“Swipe-up to get 30% OFF”
We have all seen these Instagram Story promotions. And from my experience, they drive the most direct response for an influencer campaign. But Instagram is changing, they are trying to compete with TikTok and YouTube:
“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app,” Mosseri said (Facebook’s Head of Instagram). He also made mention that users will start to see full-screen videos in their feeds.
Instagram has been trying to compete with TikTok for a bit. Last year they released “Reels”, a direct competitor to TikTok. Reels has now cut into the time how users traditionally used the app (seeing less posts and less stories).
These changes have creators on Instagram frustrated. They no longer have the reach that they used to. And specifically, their stories are getting less and less views. I have heard many influencers tell me they are getting less engagement on their stories than they did before.
When running swipe-up promos on Instagram Stories, a year or two ago, we would see 1-2% of an Influencer’s audience come to our website. Now we are lucky if we get 0.8%-1% of their audience to come.
But here is why I predict we will see the death of the best direct response influencer campaigns. The economics no longer work. You can read my post on how much to pay an influencer here. However, a traditional rule of thumb we used to go by was we would pay about $1K per 100,000 followers for a swipe-up story.
If you have 200,000 followers we would pay you $2K for a set of stories. We would expect to see 3,000 – 4,000 users (bare minimum) come to our website from this campaign. And the economics worked for us where we would convert 1.5-2% of that audience into purchasers.
But right now there appears to be a bubble, that 200,000 follower influencer is asking for $4k-$5K for the partnership. The price has gone up and the amount of traffic they are able to send has gone down. We would now see that influencer send 0.5% – 0.8% of their audience to our website or about 1,000 users. Our conversion rate has not changed, so now we only see 20 orders from this influencer (when before we would see closer to 70 orders).
The economics of a swipe-up event no longer work. Instagram has moved eyeballs off of stories and over to Reels. Reels are great for awareness campaigns but are awful for a direct response campaign.
Facebook is aware of the frustrations from their creators and discussed some potential changes coming for their creators to make money on Instagram. Here is a blog post from early June on some of the steps they are taking to help creators: https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/creator-week-2021-new-ways-for-creators-to-make-a-living
Maybe some of these changes will allow for better direct response campaign results, but we will have to wait and see. Unfortunately, all of these changes from Instagram has caused the death of the swipe-up influencer campaign.