Your 5 Alternatives to Influencer Marketing

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Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. But today, some say that an Instagram photo’s worth is defined by its number of likes.

A big percentage of social media marketing relies on likes and reacts on Facebook, Instagram and the like. Pun, intended. Likes equate to the level of popularity. From here, influencer marketing comes in, wherein social media users with many followers and likes are paid to “subtly” promote a product or service to their friends and followers through a post. It has become popular throughout the years but is expected to not be the go-to social media strategy. Studies show that influencer marketing is expected to decline, especially this year, 2018. This can be because not all users trust influencers, the rise of spam accounts that flood influencers’ profiles and as millennials would put, they are not “in” and overused anymore.

Today, social media has evolved and started new marketing and advertising opportunities. Social media platforms have emerged to become a channel for advertisements and business accounts and pages. Yes, I’m talking about those random (or rather, not-so-random) ads that pop out on the side or even interrupt that viral video of the babies or puppies. These alternatives can help you reach out to your target audience, whether you need brand awareness, leads, conversions and sales through your CTA buttons. 

Carousel Ads on Facebook and Instagram

First, this advertising feature on Facebook does not limit your strategy to a single photo. Through this, you can have different photos, videos, or content that are separated from one another. Users now have the option to slide and navigate through your ad based on their preference. You can show different flavors of your ice cream. You can highlight different features and parts of your running shoes. Carousel ads can help you give your consumers information, images and videos subtly and not all at once.

The key here is to use images and videos that can catch users’ attention because their newsfeeds are already filled with many photos from friends and entertaining videos. From here, back it up with great content about the product or service that you are promoting. You can possibly turn to User Generated Content. Influential marketing is not obsolete, as you can still incorporate user content to your ads. This can also be a more economical choice, and still engage your community to join your campaign. Just make sure the images and content are aligned with your campaign and that you get the right permissions. Regardless of your strategy, stick to a central campaign and choose the most effective images, videos to convey your message. 

Photo from: https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-carousel-ads

Advertising on Instagram and Snapchat Stories

Some users prefer to simply aimlessly scroll on their feeds and not like nor react to any post. Users also like to step out of their curated aesthetic and show unfiltered situations. These are few of the key points that have contributed to the success of Snapchat and Instagram stories. As people check out their friends’ stories, your ad can be there too.

Advertising on stories, whether it be on Instagram or Snapchat is basically a 10-15 second video ad. In this short amount of time, you will need to promote your product or service in a cool way, so that your users will not skip it. It is as simple as showing your product with a brief but convincing way. You can even add a link leading to your website, if your customer wants to learn more. You can add a CTA button so users will not need to go to your site to buy something. Other than the CTA buttons, it is also a good opportunity to show less curated content or behind the scenes features to show other aspects of your campaign and how genuine your brand truly is. Your ads on stories can show genuine content or even conversion driving content.

Photo from: https://www.adweek.com/digital/how-brands-are-cashing-in-on-social-commerce-with-shoppable-instagram-stories-and-snapchat-ads/

1:1 Conversations on Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messaging

It’s time to get personal. Messenger has become a staple communication platform for users to not only talk to their friends but also companies and their favorite brands. You can start by addressing them by their name and chatting with them in a polite yet warm way. This is the perfect way to connect with users, who are intimidated by distant and time consuming phone calls.

This is your time to turn your conversations into conversions. Be there for your customers by replying to them right away and giving them information in simple jargon and even with some emoji. Address them personally or have a template nickname related to your brand. For example, Tatcha, a skincare brand addresses their customers as “beauty.” While you’re at it, you can offer them promotions and more through these direct messages.

Video Ad Interruptions

What can ruin a relaxed moment of just scrolling through one’s newsfeed? A video advertisement to interrupt the video you are watching on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. But these advertisements do not need to be interruptions. With the right content, video footage and target audience, the ad can be relevant to them. The content needs to be personalized and delivered on the right platform. This way, it can catch their attention and even entertain them.

The key to video interruption is to make it the least annoying that it could possibly be. For example, you can make sure that the content of your video ad is somewhat related to the video you are interrupting. Videos about fashion apparel, specifically on streetwear can be “interrupted” by videos promoting brands of these category. Video ads may be considered as interruptions but they are actually one of the most effective ways to market your product or service.

Video Example from: https://karolakarlson.com/facebook-video-ad-examples/

Memes

This can be tricky. Although, if properly done, it can garner high performance. Memes have become the language of the millennial and gen z users, who take up a big part of the digital market. Digital marketers can relate their product and service to an internet viral caption, photo or video. They can add captions or add additional images or logos if needed. The trick here is to be witty, funny and simple. Memes need to be understood by your audience right away.

Memes are good for targeting millennial and gen z users. This method is recommended for products or services that will cater to their needs and wants. It is not exactly recommended for B2B marketing or even products for Baby Boomers. What makes marketing memes effective is that it speaks to the target audience in their internet language.

Photo from: https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69519-memes-in-marketing-seven-memorable-examples-from-brands

 Photo from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/brands-making-the-most-of-memes/

Targeting the Right Audience & Driving Conversions

The key to these alternatives is making sure you know specifically who your audience. It needs to be relevant for them to be interested in it and personalized to their needs.  A meme about your burgers need to be targeted to fast food fanatics and not healthy food obsessed yogis. The video promoting your metal straws business can “interrupt” that video on how straws are killing sea turtles. These alternatives can help you target specific groups.

Although, influencer marketing is not the enemy here. In spite of its expected decline, they are still relatively popular. This is a call for businesses to expand their strategies through means that can directly drive conversions and sales and not only popularity. These kinds of ads can compliment influencer marketing posts if they have a central idea in different forms. From these, your business can lead them to the new ads and CTA buttons, so they can browse your site, check them out and even buy them eventually, buy them. 

Today, users don’t like likes only. They are not completely convinced to buy something if an influencer promotes it and has many likes, reacts and comments. They can be marketed and advertised to through different methods, just as long as the content speaks to them or positively catches their attention. If they like it, they will not skip the video ad or story. If they like it, they just might click and follow your link. Likes are not the only determinant for success. Customers just need to like it. And that will be the start of their conversion.

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