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Entertainment Influencer Marketing
Influencers have replaced the old-school celebrity endorsements our parents saw on TV.
72% of Gen Z and millennials follow an influencer on social media, with younger teens more likely to follow many. 88% learn about products they’re interested in buying on social media, and 56% have purchased something after seeing a post from someone they follow.
Gen Z distrust ads with ‘hard-sell’ messages, and strongly prefer ‘trusted’ endorsements from
online communities. Over half will cut out social media networks saturated with ads.
However, influencer marketing works because Gen Z trust influencers to give good advice,
identifying them as relatable or aspirational. This support for influencers is reflected in
entertainment influencers’ careers. Lilly Singh from YouTube was propelled into TV-fame as the host of NBC’s Late Night Show, working with The Rock and interviewing Barack Obama. More recently, Lil Nas X found fame virtually overnight on TikTok, after his song blew up – leading to 6 Grammy nominations and collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus.
The entertainment industry is diversifying because it has to: Gen Z watch far more YouTube
videos than they do traditional TV and film. They spend up to 52 minutes a day on TikTok, so to
Gen Z, influencers are celebrities.
The takeaway? Influencer marketing works. It’s effective for brand discovery and can drive
sales. The catch? You have to do it right. Here’s our top 3 tips for working with influencers.
Tip #1: Find the right influencer (and the right channel)
Finding the right influencers
Entertainment influencer marketing isn’t going to work with just any influencer.
Influencers become the face of your brand when working with you on a campaign, so you’ll need to ensure they’re relevant to the audience you’re speaking to. Gen Z need to see the influencers you work with as relatable and ‘real’ – whether that’s in terms of ethnic diversity, LGBTQ+ inclusiveness,
or even just being a ‘regular’ college-going teen going through the same things they are.
When you’re starting out, it’s difficult to know what to look for: for example, how do you know all
of the influencer’s followers are real? How do you ensure they have deep engagement in their
niche, and not just empty views?
For example, you might need an influencer with a better engagement ratio even if their overall reach is lower – if your goal is sales, not awareness.
Sometimes, you’ll have to look beyond numbers: Gen Z rate authenticity, knowledgeability and humour as far more important traits than ‘having a large following ’. This is highlighted in the growing ‘micro-influencer’ trend, where teens might trust influencers with smaller followings more than those who have become quasi-celebrities (more on that later).
Target the right channel
Your choice of channel is just as important. If you’re hoping to maximise brand awareness and
discovery, you might want to nab that coveted first-spot on TikTok.
If your goal is to drive swipe-ups and clicks, you might prefer a combination of swipe-up ads on TikTok and Snapchat. For other campaigns, a multi-channel approach targeting YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat might work best. Ultimately, the choice of channel depends on your campaign goals, industry, and your chosen influencers’ reach and engagement on each channel.
We know it’s not as simple as just Googling influencers in your industry, which is why we’ve built
an award-winning influencer network across channels: on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and
Youtube. This includes the UK’s first TikTok house: the Bytehouse, which boasts a huge 25million+ plans amongst the influencers. We’ve also built an industry-leading TikTok analytics tool: Bytesights. Firstly, this helps you identify and capitalize on key trends, and secondly, it allows you to track every aspect of a running campaign.
Tip #2: Don't hoard creative control
Remember that influencers know their niche better than you do. They’ve built reach and engagement because what they talk about and post is interesting to their audience. There’s no
point working with influencers if you’re going to dictate their content to them: you’ll have to hand over creative control.
‘Branded’ and scripted content can be off-putting, but 43% of Gen Z are willing to purchase products if sponsored posts are engaging, funny or watchable. So, let the influencers take charge.
This is a tried-and-tested approach for us. In our work with independent music label Good
Soldier, creative freedom for influencers gave us the best chance of virality. Our brief was broad and encouraged every influencer to put their own spin on highlighting the song ‘Dancing in the moonlight’ by Jubel.
Every influencer had their own interpretation on the song, and inspired fans to create their own
organic content. We saw huge variation in the 46.8k user-generated videos fans made, since every influencer sub-community did their own thing. This campaign garnered 4 million+ views, 750k hearts and 13,400+ comments.
To us, this proves that letting influencers personalise content meant people engaged with it beyond just passive views: they cared enough to comment and make their own videos too.
Tip #3: Don’t limit yourself to ‘celebrity’ influencers
Reach is obviously important, so an influencer’s follower count matters somewhat. However,
don’t limit yourself to influencers with large followings. Bear in mind, influencers these days
have followings going into the high millions, meaning in some ways – they’re similar to artists, actors and other celebrities.
This can be useful for campaigns, but in some cases your brand might benefit from working with people who have deep engagement and a ‘switched on’ audience, even if it’s not as large.
Micro-influencers are an important trend, reflecting Gen Z’s need for authenticity in content. They may have followers counts under 10,000 and perhaps only operate off one channel.
However, if you’re looking for a highly engaged audience, you could get better results working
with several micro influencers, as opposed to one larger account. 48% of Gen Z are more likely to buy a product if the influencer is ‘relatable’, with 41% saying they would purchase a product sponsored by an influencer who is someone they aspire to be.
These figures mean there’s real value in finding the exact person who can speak to your niche,
even if they aren’t as popular. For example, if you’re trying to increase brand engagement with
LGBTQ+ teens of colour, work with several micro-influencers who are also in those communities. This communicates trust and authenticity – and shows you know your audience.
So, those are our top 3 tips for entertainment influencer marketing. Influencers have taken the entertainment industry by storm. The classic image of an Instagram influencer posting travel beach shots is quickly becoming outdated: influencers today are as diverse and divisive as their audience. This means there’s always someone out there who can communicate your brand better than you can – and it’s about time you find them!