Instagram Influencers are vital to many brands and If you follow the news surrounding social media worldwide you may already know that it is just a matter of time before Instagram starts getting rid of the likes count. This would create a huge impact on social media marketing campaigns and more importantly influencer marketing.
The rise of social media has changed our daily lives in many ways. It created online communities of different sizes that allow people to interact, shop, follow the news, and even find friends. Sadly, since the early days, likes started becoming an obsession for many.
It created an environment where everyone is constantly pressured to portray themselves as “picture perfect” to get as much attention as possible. Some people are even reported to have started suffering from severe depression and anxiety caused by the lack of attention on social media.
What’s on The News?
It was confirmed in November last year by Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri that the removals have already begun in the US. We can predict that It’s just a matter of time before this reaches southeast Asia and specifically Thailand. This is not a new thing. Instagram has been testing the waters in Australia and New Zealand for around a year now and it seems the testing phase is now behind us.
It’s pretty obvious that this would change the game for influencers, brands, agencies, and platforms. This article aims to put all the missing pieces of this puzzle together and help the market prepare for what’s about to come.
Effects on Instagram Influencers
Since influencer marketing has turned into a very important advertising tool over the past decade, likes have been an integral part of measuring performance and the quality of influencers.
In this new era, creators who have been catering to a niche and have been able to create meaningful connections with their followers through high-quality UGC will be on-demand. On the other hand, influencers who only cared about likes and increasing their followers to get more sponsored projects will be having a hard time adapting.
Bigger bloggers and creators who have been hesitant to join platforms will have to at some point consider joining communities or networks like Influencer House so they can connect with brands for new projects.
Again, We emphasize that influencers who create high-quality authentic content will have no issues adapting to this new environment.
Effects on Influencer Marketing
With this new shift, there will be an overhaul on how brands and influencers work. Here is a list of strategies brand will peruse when the like counting days are over:
1) UTM Link Centered Campaigns:
The data provided by UTM links are much more valuable than knowing the number of likes or the sort of engagement a piece of content gets. This is simply because by using UTM links, brands will be able to monitor what happens to every click and how much purchase or engagement is brought forth on a click by click basis.
2) Discount or Promo Codes:
These codes are uniquely generated for the followers of a specific creator. This shows brands how much sales come through from a creator in a very subtle way.
3) Affiliate Partnerships:
These sorts of partnerships are usually measured by CPA or cost-per-acquisition. This means influencers will be getting commission from sales based on the number of products purchased by their followers.
Many influencers in Thailand are already engaging in such partnerships with E-commerce giants like Shopee or Lazada and it is becoming increasingly interesting for brands and influencers to see this as a business partnership rather than a creative work.
At influencer House, we think doing such campaigns requires very delicate planning and storytelling strategies. If this is not implemented properly, it will result in influencers losing credibility and the risk of being perceived as annoying hard sellers.
4) Platforms and Creative Networks:
With the likes out of the picture, it will be even harder to measure campaigns for brands who have been trying to run their campaigns in-house. Most brands lack the digital infrastructure to implement, measure, or analyze their campaigns which means using platforms, creative networks and ecosystems like Influencer House will be even more vital to their campaigns than before.
The immediate effect will be more emphasis on user-generated-content with authentic qualities. Platforms and agencies with the technologies required to access the data from influencer pages will also be a step ahead of others when it comes to proper data analysis and reporting.
Effects on Instagram Marketing
The number of likes has been one of the most important metrics to any marketer for a long time but now brands are increasingly abandoning their previous ways of evaluation. The approach is changing from focusing on the number of likes to the relevancy of those likes and what sort of content is producing those results.
This means a post created by a macro influencer that produces 10,000 likes from irrelevant people through superficial photos or videos has a lesser value compared to a post by a smaller influencer or creator who is getting 300 likes with an average photo or video with an authentic approach.
This is because authentic content has also paid ad value with it that can be monetized through authentic paid ads. It is noteworthy that macros are vital when income to creating awareness for certain campaigns so undervaluing their impact is not wise.
At Influencer House, as opposed to many other providers, we are actually looking forward to seeing this reach our region. We think hiding likes would make influencer marketing even more important to brands and consumers and we are fully prepared to lead the charge in our market.
Looking for a boost in your campaigns and branding? Get in touch with our bilingual consultants and learn what sort of values we can add to your business.