Influencer-led marketing is now considered a viable, effective way of connecting with a brand’s target audience. Across all social channels, Instagram has been the fastest growing social network so far in 2019, and Instagram users have ‘liked’ an extraordinary 4.2billion posts every day1.
But Instagram has now stated that it wants people to “worry a little bit less” about the number of likes they’re getting. The platform would prefer people to be focused on the videos and images posted, rather than the number of likes received. To reinforce this change of focus, Instagram is now trialling the removal of the like button in selected countries (including Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand).
Likes and post engagements are the key metrics by which influencers are measured. Would the removal of the like button change how brands and marketers engage with influencers? And what does that mean for their future?
Some believe the removal of Instagram’s like button will help to prevent influencers ‘chasing likes’, encouraging them to work closer with brands. This will ensure interesting and useful content, which will bring value to their followers. But how do you quantify, and place a value on, interesting content’?
If this change comes into effect in the UK, there will need to be a modification in how brands and influencers work together. As consumers are becoming savvier to influencer marketing, brands need to be meticulous about how they select who work with, ensuring they appeal to the brand’s target audience. Most importantly, client’s expectations will need to be managed and a new measure of reporting will be required.
Without rigorous reporting and careful vetting, it will be difficult to justify branded content and influencer marketing, as well as showing its importance in campaigns and overall marketing strategies. We will certainly be keeping an eye on the changes emerging in influencer marketing and social media and how we can develop strategies in line with changes.
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