America’s Media & Entertainment industry makes up 33% of the global M&E industry, with a total of around 680 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. It’s expected to reach well over $800 billion in 2021.
The Media & Entertainment industry can be broken down into five main verticals: film, television, video games, music and book publishing. Film and TV currently dominate the other three verticals and bring home the most revenue in the industry.
Why Entertainment Influencer Marketing Works for the Entertainment Industry
Built on Reviews…and still is!
Over a decade ago, people went to newspapers and magazines for recommendations on what to read, watch or listen to.
Fast forward to today, when you ask someone where they heard about that book, movie or song, the answer is typically from social media.
There are many different ways that film companies, publishers, artists and producers promote using social media. This self-promotion often comes from celebrities and the brands themselves. Although only 22% of people trust brands themselves, according to a study by Havas Media.
70% of consumers say that they trust the opinions of influencers as much, or more, as their real-world friends.
TIP: Just don’t copy/paste the same exact content onto multiple platforms. It’s the equivalent of giving the same advice to multiple friends. You might have the same advice to offer, but the way you say it will vary depending on the person.
Every social media platform has its own special features and unique formats.
Here are a few key platform features that today’s influencers are using to help market movies, podcasts, books and songs.
Story Swipe Ups – Build up the hype by releasing first looks, trailers or snippets with Instagram stories. (If an influencer has more than 10K followers, they can add a link to their stories to lead their audience to an off-site location, like a specific landing page or affiliate site.)
Lives – Generate real-time engagement between an influencer and the makers of the product (artists, actors, authors) with Instagram Live. Recently, Instagram began allowing up to four people to live stream instead of just two, increasing the engagement with multiple fan bases instead of just one to two.
Behind-the-Scenes – Unique content like interviews or behind-the-scenes videos can be created on IGTV or Reels (max 30 seconds on Reels or as long as 10-minutes on IGTV). Bringing the influencer’s fan base behind the scenes of the creator and/or the creative process not only increases trust and builds connection but can also be fun and generate more engagement.
React To/Review – A first-look reaction video of the influencer watching a short teaser clip is a great way to hook an audience and entice them to want more.
Tools – Cards and the End Screen features can be utilized within a YouTube video to conduct polls, promote other videos, as well as direct the viewers off-site to a landing page (where they can purchase the product/subscription). (Picture: cards)
Respond to Comments – Actively responding to comments not only builds community but also entices viewers to continue commenting. Plus, the more comments and interaction your video has, the more value YouTube’s & Google’s search algorithm places on it for certain searches. You can drive viewers to a YouTube video via other platforms by telling their followers that they are responding to comments.
The short-form version of YouTube…but here, the main feature is music!
Songs are foundational to TikTok, setting the tune to all types of trends, challenges, lip-syncs and dances. This has massively impacted the music industry and its consumers globally. If a song is trending on TikTok, it is most likely rising on the Billboard Charts.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is one of the first examples of how a viral song on TikTok was directly correlated with increased sales and streaming numbers. Here are a few more examples:
“Savage Love” by Jason Derulo
“Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion
“Addison Rae” by The Kid Laroi – This is a great example of how big of an impact influencers have on our society now. Addison Rae is one of the top-grossing TikTok influencers and was the subject of this 17-year-old rap star’s song which brought her even further into the spotlight.
“F2020” by Avenue Beats – This 2020 anthem was made by a trio that rose to fame overnight, with one video getting over 16.7 million views. Fan-made videos followed quickly and the hashtag #F2020 trended, currently boasting over 186.9M views.
Influencers are a great way to boost streams. When TikTokers like Addison Rae and Charlie D’Amelio use a song in a video, it’s a guarantee that it will be a hit on the Billboard Charts.
Plain and simple: if you have a song, hand it over to an influencer who can promote it with a dance or lip-sync. Who knows, it could be the next viral trend, thus sky-rocketing streaming and sales.
There are a multitude of features that Twitch offers besides the obvious live stream. Influencers can also engage through interactive tools and teasers.
One day before their TV show launch, “Stranger Things” hosted a four-hour livestream where influencers played video games in an ‘80s-themed basement. Twitch users were able to interact and vote on creepy, “strange things” to happen that would interrupt the influencer’s game, like flying books and flickering lights.
To top it all off and give the incentive to stay on for four hours, viewers were treated at the end to eight minutes of the unreleased episode.
Media companies should immediately begin capitalizing on this up-and-coming, audio-only app. There has already been a plethora of talk shows, D.J. nights, networking events and theatrical performances. Publishers and authors shouldn’t miss out either. There are plenty of opportunities woven into the app’s audio-only features to build business, market and network for media companies. Some specific ideas:
Clubhouse is also good for sponsored influencer appearances within Branded rooms. This is cost efficient too because the only cost is the appearance fee and you don’t need to worry about licensing due to it being live and near impossible to record.
Collaborating with the app’s influencers…
In December 2020, Clubhouse began testing an invite-only Creator Pilot Program with more than 40 Clubhouse influencers. These people have been promised regular meetings with one of the app’s founders and most importantly, early access to special features and tools. The influencers and invite-only features on the app inspire both FOMO for those missing out on invites, and a substantial ROI for the influencers, based on the exclusivity of the invites.
Influencer Campaign Examples
Almost every social media platform has turned its top users into stars. Now we can turn the platform stars into chief marketers. Here are ways that influencers brought the Media & Entertainment industry to life in campaigns:
Author Malcom Gladwell utilized Clubhouse and Twitter to discuss a new book…that wasn’t his own. “Think Again” by Adam Grant does fit in the same genre that Malcom Gladwell writes for: self-help. There was no need for a show or fancy equipment, the platform complimented their voices perfectly and did the job of promoting the book.
When sports games were brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, EA Sports gathered up star athletes and influencers like CeeDee Lamb for its “Stay Home, Play Together” campaign. They went to social media to invite fans to play in the video game tournament on EA’s Twitch Livestream.
That post alone on Instagram had an engagement rate of 20%.
The campaign overall netted nearly 2 million engagements across all platforms.
They encouraged fans to donate the proceeds and all winnings went towards a COVID-19 relief fund that ended up raising over a million dollars. This is a great example of how a brand can capitalize on current events, utilize a relevant platform and influencers, and cultivate a community, all resulting in increased brand respect, awareness and loyalty.
It’s never too late. A single skateboarder-turned-influencer was able to revive “Dreams,” a nearly 50-year-old Fleetwood Mac song. TikToker @420doggface208 posted himself lip-syncing to the song, cruising on a skateboard and drinking cranberry juice. The song soared to the top of the charts and overnight, a new generation of Fleetwood Mac fans were born.
The video trend became so popular on social media that Mick Fleetwood, Dr. Phil, Jimmy Fallon and even Stevie Nicks recreated it. The hashtag #dogfacechallenge brought in over 100M views.
Creating a hashtag is useful to promote user-generated content. UGC is a strategic way to not only get consumers involved but also to create authentic content that can be repurposed.
79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
To build up buzz about Universal’s newest thriller, MA, Open Influence enlisted four influencers in a successful campaign. The strategies used consisted mainly of Instagram Stories that brought their followers in on an engaging spooky tale. They used videos and polls to make their audience feel interconnected with the story which ultimately led them to a #PartyWithMa. Approaching the film’s debut, one final push was made by boosting in-feed photos of cast with star Octavia Spencer.
Over 13,000 Swipe-ups re-directing them to a custom landing page.
Instagram Story dropoff rate of only 3%. (industry average is 15%)
This project generated 4.4 million impressions
5% in in-feed engagement (industry average is 1.5%)
Influencer Marketing & the Entertainment Industry
While the entertainment industry has been experiencing a whirlwind of uncertainty the past year, it has also given the industry the ability to test out new strategies and overthrow traditional methods of advertising for a full reset. Without the option of experiential branded experiences to hype up a studio’s latest release, the big players turn to other creative storytelling channels - influencers. Leveraging influencers with a personal connection to the storyline is key to authenticity and leads to strong, impactful content for studios and the title.