How Will Instagram’s Latest Changes Affect Influencer Marketing?

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How Will Instagram’s Latest Changes Affect Influencer Marketing?

Have you been wondering how Instagram’s changes will affect influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is so incredibly lucrative, that influencers are reaching a new level of ‘celebrity-status’ through seemingly nothing more than posting great content on Instagram and other social media platforms (obviously we know there’s much more to it than this).

But are things about to change for influencers and the companies that hire them? And will this be for the better or for the worse?

So, what has changed on Instagram?

In April 2019 Instagram started to test ‘hiding’ likes on Instagram. Initially this began in Canada, but in July 2019 Instagram started to role this out amongst 6 other countries. The likes are visible to the person who posted the content but not to those who are viewing it.

Instagram says that the reason for hiding likes on Instagram is because they want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes you get. They also aim to reduce the competitiveness and pressure felt on Instagram.

This comes from the belief that when likes are public, people care too much about them. If an Instagram post doesn’t get enough likes, people delete them to make it seem like all of their photos are hits.

In theory, hiding likes from the feed but making them visible to the creator lets people get some sense of what’s working, without having to worry so much about whatever anyone else is taking away from the like count on any given photo.

How will the changes affect influencers?

The change could mean that influencer content will need to become higher quality, since users won’t be able to lean on the amount of likes their posts are receiving when a brand considers working with them.

Influencer marketing agency ‘Obviously’ conducted a survey of Canadian influencers after the Instagram “like” test started rolling out in Canada. Of the just over 100 influencers that answered, 62% said they were spending the same amount of time on content and cited the test as a positive vote for high-quality content.

It could make it more difficult for influencers to prove their value to clients as they will now have to show other metrics than simply their likes (which are sometimes bought). They will have to prove that they can drive real engagement and sales.

What will the Instagram change mean for marketers?

Marketers will still be able to look at an influencer’s follower count, but that metric doesn’t mean much in the way of showing how “engaged” a user’s audience is.

CEO of influencer marketing company ‘Influential’, Ryan Detert, said the change may have the effect of drying up the economy for fraudulent likes on Instagram since they’d no longer be as valuable when it comes to showing engagement. But engagement is already less of a priority for his company’s clientele.

For marketers and the companies that use influencers, the ‘like’ metric shouldn’t be their main focus anyway when measuring ROI. Instead, the focus should be on conversion to sales or web traffic as this is what really affects business.

The goal of Facebook and Instagram is to push users to Stories, since they believe the future is in short form videos, not static images. Because of this, they’re focusing on strategies to increase consumer consumption rate of video, get more creators making videos, and increase ROI of advertisers leveraging video.

A professional digital media marketer understands the importance of optimising your pages for search results, aligning your business with influential partners, and defining your target audience.

Contact us today to find out more working with DM Design & Marketing to grow your business through social media.