What Platforms do Brands Care About?
When the team at SEEN reaches out to content creators to pitch them for brand campaigns, we frequently get pitched back “Hey would they want me to post a Snapchat story instead of the 3 Instagram posts?” The answer is almost always “nope.” Here’s why.
The brands we work with have put lots of time and attention into the strategy for their campaign. Here are some factors that help a brand decide where to place their digital efforts, including influencer activity.
Brands care about channels that fit their persona
Social channels provide different ways to relay messages-- through text, photography or video. Brands focus on the networks that allow them to tell their story the best. Example: if your brand has a comedy focus, video might be the best medium to get your message across and you might focus on YouTube or Vine.
Since brands often reuse influencer content for their own channels, it is important that the content you produce for them will be useful in their future campaigns. If they need video content, receiving tons of still photos (no matter how awesome they are) might not be very helpful.
Brands care about channels where their target audience lives
Brand teams and agencies work hard to determine which channels are most relevant to their target audience and which channels will support their goals for a particular campaign. This is different for every brand based on their ideal consumer.
Example: if a brand is looking to target women in their 30s or 40s, they’re probably headed for Facebook and Pinterest. If a brand is trying to target 18 year old males, they might look for YouTube or Snapchat.
We can already hear you saying “yes but millennials live on Snapchat! And every brand wants millennials. So why won’t brands take my offer to post a story instead of 3 Instagram posts?!” That’s because…
Brands care about channels they can measure against
The easy answer is, brands care about platforms where they can measure the results they set out to achieve. So when a brand creates a campaign, they are trying to measure specific things. They recruit influencers to help them toward those predefined goals. They won't want to switch the network strategy on a whim because it would also change the tracking and measurement of the program.
Agencies have to prove that their work was valuable and fight for future budget share. So they need to be able to measure the success of every campaign based on predetermined goals.
Even a measurable platform might not be able to report the right kinds of metrics. Brands and agencies determine a goal for their campaigns ahead of time: “we want to reach x number of moms and ask them to share their experiences with our products.” Some channels will have better metrics to prove the success of that particular goal than others.
So, should you just never pitch ideas to brands then?
No, we’re not saying that. Brands are often receptive to influencer pitched ideas and we think that a brand and an influencer should have a meaningful relationship in order for the influencer marketing tactic to be successful. We just think you should attempt to create a two-way dialogue with a brand-- this could mean that you help explain to them why your content suggestion is a smarter way to reach their goals or that you work to understand why they have chosen the particular channels for a campaign.