A client asked why I recommended paying more money for an influencer on YouTube with 1,000 subscribers than someone with a massive and more engaged following on Instagram. Both influencers had similar audience demographics, but I insisted we pay more for the YouTuber who is smaller.
The answer is simple, potential profitability and sustainable company growth.
If a client’s goal is a short burst of sales and to get branding then the Instagram influencer would be more valuable. This client’s goal is profitability, scalability and company growth. That is why the YouTube influencer won.
Below you’ll learn how our agency looks at the platforms and the factors used to determine where money and product goes when the goal is revenue growth and financial stability. I also include some tips at the end on how to evaluate the influencer as well as some tips mixed into the section by channel.
Note – If the goal is branding, to create buzz, or to build awareness (think of needing an online reputation fix or getting 1,000 new customers in a couple days to make investors happy) then the chart below is NOT the correct one to use. This post and chart is for companies looking to grow and build sustainable revenue with influencers.
Which Influencer Platforms Are Worth Spending Money On?
Here’s a pretty chart I spent a bunch of money on. If you like the infographic then please share it or use the embed code to place it on your own website or blog.
It is the foundation for the checklist our agency uses when working with influencer campaigns and the client’s goal is long term company growth, profitability, and a positive ROAS.
The value scale uses 1 as the lowest value and uses 10 as the highest value. To get the number we use multiple touch points including if the platform:
- Has a clickable link
- Has a content shelf life over 1 week
- Has an infinite shelf life
- Can have content go viral 1 year later with ease
- Offers a search engine that is used (algorithmic results)
- If that search engine requires freshness or not
- If that search engine has an ad platform that shows volumes and engagement
- Has an ad platform to boost content or advertise against content
- Keeps content in existence for more than 2 months or deletes it
- Provides analytics
- Bonus if there is historic data
Here’s our thought process behind why each platform got ranked the way it did.
But first, here is a call out from the YouTube section:
The key is to build a relationship and not treat your influencers like they work for you. Once you both respect and appreciate each other, that is when the real value comes in and your company can scale with their help.
Instagram is a 4. The content has a very short life, there are no easy to click links (unless the influencer is doing stories which disappear pretty quickly) and you likely need to provide a coupon which lowers your margins. If the code gets submitted to coupon websites then it is likely going to fire sales back to the influencer breaking your tracking, data and reporting.
Engagement and post relevance is also important with Instagram influencers.
If the person gets a lot of real engagement (not pods) on product pitches (not lifestyle shots) then there is more value for your company growth wise. Their audience isn’t just there to emulate and be inspired by them, they want the products the influencer is promoting too. That is value adding revenue wise for a brand.
Overall Instagram is not a go-to for revenue campaigns with a goal of company growth. Instagram is amazing for branding and you can get some sales in the first few days so don’t count Instagram out.
YouTube gets an 8 on the Value Scale. There are massive amounts of generic and branded searches that can influence your customers (brand + review), most of the content has a short shelf life up to 1 or 2 weeks but if optimized properly can last for years.
If the YouTube videos produced by the influencer are not review videos (your brand + review in the title, description and as the theme) and the YouTube videos are properly optimized for solutions that have search volumes, the shelf life has roughly infinite potential making it incredibly high value.
YouTube can have a video go viral across other social platforms which drives backlinks to your channel and your website and can be a valuable PR tool. This boosts SEO and media traffic and company visibility. YouTube videos appear in many Google searches driving tons of new exposure especially when you cannot optimize in SEO for these phrases with your website. [Read more…] about Which Influencers Are More Valuable For Long Term Growth – Infographic