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First, the elephant in the room. As you all likely know, President Biden signed the TikTok ban bill yesterday. We will be covering this in the next episode of The Art of Sway Podcast this coming Monday. In the meantime, you read a bit about my take on what we can expect next with the ban in this recent Digiday article.

Swayzine - Influencer Marketing Insights

My friend, industry colleague, podcast co-host, and all-around Creator Economy Expert Lia Haberman recently shared a terrific LinkedIn post that I have to spotlight, because it echoes something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

Lia wrote about today’s brands needing a social-first strategy, and she further defines the importance of enabling brand storytelling in digital environments. As she puts it,

“The key to a social-first strategy is: Does the brand’s digital presence empower consumers and creators to become storytellers?

Welcome to the era of co-creation where everyone has a hand in your brand reputation.

It’s not just what people are saying in the comment section or the product reviews they’re posting. It’s everything from the company website making a cameo as a green screen background in a creator’s video to a carefully crafted brand video getting remixed into someone else’s content.

As marketers, we need to think about how other people might incorporate the brand’s social or digital assets into their own content.”

Lia makes a few important suggestions, like making sure brand websites are mobile-friendly and visually appealing, and making it easy for users to incorporate brand assets (logos, images, videos) by ensuring that they’re easily accessible and downloadable. She also says to “embrace remixing” by turning on Duet capabilities on TikTok or the Remix option on Instagram and YouTube.

I couldn’t agree more with her tips, and I have a few more to share from the land of influencer marketing. One thing we’ve noticed at Sway over the years is that brands have a tendency to isolate their influencer efforts instead of exploring everything it’s possible to do with that high-performing content.

Here are 4 influencer campaign suggestions every brand should consider:

  • Leverage full content rights. When a brand acquires content usage rights through an influencer campaign, it’s crucial to maximize this investment! Extend the lifespan and impact of this content by featuring it across the brand’s owned social channels, integrating it into website updates, utilizing it in email marketing, and beyond. This approach not only enhances content visibility but also strengthens the brand’s narrative across multiple platforms.
  • Engage actively in the comments. Brands sometimes hesitate to interact in the comments section of sponsored posts, even when consumers express their enthusiasm for the brand. It’s important to not just observe but actively join in these conversations. This engagement can deepen customer relationships, provide valuable feedback, and humanize the brand, turning casual followers into loyal advocates.
  • Integrate community-building into campaigns. Don’t just sit back and wait for that sweet, sweet engagement to happen — brands should actively encourage community participation by involving followers in meaningful ways. This could involve themed hashtag challenges, influencer-led contests, or interactive polls that are aligned with the campaign’s goals. By inviting followers to share their thoughts and content, brands create a real sense of community and belonging. This approach really ramps up engagement because when people feel part of something, they’re more likely to spread the word.
  • Maximize paid media opportunities. Consider leveraging advanced ad technologies like Spaceback. Here at Sway, we’ve been collaborating with clients to extend influencer content beyond traditional social media, reaching audiences through diverse platforms, including Connected TV. This strategy boosts the ROI of influencer campaigns by increasing visibility and engagement across a variety of touchpoints, particularly through television. On TV, the content not only engages viewers but also complements the digital experience, significantly broadening the campaign’s reach.

Lia really hits the nail on the head about why we need to fully commit to a social-first strategy today. But let’s not stop there. Influencer marketing often gets stuck in its own little bubble, and it’s crucial for brands to make every dollar count by breaking down those silos.

When investing in influencer campaigns in 2024, brands should be squeezing out every bit of value. That means not just running a few posts and calling it a day — it should be part of every campaign to reuse that great content across all brand-owned channels, engage with comments to build deeper connections, leverage paid media, and keep the momentum going with community engagement.

Reach out any time to connect, or find me on LinkedIn.