The influencer marketing and advertising space changes as rapidly as your Twitter feed populates with satirical political quips and cat videos. As consumption becomes heavily rooted across mobile devices, purchase technology and usability is following suit in order to maintain the attention of the always-connected consumer. On social networks, shoppable links, e-commerce connections, and click-to-buy functionality are becoming the new norm. The newest players to the game are Pinterest, Instagram, and even Snapchat. All of these networks are ripe with digital influencers ready to tell brand stories and now with a shortened path to purchase, there is no better time for brands to reach their engaged followers.
A visual platform where users and online influencers create their aspirational self from clothing to housewares, Pinterest users discover and search for new products, brands and goods. In fact, 87% of users reported that engagement on Pinterest has helped them decide what to purchase and of those who do purchase, the average spend is over $80. The natural evolution to remove an additional step or click for the user to make a purchase resulted in their upcoming “Buy It” function. By partnering with key brands that are already successful across Pinterest — such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Michaels — and tapping into powerful e-commerce platforms — like Shopify and Demandware — Pinterest is putting the ability to buy based on visual browsing at the tap of a finger creating a great opportunity for brands to capitalize on influencer advertising campaigns.
Instagram, another aspirational visual platform, has long been a resource for outfit of the day fashion inspiration and brunch foodie posts. With LikeToKnow.it and Like2Buy being the largest third-party sources for e-commerce purchase solutions, it can take the user several steps and an email to find out what outfit your favorite blogger is wearing. Despite these barriers, LiketoKnow.it boasts major scale with over 4,000 retailers and 2,000 brands, allowing Instagram influencers to monetize their images through a platform specific affiliate program. Now that Instagram has modified its ad platform, adding calls-to-actions — Shop Now, Install Now, Sign Up, and Learn More — targeted e-commerce ads will be back in the hands of brands, especially those using influencer marketing and advertising. The process will also be simplified for consumers to purchase products in real-time social browsing.
Preferred by the Millennial crowd, Snapchat’s timed image and video sharing is on the rise, seeing more 2 billion video views every day. Brands are looking to tap into this engaging platform and digital influencers have quickly added Snapchat to their engagement portfolio, allowing their audiences to peak behind the curtain through their Snapchat Stories. In an interesting play on influencer marketing, ShopStyle is now leveraging the power of select heavy hitter online influencers to make their Snapchat stories shoppable through an off platform link.
By putting the power of e-commerce into the hands of socially-inclined consumers, aspirational purchases will be easier to make. Strategies in influencer marketing and advertising will continue to evolve as purchase buttons become the new norm on social platforms. Early adopters on the brand side will lead the way as they see the first benefits of this abbreviated path to purchase.