Digital advertising has been flipped on its head. Apple’s changes to iOS14 have caused digital advertising prices to skyrocket across all major advertising platforms. CPM prices on Meta have jumped 61 percent YoY, causing performance marketing teams and agencies to conduct strategy meetings regularly.
At Curastory, we think these digital advertising trends are more complex than just problems caused by Apple that we all now have to deal with. At the end of 2021, Meta lost 500,000 daily users. Not only is consumer targeting more challenging, but advertising specialists are now competing for fewer and fewer eyeballs.
This could be shocking for some, but online media consumers are not logging onto platforms to watch your advertisements
With video expected to drive 82 percent of the internet’s traffic in 2022, the data tells us that media consumers are looking for entertainment and content. Even Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the threat Meta faces from growth in video platforms like TikTok and YouTube as people watch more and more short-form videos online.
Because of these digital marketing trends, more and more companies and brands are turning to influencers to relay their brand messages to loyal followings authentically. Below are four of the most exciting influencer trends Curastory has identified recently.
1. Giving the influencer or creator more control
Fans and followers of influencers and creators have become loyalists to these handles because they know what style of content to expect. When a brand has an influencer become a “puppet,” followers can see through the post and know there is a transaction behind the scenes, so they are wary of whether the influencer really loves this product. Brands that have started to give creative flexibility to creators and the content they produce are seeing higher engagement and stronger brand recall. Consumers value authenticity, and the closer the content an influencer produces is to their standard posts, the more credible and authentic the advertisement becomes
2. Seeding with influencers good or bad?
Seeding product with influencers is a “newer” strategy that many brands are now leveraging. Seeing a product with influencers involves sending free products to several influencers with no strings attached. The intended goal is for the influencer to post about the product to their audience, hoping that the brand can repurpose the content for their own paid campaigns. This strategy has worked very well for more brands than we count; however, as more and more brands do it, a company risks being another delivery box in a stack of products. There is no guarantee that the influencer will post about your product, and we think there is a growing empathy problem with seeding. When you send an influencer a free product, even though you tell them there is no expectation, most influencers feel they owe the brand something. It ventures into the territory of manipulation. Our take is that seeding can work, but ultimately you want to find brand ambassadors that you can rely on to help grow your brand and message.
3. Video, video & more video
As mentioned above, video dominates internet traffic. Video is the most sharable content on social media, so having your influencers prioritize video will lend in helping your message get closer to going “viral.” Video also allows influencers to share more about who they are and make their posts authentic. If an influencer truly believes in a brand or product, it is much easier to demonstrate that support or passion through video vs. a static post.
4. Native product placements are the future
Over 65 percent of YouTube users skip pre-roll advertisements, ultimately skipping ahead to the content they have logged on to watch. More than 50 percent of consumers have ad-blocking technology. These data points tell us that consumers do not want to watch advertisements. Influencer posts that are strictly brand forward are not all that different. Unfortunately, your next expensive influencer campaign generates a limited ROI because of consumers’ preferences. The answer is through native product placements. Having an influencer or content creator incorporate your brand or product into their broader content increases the likelihood of being seen. You can harness the power that influencers have over their following. Ultimately you want to meet the consumer where they are, and native advertisements help you accomplish just that.
To capitalize on these trends, it will require a shift in organizational mindset on how to best engage influencers. It can be costly and time-consuming to manage influencer marketing campaigns in-house. Several great platforms offer capabilities for brands partners like Dovetale, # in, or Curastory.
Curastory works with thousands of creators and empowers them to produce videos like an 8,000-person media company. We are a content and creator tools service first, allowing creators to upload video for free editing and music licensing before accepting, recording, and merging advertisements in their own voice within their videos from matched brand advertisers.
Our Creator Ad Read™ video matching within our creator ads manager is executed programmatically, submitting your lifetime budget, audience criteria, and content topics when running a campaign. All campaign payments are performance-based, meaning you are only debited at the finalized CPM rate for the video content’s views in real-time.
To date, Curastory’s Creator Ad Reads™ have delivered a 6.5x return on advertisement spend.
The creator economy and influencer space are experiencing a hyper-growth period. It requires constant education, testing of new strategies, and constant measurement. Similar to all advertising channels some campaigns may succeed, and some may fail, but viewing your creators and influencers as partners and letting them do what they do best will increase your odds of a higher return on your investment.