Let’s state the obvious – influencer marketing continues to grow. Several years ago, it was looked at as a strategy that could only be utilized between brands with huge budgets and mega-celebrities. Now the industry has grown to the point that nearly half of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year.

The growth of the industry has forced everyone to evolve to ensure the experience best suits all parties – brands, influencers, and consumers. As brands began to see the value in influencer marketing, they went from outside participant to wanting more control over their data and campaigns. It was no longer enough to trust others with the ROI of their influencer marketing dollars; they wanted to manage and execute on their campaigns themselves. (Did we mention we just launched our brand-owned influencer marketing platform?)

After seeing the financial potential, influencers began improving their content, engaging more with their audiences, and becoming true conduits from the brand directly to the consumer. And the consumers, well, they’ve adapted to accept influencer content as native and informational and something that is a benefit rather than a hindrance.

Now, we’re seeing one last group evolve to meet the needs of the industry and continue to enhance the experience – the social media platforms themselves. Up until recently, the platforms generally chose to operate independently of influencers, save for some language in their terms and conditions. And why wouldn’t they? They certainly were benefitting from increased traffic to their apps and sites.

But in recent months, we’ve seen significant investment by the platforms, by way of enhanced features specific to influencers, and we’re excited to see how they continue to improve the ecosystem.

Instagram.

There has long been a call to create a standardized format that makes it clear to all consumers as to whether a post is sponsored by an advertiser or organic. You might remember the Kardashians receiving letters from the Federal Trade Commission last year for not properly identifying sponsored posts. Well earlier in June Instagram rolled out a beta test of its version of a standardized format, allowing influencers to tag a brand as its sponsor and provide the disclosure the FTC is looking for.

Posts will now include a “Paid partnership with” notification at the top, and by tagging the brand, the brand gets access to all the influencer data around the post.

Snapchat.

Despite long being reported as shunning influencers, Snapchat just released a new update that is very influencer friendly. The new feature, called Paperclip, allows any user to link to external websites on their videos. Now when someone sees a video with a link, a user can swipe up to visit the external site. Previously only brands could prompt users to web pages, so this is a significant step forward for influencers who want to drive traffic directly toward a transactional website. Users can now modify their voices in videos and add custom backdrops, allowing for better branding.

 

Want to learn how to utilize influencers to enhance the reach of your brand and drive ROI? Contact us today for a demo!