Let’s face it. Sometimes, tunnel vision works. It helps you tune out distractions, it allows you to focus, and it keeps your eyes on the prize, as they say. But when it comes to influencer marketing, tunnel vision will lead you astray.
This is particularly true when deciding which social channels to focus your time and resources on. Despite Instagram’s reputation as a fan favorite for influencers, it’s important that you avoid Instagram tunnel vision. Instead, adopt a multichannel strategy that ensures your influencers will connect with your potential customers — wherever they are.
Instagram as the Platform of Choice
For years, Instagram has reigned supreme as the platform of choice for brands looking to collaborate with influencers to reach their coveted audiences.
As the second most popular social network in the world behind Facebook — with more than 800 million monthly active users — Instagram has quickly become marketers’ favorite platform for social engagement. Adweek reports that Instagram dominates influencer marketing, with 99.3 percent of influencers saying the platform is “a great place to connect with community and brands.”
What’s more, influencers are increasingly choosing Instagram over Snapchat, another influencer favorite. In the six months following the launch of Instagram Stories, Mediakix found that influencers were using Snapchat less and posting on Instagram Stories twice as much. And the recent Snapchat redesign snafu — including Kylie Jenner’s exasperated tweet — has done nothing to bring influencers back.
Brands love Instagram for good reason. The platform allows them to promote their newest products, acquire new customers, and communicate with existing ones. According to Kissmetrics, 70 percent of users have sought out various brands on Instagram.
It’s also the perfect venue to tell a story. The simple interface, mobile functionality, and visual nature allow brands to reach their audiences with compelling content — any time, any place. And we know that brands that tell compelling narratives create emotional connections with their audiences, and these emotional responses create an enduring relationship throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
The Perils of Instagram Tunnel Vision — and Finding a Sweet Spot
It makes sense, then, why brands focus much of their influencer strategy around the platform. However, they do so at their own peril.
It turns out that Instagram isn’t without its flaws. For instance, though images are a great way to tell a brand’s story, if you have a particularly text-heavy message, Instagram may not be the optimal platform. And if your influencer content benefits from lengthy debates or dialogue, Instagram may not be for you, as it limits conversation per post. All that aside, why would you put all your marketing eggs in one basket?
The answer is to find the social influencer sweet spot: Create an optimal mix of influencer content across multiple social platforms. Not convinced? Here are three reasons to ditch the Instagram tunnel vision and diversify your strategy.1. Your audience is everywhere.
Not only are your potential customers spending more time on social media (135 minutes daily on average), but they’re also spreading that time out across many more social media platforms than they used to. A study by GlobalWebIndex found that consumers are now using seven social media platforms and apps on average, up from a mere three in 2012. And social media users aged 16 to 24 have as many as eight accounts, according to the study. You need to do your homework and find out where your audience spends its time online. Chances are, audience members don't just engage on Instagram.
2. A consistent cross-channel message resonates.
Publishing influencer content across multiple social channels allows you to access your audience members where they feel most comfortable, in the spaces they prefer to spend their time. And when your audience sees your relevant branded content across multiple social channels, familiarity and trust — two of the most important factors consumers consider in their purchasing decisions — follow. Delivering the right content at the right time for the right person means having a social media presence across many channels.
3. Your influencers are everywhere.
Influencers are influencers for a reason: They’ve cultivated massive audiences, usually across multiple channels. Many bloggers, for example, will have large followings on other social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. And influencers with a strong video presence will likely create content for YouTube and Snapchat, too. To optimize your influencer strategy and expand your reach, you’ll need to go where the influencers are.
There's no doubt influencers do a ton of heavy lifting for digital marketers. Word of mouth directly influences half of all buying decisions. But you can’t expect your influencer marketing campaigns to succeed if you limit your reach to a single social channel. You need to find both your influencers and your core audience wherever they spend their time online — across multiple social channels.