Earlier this month, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri made the announcement that likes will be hidden on the platform worldwide. This comes after much anticipation and a lengthy testing phase in various countries, including Canada, Australia and Brazil. The company, which has upwards of 1 billion monthly active users, will begin slowly rolling out the change across the US rather than doing it all at once.
Mosseri explained that the rationale behind this movement is to "reduce anxiety and social comparisons," but digital marketers are worried about how these changes may affect their influencer marketing campaigns on the platform.
The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth $6.5 billion in 2019, with Instagram being one of the primary platforms for influencers and digital marketers. Historically, a lot of emphases has been put on the number of likes an influencer gets per post. By taking a look at the number of likes an influencer gets, brands can estimate how much a post would be worth and whether or not they would want to work with that influencer. Nowadays, with things like engagement pods and bots, likes are less valuable as they could easily be bought. This is why it's important not to base your decision on whether or not you will use an influencer for your campaign solely based on their like count. That being said, likes are not completely useless, they're just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to auditing your influencers.
When auditing a potential candidate for your Instagram campaign, you'll want to base your decision off of a combination of various analytics. First of all, you want to make sure that the influencer is the right fit, do this by ensuring that they belong to a niche which is suitable for your product; you wouldn't get someone in the hunting niche to promote your animal-friendly cosmetic line. Another key to ensuring that the influencer is the right fit is by auditing their audience. Things like audience age, gender and location can be a huge determining factor in the success of your campaign. Lastly, you want to take a look at the numbers. Analytics such as engagement rate, average likes and comments, number of followers and impressions could give you a good idea of what sort of results you should expect from using that specific influencer. As you could probably tell, there is quite a lot of research to be conducted when choosing an influencer for your campaign.
While vetting your influencers is a key component to the success of your campaign, it could be a real nuisance to do this manually every time, especially when you're looking for more than one influencer at a time. Luckily, there are platforms out there that have been created to make the auditing process more efficient for brands. Take Collabstr for example, an influencer marketing platform that generates an analytics report for every influencer on their platform. The report includes engagement rate, average likes, average comments, audience location, audience age, audience gender and more. This allows you to determine whether or not an influencer would be a good fit for your campaign. By using platforms like Collabstr, you'll be able to avoid the tedious work of manually auditing every candidate and asking for screenshots of their insights.
All in all, the removal of likes from Instagram will not impact influencer marketing on the platform as much as some of us may think. By basing our decision to use an influencer on more than just their likes, and using analytics tools like Collabstr, influencer marketing is more accessible than ever.