Hey everyone, this is the Stratezine team. I am here with Tia and Olivia and my name is Hailey, and today we are just going to discuss some further insights that we found interesting from the previous episodes with Infuze Hydration, Scout Social, Purple, and Main Gear.
So today just to start off, I thought something that was really interesting that multiple of the marketing managers mentioned was the emphasis on using influencers on Instagram, and that platform showing the most ROI and being the most successful for their brand. And it had me wondering why Instagram out of Facebook and other social platforms? And would you guys agree that it’s maybe because Instagram has such–well one, has a huge audience, but two, has a heavy emphasis on the visuals?
So that’s a great question. So I think Instagram is probably the best for a younger audience. Instagram really focuses on the younger generation. And I think they do a great job of doing that. Because the younger generation is always on our phone, we’re always on our phone, we’re always posting, we’re always sharing things, and I think, by an influencer using Instagram, they know that they’re going to reach a larger audience.
Yeah, I would agree with the focus on visuals on Instagram, like when you think about it, it’s all photos. It’s all for photo and video, and that’s really what it caters to. And that’s kind of like a content creator’s dream, and I think it’s so easy to share things on Instagram with their Stories feature. And I think it just makes it really easy for influencers, to share their life and to grow their audience on Instagram quickly and gain a loyal following that way.
And one more thing, when you guys think about it, like Instagram was created to just share pictures. And over time, it has really developed into something much more than that–that has become a lot more business oriented.
Yeah, I agree with that, I think–I suppose it would, it would depend on who the brand wants to target in terms of their audience. because like you said, Olivia, Instagram definitely adheres or speaks to a younger audience, whereas maybe Facebook is older. But I also think older people don’t trust influencers as much as young people would–and especially micro-influencers and what we found of micro-influencers having a higher engagement rate and also more clicks to buy the product that they were pushing, because they have more trust by their audience versus a macro-influencer which could have–you know–millions of followers, people are less likely to trust them, which I thought was ironic, because why would they have more followers and why would you follow someone that you don’t trust what they’re recommending to you versus someone that had less followers and maybe more to gain from a brand deal? So I thought that was interesting to see the almost inverse effect on that of having less followers, but higher engagement and more trust?
That’s a really good point.
Yeah, I like that point. It is kind of interesting to think about because micro-influencers do have a lot to gain by working with these brands that kind of helps get their name out there as well–using these brands–it’s kind of like a good mutual way to grow for each of them. And something that I think makes them more trustworthy is because I think that they can create a stronger and closer relationship with their followers because they have less people to focus on. They don’t have the millions of people commenting on their photos every day, they have maybe 50 or 100 people and they can comment back on those people that are talking to them.
Kind of going off into something else is brand image,and that’s definitely super important when a brand is trying to figure out who they want to be marketing their products and everything and brand image is really important. And I think Instagram allows it to become easier to decide on who you want, because everyone’s posting on and it can be Kind of personal and you can kind of see their style and how they edit things.
Yeah, that is a good point. I like what you said, Tia, especially of–that micro-influencers are able to have a better connection with their audience because it is a smaller audience. It’s a lot harder to track who’s following you when you have hundreds of thousands of followers. So that’s a good point. And I think also at that point, too, to kind of go against what I was saying earlier, but as a macro-influencer, when you already have so many followers, what do you have really to risk by pushing a product that you don’t know works or not, when you have that many followers in the beginning, whereas with a micro, if you only have, let’s say, 10,000 followers, and you depend on that amount for the swipe up feature that a lot of brands look for, you don’t want to push brands or products that you know don’t work in the fear of losing enough followers that would take you below that count, which would remove that feature, which then could affect future brand deals. So you could look at that side as well, which I think is something to consider.
I like that I think that their reputation is definitely on the line with their followers if they have that connection. And if they were to push a product or an ad or something or maybe do something that their followers didn’t approve of, I think it could really damage their relationship with their followers and then in turn, hurt their metrics and their engagement a lot.
So it’s interesting, because now you’re not only looking at one image, you’re looking at two, you’re looking at the brand’s image and you’re looking at the influencer’s image and how they want to be seen, and they want to be seen as trustworthy to all their followers.
Yeah, that’s true. You have the brand that has to be really careful about who they use with their influencer, and they need to know that that influencer’s going to work with their brand and to–you know–put their brand in a positive light and isn’t going to hurt their reputation, either.
Yeah, that is true. And I think–like how Brent was mentioning–who is the market manager for Main Gear–he not only looks for a specific target audience, but he looks for a specific micro-influencer that already reaches his target audience for him. So all he really has to do is just find a micro influencer within the gaming industry, which is what he wants, and they are already in, in touch with his target audience. So that’s a pretty smart marketing move of not having to do as much research and putting in as much time and finding that audience for yourself when someone already did that work for you and you are just a conduit through that influencer, who was then you know, pushing your products and in a positive way, from someone that is not the brand–not the business. Because if someone, like he said, if he went up to someone and said, “Hey, buy this 2000 dollar PC, I work for”–you know–”the brand; it’s the best one.” Of course, they’re going to be like, “Oh well, you’re going to say that because you work for the brand. It benefits you directly.” But versus someone who’s a micro-influencer, who doesn’t work for the brand, but they’re saying, “Yeah, they gave me this; it actually really works and I love it,” that they’re way more likely to see profit from that, I think. And that’s what all the marketers said was their measure of success was ROI, which is not surprising, because it’s a business at the end of the day, they need to make profit, they can’t just hand out free products to these influencers, and not–you know–get any return on that. But when it comes to social media, in my mind, the success to me is always in metrics, right? And I never really look at the profit side; I always think followers, engagement, likes comments, and–but the step for–like further from that is seeing the actual profit. And since social media is so new and so instant, I mean, you can post a photo and you can instantly tell how well it’s doing. I think sometimes instant profit is expected from that as well, which isn’t necessarily the case, sometimes a social media campaign–to see the profit from that–can take as long as it would with a traditional marketing campaign as well. And I don’t think a lot of brands that are just now getting into social media realize that.
I think something that we heard consistently throughout all of these podcasts is engagement, engagement, engagement; that’s all that they are looking at. They’re looking at engagement, they’re looking at the reach and they’re looking at the influencer’s authenticity. And something that really stood out to me was that someone had mentioned that micro-influencers, they’re at least looking for a three percent engagement rate, which to me shocked me because I thought it was going to be a lot higher; I had expected higher. And when I had heard three percent, I mean, I could be a micro influencer at this point.
With three percent?
I felt the same exact thing, especially when Meriah mentioned that she prefers even nano-influencers, which is like 1000 and below followers, which is me. And the fact that she said, that was, “Woah, okay,” like–because in my mind, before listening to the previous episodes, I thought being an influencer was such a far off thing for people, that you had to be viral, or you had to be millions of followers before brands even considered working with you. Because all the brand deals that I was seeing was from these big names. But after listening to the podcast, it was like, okay, you know, this is actually a possibility to work with brands, probably not getting money, but getting free products, which is, you know, more than what a lot of people have now. So I think, in that sense, it was encouraging? I don’t know if that’s the right word–hopeful of, like, maybe that’s something I could do on the side to increase my own experience as a brand manager, or a social media manager, of working on both sides of that, you know, being an influencer for a brand and getting influencers to work for my brand.
Yeah, I think overall, to me, it just shows that businesses are paying attention–that they’re paying attention to what’s working and what’s not working and who was trusting who.
Yeah, I love those points. It does kind of put it into perspective how people are–I mean, these brands, they’re on Instagram, and they’re watching what’s going on, and they can measure how things are working when they work with influencers. And I think that we’ve just seen this rise of influencer marketing in the past couple years, because it works so well and because these brands are receiving their return on investment. And it’s just neat to see that, you know, that could trickle down even into the nano-influencer side of things.
Yeah, for sure. I think it is something that will be even more prevalent in the next year coming on too. Especially with the pandemic and COVID-19, the different ways that marketers are trying to creatively push their products, when they know that a lot of people are at home or in quarantine or working from home and they’re on their screens a lot more than they usually would be influencer marketing is a really smart idea and a way to get sales.
That’s a really good point. Hailey, I didn’t think about that. I didn’t think about the pandemic playing a big role in all of this.
Yeah, I mean, I definitely think that is. I mean, if you look, I’ve noticed in the last few months, so many advertisements that I’m seeing on TV or even on my phone on social media are about the pandemic–you know–are about–they have COVID-19 in their–you know–in their taglines with these brands, and it’s become such a part of our lives at this point, that marketing has shifted to it. It’s a trend. I mean, I hate to say “It’s a trend,” but it’s sort of a trend in–you know–what’s going on, and so people have to shift to it to be more relatable because they want their products to relate to what you’re going through. So I think it is a really good idea to do influencer marketing, especially now.
Yeah, I love that you brought up the pandemic because it makes me think about all of us who are working from home and we’re home way more than we ever were and maybe these traditional advertisements that we’re used to on TV, in commercials, in print, they’re not hitting us the same way that might on social media. On social media it might feel more organic coming from an influencer that we trust, that we know is somewhat like us that they live a lifestyle closer to ours, that we relate to that more than we would seeing this giant commercial or billboard or something in more traditional marketing.
I agree. I think we listed a lot of reasons as to why businesses should transfer over into micro-influencing. And it’s almost at the point where if they don’t, they could get lost and forgotten about.
That’s true. It’s almost moved from the point of every business for the most part, unless you’re really behind, has at least one social media platform. And now it’s moved on from that to how are you utilizing your platform in the best way possible. It’s not just about posting content, and pushing your audience to visit your business or go to your website, it’s about, “How do I push what I want my audience to do in one step by posting on social media?” And I think in the coming years, it’s just going to get more and more in–advertisers are going to get more and more into utilizing social media and less traditional marketing. We’ve already seen that in newspapers, and in radio, and other traditional ads, even on I mean, even ads on social media; YouTube–you know–we all look to skip the advertisements as soon as they come on the video. Whereas if you’re following someone, and you like who they are and what they post, and then they say, “Hey, guys, by the way, this is a great product.” That doesn’t feel like an ad.
Yeah, that is such a great point. I think brands really need to be looking at how they can take their social media to the next level. And like you said, Olivia, if they don’t they might fall behind. And I think it’s all about understanding where your audience is at and how can you target that audience? What influencers can you find to help you tap into their audience that you need that is part of your audience that you’re trying to get to?
Yeah, definitely. Well, we want to thank you guys who are listening to the podcast thus far with us. We definitely have learned a lot from them, and we hope that you have to. If you would like to see more marketing tips, go ahead and follow our other social platforms. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And we hope that you are able to learn from even this discussion. Thanks, guys.