This week, we take a look at new updates for Instagram’s platform, and a few key industry updates that could shift the influencer marketing landscape. Here’s a curated look at top news for influencer marketing, compiled by RhythmOne’s influencer team.
General Mills is spending up to one-third of its digital marketing budget for some of its flagship brands on influencer marketing. General Mills and other CPG brands recognize how influencers are a great way to promote health-conscious breakfast options that are growing in popularity with younger audiences. Additionally, CPG brands realize they must shift reporting and measurement tactics to gauge the efficacy of influencers. Digidaynoted, “it’s hard to attribute breakfast cereal sales and footfall in a supermarket off the back of an influencer marketing campaign, but understanding a digital footprint, brand uplift and engagement is more realistic. Importantly, this then needs to be incorporated into the wider reporting picture.”
Takeaway: CPG companies, which used to rely primarily on mass-processed and mass-marketed products, now appear to recognize the power of influencer marketing, when properly measured and strategically used. Specifically, building advocacy over time with longer-term contracts with influencers for healthier, organic or natural food options, General Mills and others are using influencers as a way to grow segments of their business faster and measure ROAS more effectively.
Social Media Today reported a hacker discovered new warning messages within Instagram’s backend code, which indicate new efforts in development by the platform to battle fake followers and engagements. The new messages appear to be directed at users with linked accounts or third-party tools to gain followers, warning them to adjust their account to prevent further purchases.
Takeaway: Assuming these warnings will be introduced in the near future, this is another win for influencer marketing and legitimate influencers. However, blocking producers of fake accounts and engagement should still remain a multi-pronged effort — incorporating both technological barriers and legal prosecution. For every new preventative measure made by Instagram, fake sellers are likely to evolve with savvier tactics; this creates a constant chase for platforms to keep up.
Instagram users will soon see a redesigned Explore page, featuring Stories and shortcuts to IGTV and shopping with tabs that can be used to access content and videos related to art, travel and food.
Takeaway: The re-work of the Explore page to include Stories highlights Instagram’s increased focus on Stories, which have remained popular with users and marketers alike. The update will likely drive even more reach and views around Stories content, especially for accounts with large followings, making Stories an ever-more critical component for influencer marketers’ Instagram strategy.
Instagram is also testing out a few updates to following and like functions for posts. The first update separates new and old likes of posts, helping marketers to more easily see the latest activity on accounts. Along a similar line, Instagram Creator accounts now have access to a graphical representation of new followers and unfollowers, which provides additional context on account performance.
Takeaway: Brands and influencers will have more visibility into account activity for specific posts and campaigns, offering further insight into what demographics their posts are resonating with and helping to provide better opportunities to interact with users based on the posts they’re most engaged with.
This article contains forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “objective,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue” and “ongoing,” or the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology intended to identify statements about the future. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about the potential and effectiveness of influencer marketing. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from future results that are expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the dynamic and rapidly evolving sector, as well as the highly competitive industry that RhythmOne operates in, which make it difficult to evaluate prospects. These and other risk factors are discussed in RhythmOne’s Annual Report for the period ended March 31, 2018. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to RhythmOne as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.