First it seemed like networks were going to fight influencer marketing in favor of their own built-in advertising options for brands… (remember the Instagram shadowban terror?)
But it seems like the shift toward meaningful branded content vs overt advertising and the unstoppable popularity of influencer marketing as a tactic across verticals has won out over the platforms’ attempts to regulate.
So they’re doing what they do best… diving in to try it themselves.
Social networks are making moves into the influencer marketing space by providing ways for brands to connect with active and influential creators on the platforms.
Snapchat Storytellers + Sticker Packs
Snapchat recently launched Storytellers: “a program [...] that connects brands with top creators to make ad campaigns on Snapchat.” The Storytellers program will allow brands to connect directly with the platform’s top 5 most influential users-- including Shonduras, the Taco Bell godfather of brilliant branded content on the platform. Almost immediately afterwards, Snapchat gave creators the ability to design and launch their own sticker packs, further customizing their Snapchat presence and allowing them to exert some branded ownership over their presence on the platform.
Facebook Brand Collabs Manager + Creator App
After lots of speculation and a little leak, Facebook made a big splash in June by announcing its searchable creator platform-- called Brand Collabs Manager-- designed to pair brands with influential creators on the platform. As the pioneering and dominant platform offering ad distribution and targeting, it is no surprise that Facebook recognizes the importance of not only owning the means of ad distribution, but also the means of ad creation and amplification through influencer partnerships.
Facebook’s shift toward creators is deep and meaningful. Their creators platform is designed to “help video creators level up on Facebook.” The app provides education, tools, and even rights management help for protecting the ownership of virally shared Facebook video.
Instagram TV + 'Paid Partnerships'
Instagram has launched Instagram TV, which allows creators to build a long-form video content discipline for their existing audience on Instagram without having to pioneer a new YouTube channel from the ground up. Brands are snapping up sponsorship opportunities for influencer content created in this new medium. This all follows Instagram’s move to make influencer content more seamlessly adhere to FTC regulation by providing an easy way to delineate sponsored posts through the 'Paid Partnership' designation.
These aren’t just social platforms facilitating brand collaborations for their strongest users. If we’ve learned nothing else these past few years it is that content is more important than ever. Having active, influential creators on your social platform is worth money because it attracts brand advertisers. So now YouTube is straight up paying influencers to continue creating content on their social channel instead of fleeing to a new shiny competitor.
What you can do?
Throughout the many evolutions of the social platforms a few things have remained true... Creators who consistently work hard to differentiate themselves and build meaningful communities around their content always come out on top. So the best advice is age-old advice:
- Create a strong, unique visual brand.
- Be a storyteller.
- Quality of content matters more than quantity.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.