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Opinion

The Importance of a Cross-Platform Influencer Strategy

The recent news about the potential banning of TikTok emphasises how important it is to not put all your eggs in one basket, or in this case, one channel.

If there’s one thing we have learned in 2020, it’s that things can change very quickly. At the start of this year, TikTok was the fastest growing social media platform, fast forward 6 months, and the app is now being banned in some countries due to security concerns.

But the importance of having a presence on multiple social media channels extends further than just having a backup if one becomes unavailable.

As the popular social media channels mature and new ones pop up, consumers are now not only spending more time on social media, they’re spending it on multiple social media channels. Stats show that the average internet user now has an account on more than 8 different social media platforms (a big jump from just 3 in 2012).

In line with this, savvy influencers are jumping on multiple channels to extend their earning potential, and savvy brands are collaborating with these influencers to reach their large, engaged audiences.

But before you run off and get influencer campaigns running on every channel, it’s important to note that not every channel is worthwhile for every brand.

Cross-channel strategy 

With so many social media platforms available, it can be difficult to know which avenue to go down for your brand. Each social media channel has different ways of working, and therefore different opportunities for brands to leverage off. The key here is to think about where your audience is, rather than what platform is trending at the moment. Ultimately, the best platform for you is the one that caters to your target market.

Facebook and Instagram

Let’s start with the social media giants – Instagram and Facebook. If you are on social media already, chances are it’s with an Instagram and/or Facebook account.

According to Sprout Social, Instagram now has over 1 billion monthly active users (a huge 42.86% increase from 2017). With stats like these, it’s no wonder Instagram is one of the leading social media networks for influencers. Over the last few years, the growth on the platform has led to terms such as “Insta-famous” and “Insta-celebrity” where digital influencers have risen to fame through Instagram alone.

Facebook is also a popular avenue for brands and influencers. During COVID-19 in particular, Facebook’s live-streaming capabilities have been a popular way for people to connect with others in real-time and alleviate feelings of boredom and loneliness during isolation. This type of raw, unfiltered content is taking off across social media at the moment for brands and influencers alike. We’ve seen brands run live workouts with their favorite fitness influencers, live cooking demos with foodie influencers, and make-up tutorials from beauty influencers.

TikTok and YouTube

If you are targeting a younger audience, TikTok or YouTube could be an avenue to investigate.

After Netflix, YouTube is the second most-preferred platform for viewing videos on TV screens among 18-34-year-olds. The nature of the platform also provides the perfect environment for influencers and brands to create deep connections with their viewers.

Similarly to YouTube, TikTok provides brands with a fun, entertaining space to promote their products to a lucrative millennial market (41% of TikTok users are 16-24 year olds). Despite still being quite a young channel (at least compared to the others) we’ve already seen influencers make a decent living out of the platform. Those making it in the TikTok game know how to capture an audience and have nailed the art of storytelling to 60 seconds. If you want your TikTok marketing to work, you’ll need to make sure your brand fits in seamlessly with this type of content.

LinkedIn

If you are looking to create a B2B campaign, LinkedIn might be your best bet. LinkedIn has 303 million active users – 90 million of these users are senior-level influencers, and 63 million are in decision making positions. A very powerful avenue to break into if you are keen to talk #business.

Pinterest

On a more B2C level, if Mommy bloggers are your target market, Pinterest might be worth a look. “Pinfluencers” (i.e. Pinterest influencers) bring value through unique ideas and expertise and is less about the “influencer” themselves. Pinterest is also a fantastic avenue to drive sales, with 83% of weekly Pinners saying they have made a purchase based on the content they saw from brands on the platform.

Bloggers

Finally, let’s talk about bloggers. Bloggers are powerful storytellers. They build their followers by creating content that speaks to their loyal audience. Engaging a blogger is a great way for brands to have their brand story told through compelling, long-form content. Similarly to YouTube, bloggers can explore your brand’s product or service in more detail than one can through a 15-second Instagram story or Snapchat clip.

As you can see, there are plenty of avenues to go down when targeting influencers on social media. Once you’ve narrowed down a few platforms you’d like to try, my advice is to experiment in line with your target influencer’s strengths and tailor your approach according to the results. 

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