Influencer marketing continues to thrive in the challenging current climate, with both brands and consumers appreciating the authentic connections it drives. Almost three-quarters of marketers are allocating more resources to influencer channels this year and 60% believe the return on investment (ROI) is higher than with traditional advertising.

Video is a particularly powerful medium for influencers to tell compelling brand stories and engage audiences, and the emergence of Instagram Reels is enabling them to leverage the 15-second format popularised by TikTok in a less controversial environment that brands are more familiar and comfortable with.

But while marketers are undoubtedly seeing the power of influencer video – which uses authentic and well-produced content to deliver high engagement rates and brand recall – they are not yet making the most of video assets by amplifying influencer campaigns through programmatic media buys. Seizing this opportunity will take influencer marketing to the next level and significantly enhance performance.

Why amplify influencer campaigns?

When embarking on influencer marketing it is often difficult for brands to understand what is working, who their message is reaching and where they should invest their budgets. This is especially true when brands are working with micro-influencers that have a loyal, yet relatively small audience of perhaps 10,000 followers.

By taking the valuable video assets produced by influencers outside of their organic audiences and amplifying them further, brands can make their content work harder and use it to achieve additional business objectives.

Opportunities for amplification

The opportunities to put paid spend behind influencer content on the platform of origin are often limited due to API restrictions. It is not yet possible to do this with Instagram Reels, and although brands can pay to have their videos appear on TikTok’s discovery page, many are reluctant to jump on that bandwagon due to brand safety concerns. There are, however, two other ways to amplify influencer campaigns and boost performance through media buys.

First, brands are starting to embrace cross pollination, where assets created for one social or video platform are boosted on another. Influencer videos created for Instagram, for example, can be published and promoted via paid advertising in Facebook feeds to reach a larger and more diverse audience. Brands are having particular success repurposing and amplifying influencer video content on YouTube. Publishing branded videos on YouTube is nothing new, but repurposing influencer content and promoting it means brands can make the most of the platform to drive performance.

Second, brands are taking video assets from influencer campaigns and using these across publisher sites as they would with other forms of programmatic advertising. Instead of seeing a standard video ad when they read the latest article from their favourite publication, consumers see the more appealing influencer video.

Brands can target by campaign audience or by publication to make sure videos are welcome and relevant, as well as to ensure they are reaching the right eyeballs, and they can measure success as they would with any programmatic campaign. It’s early stages for influencer content being used in this way, but premium publishers are keen to take up this kind of advertising due to the exceptional creative quality and high levels of audience engagement.

The future of influencer video

Brands are only just beginning to explore the opportunities of influencer video content to boost performance and deliver results, but the possibilities will become clear over the coming months as marketers get more comfortable repurposing and amplifying influencer assets. Integrating ecommerce into influencer video will be particularly important as the pandemic continues to push purchasing online. Shoppable formats will enable brands to close the circle and understand the extent to which an influencer is driving ecommerce sales.

With influencer marketing thriving, now is the time for brands to fully explore the many opportunities it brings and make better use of their video assets. By repurposing content created for Instagram and using it across other social and video platforms or publisher sites, brands can ensure their influencer campaigns have greater targeted reach and are more measurable, ultimately driving business outcomes.

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