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Influencer marketing and social media have a symbiotic relationship, cultivating an environment where both industries (and individuals) can thrive in. The influencer marketing industry has proven that it is not just a blip in time and that it is here to stay. As influencer marketing anchors itself and evolves, more and more people enter the space and enter different platforms. Today we are going to be looking at the key features and types of influencer marketing ads you can run on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Knowledge is wealth, so let’s jump right in.
YouTube Influencer Marketing Ads
When people think of social media influencer marketing, YouTube might pop in their head as it became one of the earliest, most notable social media platforms for influencer marketing to appear on. Despite YouTube adding no major features like Instagram shopping, influencer marketing on the platform continues to boom.
Promotion Disclosure Feature
Influencers are legally obliged to disclose Paid Promotion when they partner with brands during content creation. The FTC (Federal Trade Commision) cracked down on violations of its Endorsements Guides and YouTube created a feature that influencers click during the uploading process that states “My video contains paid promotion like a product placement, sponsorship, or endorsement” to ensure paid promotions are clearly disclosed to audiences.
According to our Year in Review 2020 Report which analyzed 20,000,000 FTC guideline compliant YouTube videos, integrated content was the most dominant content type on the platform, appearing in 59% of videos from the top 10 brands of the year. Four of the top five industries utilized integrated videos in 2020.
Integrated videos involve integrating the content of the promotion into the video, usually somewhere near the middle. Integrated promotion content is less likely to get skipped through and creates a more organic feel.
Dedicated videos are exactly what they sound like. These types of videos promote the product(s) or service(s) for the entire duration of the video. Our 2020 report highlights that the gaming industry primarily uses a dedicated video strategy.
Looking to run a campaign in the gaming industry? Check out our list of the top gaming influencers on YouTube here.
Intro & End Card
The intro and end card content types place the promotion at the very beginning of a video or at the very end of a video. These content types are not as popular because audiences can easily skip through the advertisement portion, but nonetheless influencers still implement this content type into their videos. Our 2020 report highlights that the tech and fashion industry utilized these content types the most.
Instagram Influencer Marketing Ads
Instagram might just be the holy grail of influencer marketing. Aside from creators being able to reach their audience in a variety of ways, Instagram has leveled up their platform for businesses and creators with influencer marketing tools and the debut of Instagram shopping.
Paid Partnership Feature
Similar to YouTube, when the FTC cracked down on violations of its Endorsement Guides, Instagram launched the Paid Partnership feature. The Paid Partnership feature appears in the header of an influencers sponsored post, replacing the posts location and stating “Paid Partnership with [brand]”. Paid Partnership protects brands and influencers with it’s distinct location and clear message that the post, story, reel, or IGTV is sponsored.
An influencer’s post to their feed is the original form of influencer marketing on the platform. In a nutshell, an influencer takes a picture or video with the product(s) or service(s) they are promoting and pairs it with a caption, usually including a branded hashtag to promote brand awareness and easily track user-generated content. Including a hashtag can be very beneficial by increasing a post’s engagement by 12.6% with just one hashtag alone.
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With the debut of Instagram’s shopping feature, influencers can also tag products in their sponsored posts. These shoppable posts make it a one-stop shopping experience and enable their audience to access products with ease.
Instagram stories are very similar to Instagram posts, but with a twist. First, stories do not appear in the normal scroll feed, they are found at the top of Instagram. Secondly, the sponsored videos and pictures influencers upload to their Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours unless they decide to highlight the content on their reels. Instagram stories have the benefit of including swipe-up links for their users if they have over 10,000 followers or are a verified account.
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Instagram Reels enables creators to create short, 15-30 second videos, with ease. Reels is very similar to TikTok and incorporates the music, dancing, and effects of the platform. Influencers can share their reels to a dedicated portion of the explore page, pushing their content far beyond their audience alone. In addition to the explore page, Instagram users can discover reels through dedicated pages showcasing reels that feature certain hashtags, songs, and effects.
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IGTV creates an immersive experience with videos over a minute-long. IGTV allows creators to give in-depth reviews, hauls, and other relevant content related to product(s) and service(s) that they would not be able to create in other, shorter content forms on the platform. With IGTV, creative can reach millions with users searching for and discovering the content they are interested in.
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Branded Content Ads
Aside from disclosing sponsored content, the paid sponsorships feature enables brands to boost influencer content. When an influencer utilizes the paid partnership tool to signal a sponsored post, they can also allow their business partner to boost their content through a toggle button. On the brands side, this will be a branded content ad that will appear in the feeds and stories of millions outside of the influencers audience.
TikTok Influencer Marketing Ads
TikTok has evolved and matured into an elite influencer marketing platform with millions of dollars being poured into the app and big brands entering the space. TikTok’s easy to use and easy to enjoy interface has sparked over 1 billion video views a day (Omni Core Agency).
TikTok differentiates itself from YouTube and Instagram with a new generation of native TikTok influencers who rose to fame on the app, younger audiences, and short content lasting 15 to 60 seconds.
TikTok does not have its own ad disclosure feature for influencers, so influencers include hashtags such as #Ad #[brand]partner and more to disclose that their content is an advertisement.
Brand takeovers takeover a TikTok user’s entire screen when they open the app. TikTok only allows one brand to take over a brand category (fitness, fashion, etc) a day. Due to the one brand per category per day rule, brand takeovers come with a high price-tag.
Brand takeovers integrated with influencer marketing differ from the “norm” of influencer marketing. The difference is due to the fact that brand takeovers are advertised from the brands account, not the influencers. Utilizing an influencer in a brand takeover advertisement may make the ad feel more organic and non-commercialized.
Brand takeovers will usually direct more traffic to a filter, hashtag challenge, or company website.
Looking for a TikTok influencer to take over your account for a day? Check out this blog for some of the funniest TikTokers who are sure to keep up engagement.
In-Feed Native Videos
In-feed native videos are sponsored videos that are integrated into a users For You Page. In contrast to brand takeovers, influencers create their own content to post to their own TikTok. These advertisements generally feel the most organic because they are placed with an algorithm in a users feed rather than appearing immediately when opening the app.
In-feed native videos either follow hot trends or challenges on the platform, or start new trends and challenges. The creative behind influencer content is endless. An influencer may use a hashtag challenge or a branded filter/lense during the campaign to promote brand awareness and interaction with the campaign itself. Or, an influencer may use a dance and song to encourage the audience to create their own video with a creative spin on it.
We should be on the lookout for the rise of eCommerce and influencer shoppable ads on TikTok. In late 2020, TikTok partnered with Shopify to create shoppable ads, which may be the future of influencer ads on the platform.
Brand takeovers and in-feed native videos that incorporate hashtag challenges and branded filters and lenses, can be done without influencers as normal advertisements from the brand. However, MuseFound discovered through studies that 92% of consumers trust influencers more than a traditional advertisement or celebrity, so sticking to or switching to influencer marketing strategies on the app may be extremely effective. Check out the strategy and creative of successful influencer marketing ads on TikTok like Netflix and DraftKings.
Social media presents so many opportunities for brands to enter the influencer marketing ad space, with millions of influencers of all different sizes and geographic locations at their disposal. If you’re looking for a sign to start running your own influencer marketing campaigns, this is it!