, making this platform a smart bet for long-term social engagement. 

TikTok

  • TikTok (previously Musical.ly) is a video sharing app that is quickly becoming one of the most popular apps in the world. With over 800 million monthly active users, TikTok is attracting talented creators to produce highly engaging and addictive content to consume, making it an ideal platform to activate influencers on.
  • TikTok offers high potential for rapidly spreading viral videos and maximum brand exposure due to its userbase of energized, supportive, and fun-loving creators, as well as an algorithm that fuels the momentum behind organically high-performing content. With a continuous feed of up to 60-second, platform-curated, snackable content, TikTok makes creating, editing, and consuming short-form video extremely easy and addictive.
  • Due to the viral-nature of the platform, creators on TikTok are incentivized to generate and share content quickly and on-trend. Activate influencers on a shorter, more streamlined timeline to take advantage of trending hashtags and topics to see results and ROI quickly.
  • With a limited path to purchase optionality (no links or swipes), the main KPI for any campaign on TikTok should be awareness and engagement. Because this is a relatively new platform, the brand should also be interested in being first-to-market as a test and learn opportunity. Lastly, creative freedom is critical to content creation on TikTok, so the brand must be able to “let go” of content approval and the draft review process.

Twitch

  • Twitch is the leading live streaming platform for video content creators. Viewers can watch their favorite Streamers do anything  live — from painting, cooking, podcasting, camping, to playing e-sports — all while engaging in fast-paced conversation in the chat.
  • With 65 percent of Twitch users being males and 55 percent of users between 18 and 34 years old, this network provides marketers with a growing platform to reach a targeted and differentiated demographic in an environment that values loyalty, truth, and authentic connection.
  • The average time spent on Twitch is around 95 minutes per day, which is 3X the amount of time users spend on platforms like Instagram. This provides marketers with 3X the opportunity to interact with their core target consumers via trusted members of their community – popular gamers and streamers.
  • The main KPIs for a Twitch campaign should be awareness and engagement. There are plenty of traffic and revenue-driving opportunities for brand sponsorships on Twitch, but the main objective for this platform should be reaching an important demographic, building trust, and becoming a part of the conversation on Chat through an innovative approach to sponsorship. 

Expanding your influencer marketing strategy beyond just Instagram may seem daunting and like uncharted territory for your brand at first. Choosing alternative social networks for your influencer campaigns allows you to diversify the creators you work with, expand the audience you reach and achieve a wider set of objectives. Be sure to evaluate Twitch, TikTok or Pinterest when considering a new social network to test for your next influencer marketing campaign and keep the above benefits in mind.

Consult with one of our strategists to learn more about how you can tap into creators across a variety of platforms to achieve your influencer marketing objectives.