Brands have long banked on the power of influencers to promote their brand or products. It’s been a great way to build trust by creating useful and relevant content that consumers can relate with. Over the years, influencer marketing has grown in popularity due to its high success rate, and today, nearly half of all consumers rely on influencer recommendations to make purchase decisions.
At the forefront of influencer marketing is the power of video — some would even say it’s the new king of influencer marketing. With the rapid growth of YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook stories, etc), video has become the medium of choice to market a person or brand as an expert. Video captivates and engages consumers to such an extent that 64 percent of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
Brands have taken notice of the power of influencer video marketing, and in recent years have successfully collaborated with video influencers. For example, take Nike's partnership with Harry Shaw and his successful soccer YouTube channel, WS2. Shaw created a video partnership with Nike highlighting the CR7 Mercurial soccer cleats. In the video titled “FOOTBALL CHALLENGE vs CRISTIANO RONALDO”, Shaw plays soccer with his younger brother and Cristiano Ronaldo in the athlete’s backyard.
The sponsored video generated over 18 million views, showcasing the Mercurial cleats in a fun and realistic atmosphere. This video is an example of how brands have adapted their marketing strategies to leverage influencers and video to improve customer engagement.
How to Leverage Influencers in Your Video Marketing Strategy
Leveraging influencers in your video marketing strategy can seem overwhelming at first, but consider these five tips below to help you develop a marketing campaign that helps harness the power of influencer video marketing:
1. Determine a goal for your influencer video marketing. Ultimately the goal is to increase sales, but what you should consider is how your influencer video content will achieve this. Will it improve sales by increasing product or brand awareness? Will it convert directly to a sale? Start by evaluating your product and consider what's involved in the decision-making process during the purchase funnel for your product. This will help you focus on the right type of influencer, and potentially determine the best social media platform. You can then focus on specific key performance indicators to ensure you can guide your influencer(s) and achieve optimal success.
2. Understand your audience to choose the right video influencers. As any marketing 101 course would teach you, it’s important to understand your target audience in order to develop a successful marketing campaign. The same applies to choosing the right influencer for the job. To have an effective video influencer campaign, you must have a clear idea of who you want to reach and how you want to deliver your message. Once you’ve got that secured, you can proceed to find the right video influencer that meets your needs — i.e., someone who can connect with your audience and deliver the right type of video content at scale.
3. Establish authentic relationships with your influencers. Whether it’s short or long term, establishing an authentic relationship with your influencers helps establish credibility for the endorsement. It helps influencers buy into your product, making it easier for them to genuinely promote your brand.
Try not to rush the process, be sure to give them time to learn about your brand so they can genuinely endorse it, and always allow your messages to be authentic as it comes from your influencer’s true experiences. This will help improve your relationships and add to the content they’re creating for you (not to mention the quality).
When the audience responds to the influencer and the connection between brand and influencer is strong and clear, the audience is by definition connecting with your brand.
4. Make it easy for influencers to create and share video content for you. It may sound like an obvious statement, but simplifying the process in which your influencers create and share video content can save lots of time and increase your return on investment.
There are video commerce platforms out there that help simplify this process. These platforms take a lot of the legwork out of the process by bringing together influencers, products, affiliate networks, merchandising and brands into one centralized ecosystem. The end result is video influencer marketing done at scale — a streamlined workflow between brands and influencers where video content is produced, moderated, merchandised and published all in one place. A video commerce platform is a great resource that helps maximize exposure for your influencer video content.
5. Analyze and optimize your influencer video content. Not all influencer videos are created equal. You may find that some content performs better than others. Whether it’s engagement, views or revenue per view, it’s important to analyze these metrics in order to understand how your influencer video marketing campaigns are performing.
This data gives you valuable insights to fuel decisions that help improve video production and sourcing strategies. It can help you better understand your target audience by following content they like to watch, monitor conversion rates, and track average order values. This allows you to optimize your influencer partnerships and focus on what really works with your target audience.
The Impact of Influencer Video Marketing on E-Commerce
There’s no denying that video influencers are growing in popularity and are playing an increasingly larger role in the decision-making process of shoppers. As it stands today, 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities. Partnerships and collaborations with video influencers will continue to grow as more and more consumers look to influencers and their videos to help make product decisions.
Allon Caidar is the CEO and co-founder of TVPage, a video commerce cloud that enables merchants and publishers to deliver engaging, shoppable video experiences that increase product sales.
Related story: How to Master Video Commerce at Scale