May 3, 2021 – Published By: Sydney Bradley (As seen on Insider)
TikTok is no longer an underdog.
The app is now the second most popular platform for influencer marketing (trailing just behind Facebook-owned Instagram and tied with Facebook itself), according to a recent survey of 163 marketers by Linqia, an influencer-marketing agency. Linqia surveyed 163 enterprise marketers and agency professionals (at companies with over $1 billion in revenue) between February and March about their influencer marketing plans for 2021.
A whopping 68% of marketers surveyed said they planned on using TikTok for influencer marketing in 2021. That’s a dramatic shift from Linqia’s survey in early 2020, when only 16% of respondents had indicated they planned to use the short-form video platform.
Instagram remained the leading choice for influencer marketing, however.
Here was the breakdown of all the major social-media platforms:
- Instagram: 93% of respondents said they’d be using Instagram (another 83% specifically mentioned Stories)
- TikTok: 68% (up from 16%)
- Facebook: 68% (down from 79%)
- YouTube: 48%
- Pinterest: 35%
- Twitter: 32%
- Snapchat: 26% (up from 16%)
- Twitch: 13% (up from 5%)
“TikTok is here to stay and brands know that,” Brian Sorel, COO of the influencer-marketing company NeoReach, told Insider in January. “I don’t think anything compares to the rush we are seeing on TikTok.”
Fast-fashion brands like Princess Polly are bolstering a new generation of fashion influencers on the app, and luxury brands like Hugo Boss and Revolve are also making their way over. Even streaming services, like Netflix, have put resources into trying to harness the viral power of a TikTok trend.
“We can actually drive action,” Sam Christie, TikTok’s West Coast sales lead, told Insider earlier this year. Christie’s team pitches the company’s suite of ad solutions to brands like Netflix and Hulu.
And though Instagram is still on top in the eyes of marketers, TikTok’s rise has put pressure on it.
One response by Instagram in July was the launch of Reels, a feature that introduced 15- to 30-second vertical videos. Reels looked very similar to TikTok and was deemed a “dud” by The New York Times. But as 2020 progressed, some creators warmed to the feature as a way to kickstart audience growth. Other platforms like Snapchat (with Spotlight) and YouTube (Shorts) have also recently launched their own TikTok-like features.
While some influencers have embraced Reels as a growth engine, it still lags behind Instagram’s other features in marketer interest. In Linqia’s survey, only 36% of respondents indicated that they planned to use Reels.
Here were a few other notable takeaways from Linqia’s report:
- Marketers care most about return on investment (ROI). About 65% of marketers surveyed said ROI was their top concern when investing in influencer-marketing campaigns.
- Budgets are healing after a rocky 2020. 71% of respondents who already knew their 2021 budgets indicated that spending on influencer marketing would increase compared to 2020.
- Vertical video is key. One in three marketers surveyed by Linqia said that vertical video was “extremely important” to their influencer-marketing plans for 2021.