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                              How to use animation in influencer marketing?

                              An influencer is a word we use to hear more and more in recent years. Influencers become a new medium for sharing information: people believe them more than they believe in big media. It is especially relevant for younger audiences. They learn about the products, news or even in some cases values from some authoritative person. Video marketing is impossible to imagine these days without influencers.

                              Since “influencer” has been kind of a buzzword for a while now, businesses don’t get to ignore the social circumstances behind it. If people learn about products from the leaders of thought, it is easier to promote products with them than to use only old-fashioned advertising. This is the core of influencers marketing.

                              What is influencer marketing after all?

                              Even though the influencers are now affecting the whole lot of the information we are getting, many people still have rather a vague feeling about influencer marketing.

                              Influencer Marketing is a version of marketing that includes both old and new marketing tools. It takes a completely new idea for the market that couldn’t be possible, say, 10 years ago. The idea is that a celebrity person would talk about your product and, eventually, recommend it.

                              Yeah, 10 years ago we had a completely different idea of celebrities. They were unreachable for most of the brands while now the collaborations between brands and influencers are just something we do.

                              However, it is also wrong to think that influencer marketing just involves celebrities. Nope, it is actually something that will be going around thanks to influencers. And… this term also has to be defined.

                              Who is an influencer? 

                              First of all, it is a person with an audience. In most times it is a very enthusiastic audience that follows an influencer instead of a brand. It doesn’t mean they don’t trust the brand. No. It is just that they believe the influencer’s opinion first. They know he/she represents the values they share.

                              The second is someone who is making unique content. Maybe it is a part of some niche, but still, the influencer has a voice, a manner, and a way of interacting with the audience.

                              Third, it is a person that can help your brand to raise awareness and reach new positions.

                              “Working with influencers, to co-create content, delivers value and can inspire audiences to take action.” – Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi vice president of influencer marketing and communications at SAP Ariba.

                              What are examples of influencer marketing?

                              There are plenty of examples of successful influencers marketing campaigns. Thousands of brands – from small ones to major companies – have used influencers’ help in order to promote their products and get a bigger community and audience.

                              Let’s take a look at the Audible example.

                              An Amazon company, Audible offers monthly memberships for audiobooks mostly, but also podcasts. This company’s digital marketing plan frequently includes many partnerships with major influencers, micro-influencers and even celebrities. For example, photographer Jesse Driftwood (@jessedriftwood) in one of the posts tells about how he uses Audible in his learning activities.

                              Since Jessy had about 100 000 followers that are very likely to take his advice on Audible due to the simple fact that the audience is represented by those who read and listen to audio versions of books.

                              Photographer Jesse Driftwood | Post on Instagram

                              Another example is American express. In the “My Travel Style” campaign they intend to cut through the noise and let everyone hear about them. In the end, they created content with influencers of all kinds – from celebrities to bloggers and managed to boost the acquisition rate to 400%. Impressive, isn’t it?

                              “Consider how you work with influencers in areas such as podcasts, webinars, live-streams, ebooks, blogs and social content. Are there ways that your marketing can be improved with the help of industry influencers?” – Tom Treanor, global head of marketing at Arm Treasure Data.

                              Influencer marketing statistics

                              • Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $16 billion during the next year;
                              • 90% of our marketilolog claims that influencer marketing is one of the most promising and effective forms of marketing;
                              • Over the last few years influencer marketing stats increased by 60%;
                              •  Businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing;
                              • 75% of marketers are going to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year;
                              • 90% of companies are looking for a social media star compatible with their brands in order to work with them;
                              • In 2019, 240 additional platforms and influencer marketing agencies were created;
                              • The majority of brands prefer to develop long-term relationships with influencers rather than looking for a new influencer every time they are about to launch a new campaign;
                              • 59% of brands use both Instagram and TikTok for influencer marketing;
                              • According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers say they trust personal recommendations above traditional advertising;
                              • Micro-influencers on Instagram boast an average engagement rate of 3.86% which appears to be better than mega-influencers;
                              • 70% of teens have trust in influencers more than regular stars and celebrities;
                              • TikTok proved to be an entirely influencing platform – they created a $1 billion creator fund to nurture influencers;
                              • 82% of people trust social media stars when it comes to making a purchasing decision;
                              • Marketers spend up to $500,000 on influencer marketing campaigns in most if industries;
                              • 4 in 10 Millennial users say their favourite influencer understands them better than their friends;
                              • According to Google Trends, searches for the term “influencer marketing” grows by 5000% each month;
                              • There were 1360 influencer marketing agencies as of 2020, experts predict that this number will be twice as big during the next year;
                              • 80% of consumers have purchased something via an influencer recommendation and feel more comfortable doing that usually;
                              • Millennials are still the main generation that supports influencers – 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family;
                              • Animation for video marketing is growing throughout all the platforms.

                              Paul May, BuzzStream:

                              “One of the first things you should do is make sure you not only choose the right set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to build your strategy around, but they should attract people to your platform that are actually engaged in your industry.”

                              The best platforms to use animation as an influencer marketing tool

                              There are not so many unfamiliar places to you where influencers are hanging out, so to say. However, we need to take a look at each one, consider its strengths, potential and compatibility with your brand. Shall we start?

                              TikTok

                              The number one platform when you need to use animation for video marketing. Especially in the case of influencers. Animation is becoming more and more popular on the platform taking the shape of reels and regular posts. Besides, more and more people consider TikTok as a platform that has been built entirely on influencers.

                              What about the animation? TikTok, actually, has been an extremely welcoming space for animation, winning over the creators from Instagram.

                              Who are the main influencers on TikTok?

                              Dave XP

                              Dave XP

                              An animator from Costa Rica who has quite quickly reached almost 5 million followers. With such a number it is impossible to not be an influencer, right? Animated videos for marketing are presented greatly on this account.

                              His influencer marketing collaborations mostly take place with his main character – just cute faces that anyone can generate.

                              Here’s what a big glass company in the USA posted: “We present you our latest collaboration with illustrator @dave.xp who has taken GlassesUSA’s frames to another level. He mastered each little detail and created the most incredible illustrations. We are obsessed!”

                              Ketnipz

                              Ketnipz

                              A bean with a big dream became a very popular animated hero which affected the creator. The example of an influencer is both a celebrity – in some way – and the active animator.

                              Harry Hambley is only 21 but his “bean” character and his amusing musings on life have won him the hearts of people all over the world.

                              His collaborations with All city canvas are one of the examples where this guy is using his influencer’s power, so to say. He was drawing both for the clothes and for a marketing campaign. Check it out:Post on Facebook

                              Another clothes campaign is with tsnex – a brand that used his “bean” guy as a print. It brought a great engagement rate for both the company and a series of clothes.

                              alexrabbit

                              Alex

                              2,3 million followers, great animator and a person who popularized animated content basically all over the world. Alex tends to post fully animated videos, starting from very simple animation to character-based videos. Pushed his way to being one of the most wanted animation influencers through quite simple ideas of 2D and 3D videos.

                              Kristy Sammis, podcaster: “We’re savvier than ever, and we know B.S. when we smell it… As soon as you try to interrupt their (the influencer’s) voice and shove your corporate words into their mouths, there is no purpose in working with them.”

                              Instagram

                              Another platform that is basically filled with influencers. Unlike TikTok which is a relatively young space to post animation, Instagram has been playing with the influencers for a very long time, basically inventing the idea of influencer that works with animated content. Ever since Instagram has become so popular animation for video marketing is widely spread through the platform.

                              The main animation influencers on Instagram:

                              𝚁𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚍

                              Seerlight

                              736k followers made this artist one of the main influencers when it comes to animation. Her integrations mainly have to do with the companies that are interested in clothes production, customized cards, and prints – for example, she has an extremely famous campaign with cucucovers.

                              Andrea Love

                              Andreaanimates

                              Stop motion animator, director & fiber artist. Almost a million followers make this guy one of the most influential animators on Instagram. Has wonderful ideas as an influencer which has been proven especially in the collaboration with Birkenstock 1774.

                              birkenstock1774 - Instagram

                              Making a sample of the shoes for them in his animation style has led the company to a serious engagement rate plus were many times marked as “delightful ideas” by the followers. He also had a long going collaboration with cnspts. It includes images, ads, cosy videos and short clips.

                              RHYMEZLIKEDIMEZ🌻

                              rhymezlikedimez

                              361 000 followers, all kinds of animated styles, even NFT animation which we wrote about. This animator works in versatile ways. For example, his collaboration with Kidsuper was concerning clothes for adults and has been followed by an animated video. Another work as an influencer is character animation for the Lyk Dis video.

                              Lu do Magalu

                              Lu do Magalu

                              One of the most followed virtual influencers that are using 3D animation to communicate with the audience.

                              She boasts more than 14 million followers on Facebook, close to 5 million followers on Instagram, more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and over 1 million followers on Twitter and TikTok respectively.

                              Her first appearance was more than a decade ago in her native Brazil for Magazine Luiza – one of the biggest retail companies. Since then she has improved herself and taken hundreds of integrations with different companies. It includes posts for product reviews, unboxing videos or other retail services.

                              Quite often people think of influencers as a certain person, “a talking face”. But… sometimes it could be an agency or even a startup that “pretends” to be an influencer. Let’s take a look at such an example.

                              Miquela

                              Lil Miquela

                              Virtual robot model who has become the influencer for top fashion brands like Prada, Dior and Calvin Klein.

                              She’s also Brazilian. Brud, a startup based in Los Angeles, has made many integrations with various brands. Basically a character animation with 3 million Instagram followers, 2.5 million TikTok followers and more than 27,000 Twitter followers. Not that bad for the “pretending” influencer!

                              Any Malu is a fully animated virtual influencer that is having her very own TV show. And… this is actually her biggest integration: it is powered by Cartoon Network. 🙂

                              Marketing podcast quote:

                              “The idea, back in the Mad Men days, that you could hear conversations that were limited to personal interactions where people are recommending products… there was no way to tap into that. The idea that that would be possible would be mind-blowing.”

                              YouTube

                              Well, the most obvious social media for animated influencer marketing or for any other type of digital marketing strategy. YouTube adopted stories from Instagram and TikTok having reached new achievements as the number one video hosting platform. It is hardly surprising that most bloggers are using YouTube as the main space to communicate with the audience. This platform is full of ideas for influencer marketing.

                              The main animation influencers on YouTube:

                              hotdiggedydemon

                              HotDiggedyDemon

                              Sarcastic, self-deprecating, funny and witty, HotDiggedyDemon, also known as Max Gilardi, started posting videos on YouTube 14 long years ago. Just imagine you ask this guy to make you a short video! Quite often he just implements natively ads of the companies he works with in the middle of his videos. The trick that always impressive and never gets old.

                              MeatCanyon, or Hunter Hancock, commenced posting animations on YouTube 4 years ago. If you’d like to post any video with a bit of existential humor, this guy will bring you a mass of new followers. His funny video about pringles is must see:

                              Worthikids

                              Worthikids

                              Adorable channel is full of wonderful animations, shorts, reels and just a great series. Skilful animation makes people easily fall in love with the influencer. The influence that is makes integration for music videos, short clips or can use his own style as a way to bring more people to the channel.

                              Cas van de Pol

                              Cas van de Pol

                              A variety of animation styles is the main thing in this channel. The author of this channel has reached over 50 million views.

                              “People Do Not Buy Goods And Services. They Buy Relations, Stories, And Magic.” – Seth Godin

                              Other examples of powerful animation influencer campaigns

                              Let’s talk about some other examples of integrations for influencer marketing. We were surprised by a wonderful way a gaming company called “Seriously” has taken an edge in influencer marketing. They are actually a great example of how to manage activities in this sphere.

                              Since launching the mobile game Best Fiends in 2014, they have been working with influencers on YouTube.

                              For example, Seriously released “Best Fiends Boot Camp”, an animated short created with the characters from the Best Fiends that is supposed to consist of four animated videos.

                              What they do with the influencers is basically create new engaging content on the old one.

                              During autumn 2018, French luxury fashion house Balmain turned to influencer star Shudu Gram, having accompanied her with two other supermodels Margot and Zhi. Both were the models of the Balmain brand, and both were animated characters.

                              Shudu Gram. Instagram

                              Ultra-realistic type of animation helped to launch an extremely successful influencer marketing campaign.

                              Typical influencing content vs animation

                              Influencing content comes in all sizes and shapes as they say. From talking heads to posts on social media with big articles around it.

                              However, not that many influencers have turned to animated videos yet. The possibilities here are still immense: you can use a great variety of options to present your product. Here goes:

                              2D video – one of the major types of animation and it is widely used in the creation of cartoons, movies, games ads etc. Here you have great possibilities to make allusions, play with your audience and to educate your audience.  This type of animation is now widely used in the scientific and medical industries to project models more clearly on screen. Probably better to use on YouTube or Instagram, might be irrelevant to TikTok.

                              3D – one of the most popular animation techniques is “just” computer image generation in three-dimensional space.

                              360 animation is a step forward from 3D in that it allows the spectator to see the entire circumference of an item. They are highly interactive, allowing viewers to interact with hot areas of information, video guides, and contact forms.

                              Cartoon animation – a kind of motion picture compiled from a series of hand-drawn images, photos of objects, or computer graphics. One of the most popular forms.

                              Here’s just a few types of animation you – or, rather an influencer you work with – can use instead of typical videos.

                              How to choose an influencer for your brand?

                              When selecting an influencer to work with, there is a path divided into two roads: major influencer with a big audience or micro-influencer with a smaller, rather niche audience. To give any advice here is hard because you need to adjust the influencer to your goals.

                              Quite often brands fall for another recent start making a big mistake. Regardless of whether you choose the macro or micro-influencer to work with, you must pick an influencer, not for his/her recent popularity. No, you need someone whose values, interests and followers at some point coincide with your brand. Otherwise, you will be presented to the audience that might be… irrelevant for you and your brand.

                              Another point is to understand if the influencer’s content can contain anything related to your brand’s product and target audience.

                              When you explore influencers’ Instagram profiles, make sure you check such an important factor as the frequency of publishing. Loyal audiences need regular, high-quality content. Ideally, they should post once in 3 days.

                              Finally, we recommend looking for authenticity. Authentic influencers are a few times more likely to have a very loyal, dedicated audience. This also indicates that they are experts in what they do.

                              When choosing the type of animation for your brand the most important thing is to understand what is compatible with your brand on the level of values.

                              What to discuss with an influencer?

                              When you are talking details with an influencer, you should be aware of how to create the right task for him/her.

                              Sometimes when you are writing a brief for an influencer you just look for your goals, forgetting that only the influencer knows how to arrange content, how to present it and what to say to the audience. It is vital to listen to the influencers because they interact with the audience on a daily basis, so they know what to do.

                              • Write a script together with an influencer or just let him/her write it.
                              • Always know whether you are going to build a long term relationship with the influencer and discuss it together.

                              Hannah Cameron, a prediction for 2022:

                              “Brands will hire in-house Creators to own everything! Brands will use Creators to manage everything, from their newsletters to their social media accounts. Creators have built their businesses around cultivating relationships and communities on social platforms. Who better to own your social channels? Brands are also bringing Creators on board to manage their newsletter, having Creators manage their video creation, social ads, create brand assets, swag inventory, company stores, and so much more.”

                              How to include animation in your digital marketing campaign?

                              When it comes to creating the ideas for animation in the digital marketing campaign it is always better to rely on influencers. However, let’s take a look at a few ideas:

                              • Hire a freelancer. Sometimes an influencer doesn’t want to create anything he would just include it in a video. But in this case, a freelancer has to make animation natively;
                              • Another option is an agency that could do all the work and bring you a few options;
                              • If you are capable of making animation by yourself, do it!
                              • Ask us to help you;) Our team can make any animation natively to an influencer you would like it to highlight.

                              Summary

                              According to Business Insider, the influencer market is set to reach about $16 billion by 2022 from $8 billion in 2019. Pandemic only increased the role of those who can help businesses to succeed.

                              As we can see, influencers are more than bloggers – they are also extremely effective brand ambassadors, advocates of the brands, and, what is even more important, they are usually great marketers. With the animated content that is becoming a more and more versatile form of marketing, it is hard to overlook the possibility to help your brand grow.

                              What is more important to say is this: influencer marketing has already passed its experimental phase. Online marketing is impossible to imagine without it right now. Traditional advertising is melting into something else, slowly becoming a part of influencer video marketing.

                              It is crucial to building a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy these days. People are turning to their favourite Instagramers, YouTubers and TikTokers for advice and recommendations on purchasing decisions, lifestyle choices and many other things. To overlook it is rather a bad thing for your brand.

                              If there’s one trend that has exploded and become a real thing for marketing, a new way to highlight products and services – it’s the influence of animated videos. More brands choose to work with virtual ambassadors in order to engage people and make them interested in their brand by looking more animated.

                              Thus, the influencer marketing landscape continues to change. During the Pandemic it is taking rather a rapid pace with many new challenges as well as opportunities. Don’t miss it!

                              You may also be interested in:

                              How trends changed the marketing. Part 1

                              How trends changed the marketing. Part 2

                              Animated explainer videos for Marketing

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                              Comments

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