Online video continues to play an important part in this age of social media, but noise and competition are dauntingly high as everyone is battling for space. Following on from our previous posts on how to leverage and distribute your content on social platforms, we want to show you how to use seeding and influencer marketing to amplify your video reach.
Video seeding is a form of distribution where brands approach websites whose target audience is relevant to their business to have them spread the reach of their video content. When done right, seeding can help put your video in front of more of the right people and reach its full potential. Seeding isn’t a method of mass distribution, but rather a way to work with publications and influencers that are relevant to your industry to help maximise your brand reach for your particular market. But what— or rather who— exactly is an influencer?
Influencers are individuals who have a large amount of impact on consumers within a specific market. They are well known in their fields and trusted by their followers, meaning they harness a level of power to reach audiences in a way that was once considered impervious. This makes it ideal for brands to collaborate with influencers to promote their products or share their content. A survey by Launch Metrics found that 62% of brands implemented campaigns with influencers in 2016, 78% of which said that they had been working with influencers for at least a year or more.
We can track the history of influencer marketing back to the late 1800s, where companies used celebrities and public figures to promote consumer products like cigarettes and home goods. Today, influencer marketing looks a little different. As social media continues to boom, so does the amount of ‘ordinary’ people with massive social followings. These people have cultivated strong, homegrown communities and have a sizeable impact on their followers. They have built “digital empires” not only on reputation and trust, but also by creating content that people regularly engage with. Influencers can have anything from 10k - 100k+ followers, but the number of followers isn’t the be-all and end-all; the quality of the influencer is just as important.
Working with influencers can help maximise your brand reach in ways that you might not be able to achieve through organic or even paid social media marketing. This is because influencers have a huge impact on their followers’ buying decisions. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people, even if they don’t know them personally. Influencers offer brands a bridge to otherwise unattainable audiences and harness an aspect of one of the most trusted forms of marketing: word-of-mouth recommendations. In its report on the state of influencer marketing in 2017, Launch Metrics found that 85% of brands found that word-of-mouth generates more value than investing in social advertisement.
Sometimes it’s better to work with smaller, niche influencers, especially if your business itself is, well, small and niche. Niche markets typically have very specific audiences who are more likely to look for and consume content within that niche.
Working with influencers can be an effective part of your video strategy and there are a number of ways that you can implement influencer marketing into your campaign:
For this form of influencer marketing, you approach influencers to distribute your branded video on their social channels, often with a specially created brand-related hashtag.
Another way to collaborate is to give influencers complete creative control over the content. eMarketer found that 67% of marketing and communications professionals use influencers for content promotion, while 59% use them for content creation. 82% of brands find working with influencers to promote content on owned— that is your brand’s— social channels to be effective at generating business value.
Of course, this means that you don’t get to tell your story in exactly the way you’d like, as it’s usually done in an authentic way that blends seamlessly into the influencer’s own existing host of content. For example, Fun For Louis, a top travel and adventure YouTube influencer with over 1.9 million subscribers, partnered with Fairmont Resorts & Hotels to promote the hospitality brand in a way that reflected his own quirky vlogging style.
If you want to be involved in the creative process, an alternative option is to co-create your content with your influencers. Working together on the creation of the video content reduces the risk of it being off-brand, for both your brand and theirs.
The key to any influencer marketing campaign is to collaborate with influencers that are relevant to your industry and who resonate with your target audience. Focus on the pertinence of the influencer as opposed to whether or not they have millions of followers. While influencers with a six-figure following can guarantee a lot of reach, that isn’t to say your video will reach a relevant audience, and certainly not one that converts. Unless your product or service rings bells with your influencer’s audience, your marketing attempt is unlikely to bring in many high quality leads or revenue.
Influencers are usually paid to promote brands and their content, but some may be willing to work with you if they are fans of your brand or product or if there is an alternative incentive. For example, if you’re a beauty brand, you might send a beauty blogger a sample of your newest product to try, or invite a food blogger to test drive your new food delivery service, like HelloFresh did with did with Emilie Eats in the example below.
When you're flying to L.A. on Thursday and don't feel like cooking at all... @hellofresh ready-to-go Utterly Up-Beet salad to the rescue All of the ingredients came to my doorstep all ready to go, so all I had to do was bake and assemble! Any salad with beets, walnuts & potatoes is a friend of mine I easily made it vegan by leaving out the feta (you could add almond feta!). I also mixed the balsamic vinegar with tahini because tahini = life. I got the hook-up for you - use code EMILIEEATS35 for $35 off a @hellofresh box (I got the Veggie Box!). Eat upppppp! #emilieeats #ad #hellofreshpics #freshfriends #getcooking
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Second to inviting them to events or networking (18%), sending product samples or gifts is one of the best and most popular ways to engage with influencers (16%). Invite the influencer to create a piece of content sharing what they like about what your brand or perhaps invite them to star in the video itself.
There's something about spring that sparks a new sense of up and at 'em and routine, and I've been loving dedicating a little more time to my skincare with @GarnierUK (and ~finally~ getting my trainers out the house again)! This little power product is the ultimate in helping my skin feel soothed, especially if you're a little oily like me too! #WeAreGarnier #ad #PureChallenge
A post shared by Olivia (@livpurvis) on
A post shared by Anthony Joshua (@anthony_joshua) on
Your approach will differ according to which influencer you choose to work with, so analyse their preferences and reach out to them in a way that will encourage them to engage with your brand.
Huawei collaborated with travel photographer Jack Morris— known on Instagram as doyoutravel where he has 1.9M followers— to promote the video and photo capabilities of their new P9 smartphone. While Jack’s Instagram feed is filled with stunning photos of dreamy locations and resorts, making him perfect for travel and hospitality brands to collaborate with, the professional quality of his photographs also makes him influential to photography technology consumers.
A post shared by JACK MORRIS (@doyoutravel) on
Almost 90% of communication and PR brand and agency professionals found that influencer marketing tactics were effective in raising awareness about their company or its products, but this isn’t a result of chance. According to Launch Metrics, “brands need to understand influencers’ online personalities, how they connect with their communities” and what type of content they post in order to know how to successfully work with them.