As a digital media brand or publisher, you’re already familiar with the importance of being where your audience is online if you want to spread brand awareness, share your message, and grow sales. You know creating branded content and influencer marketing campaigns on select platforms is the best way to reach the audiences you’re targeting.
For most brands, an influencer marketing campaign is usually relegated to popular social destinations like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. But new platforms keep popping up every year which attract hordes of online audiences and which brands shouldn’t ignore; one such platform is the social video sharing app Musical.ly.
What Is Musical.ly?
Launched in 2014 in China, musical.ly started as a way for users to create 15- to 60-second videos of themselves lip-syncing to popular songs, which they could then edit with proprietary tools and share with friends and family. Musical.ly took off in Asia before making its way to the United States and the rest of the world; by July 2015, it hit #1 in the Apple App Store in 19 countries. The app now boasts over 130 million users (known as “musers”) as of December 2016.
Out of these 130 million musers, 40 million of them are active each month, with 20 million of them in the U.S. alone. Roughly 12 million new videos per day are uploaded to the app, where users are more than happy to spend an average of 3.5 minutes per session viewing this content. At least 60% of the app’s musers are between the ages of 13 and 24, a figure which is equivalent to half of the teenagers in the whole of the U.S.
Musical.ly’s success convinced its founders to launch a live streaming companion app dubbed (appropriately) Live.ly. Many of you might remember this app’s official launch at VidCon in 2016; within a few days, Live.ly saw over 500,000 downloads and beat out apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram for the top position in the App Store.
Why Musical.ly Is a Go-To Destination for Influencer Marketing
Musical.ly provides a wealth of opportunity for brand-influencer collaborations, maybe even more so right now than on any other platform as the social video app is still finding a way to sustainably monetize its platform (which usually means there aren’t as many restrictions or requirements in place for branded content, advertising, and influencer marketing campaigns).
Brands and publishers who specialize in music are, of course, the best fit for conducting branded content and influencer marketing campaigns on Musical.ly. The app’s focus on lip syncing means its users are predisposed to liking any tune-based initiative, whether it be a contest, reveal, or special offer. But your brand doesn’t need to be musically-inclined to utilize the app. Alex Hofman, president of Musical.ly’s North America division, told Variety how musers who tell jokes or perform their own songs are starting to grow in popularity, too.
Clearly, musical.ly isn’t a platform brands should be ignoring if they want to reach younger audiences, either. Initially, the app’s teen demographic claimed around 90% of its user base; while that percentage is now at 60%, musical.ly is still an important up-and-coming platform for connecting with highly-engaged, young Gen Z’ers. Additionally, the majority of musical.ly’s users are female, which provides even more opportunity for brands looking to reach a young, female-skewing audience.
How to Leverage the App for Influencer Marketing
Brands looking to push a branded influencer campaign on Musical.ly have a few places to start. As musers begin to make names for themselves on the app, brands can reach out to them to offer a branded deal or sponsored post opportunity. For example, Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius released his own song “Sweatshirt,” which hit the top ten in iTunes; these digital celebrities are excellent collaborator candidates for brands readying influencer marketing pushes on Musical.ly.
And remember, if your brand works in an area outside of music, other entertainment genres are quickly growing in popularity on the app, as well. Look for stars with engaged fan bases who might be able to show off your next fashion or beauty product, or who might be able to use their dancing skills for an artistic promotional piece.
Digital publishers and brands can also take a cue from Coca-Cola, which in June 2016 with Musical.ly stars like Baby Ariel (13 million subscribers as of September 2016) to produce sponsored posts, encouraging fans to upload their own videos with the hashtag #ShareaCoke to win a FaceTime session with musician Jason Derulo. Good Morning America also hosted its own contest on the lip sync app to win a chance to meet singer Demi Lovato; this initiative pulled in 244,000 entries and around 12.5 million likes on Musical.ly.
Musical.ly’s success is evident, and the app doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. As such, brands would do well to take advantage of the platform’s current popularity and conduct branded influencer campaigns sure to attract plenty of raving tween and teen fans.