The Future for Nike is now!

nshailes    March 19, 2018

With brands increasingly disappearing from news feeds, ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories are key to staying visible and top-of-mind in 2018. By leveraging these features on an ongoing basis, users will continue to see your brand and can then search back to your profile to view more, like, comment, and tag, which will further boost your impressions by putting you back in their newsfeed and in front of the eyes of their following. In 2017, we saw Snapchat and Instagram stories begin getting access to linking. This has already caused a big splash in influencers driving sales through these mediums. “I expect marketers and influencers to find new and creative ways to leverage the creative, ephemeral, and highly engaging medium of stories to drive massive sales and traffic.” Says Sydney Liu cofounder of Commaful. Have you ever read a post by your favourite blogger, seen a product recommendation from them, and snapped it up right away? This is influencer marketing in action.By utilizing the voice of well-connected people in your niche, you can reach an audience that’s relevant and already engaged to make more sales. And, when 75% of consumers are more likely to buy something based on a reference on social media, it’s easy to see why influencer marketing is heating up.

In 2016, Nike became the 19th most followed Instagram account, with over 32.3m followers. According to a 2015 survey by the IAB UK, they were voted second as a brand that “does social media” well. Today, Nike is the 2nd most followed account, with 75.6m followers (a growth of 134% in under two years) They have the second highest number of followers after National Geographic, and currently boasts the 5th most-used branded hashtag, #nike. It’s no wonder the brand is investing in the Facebook-owned platform. According to a 2015 report from Emarketer, Instagram generated $595 million in mobile ad revenue, this was predicted to have risen to $2.81bn in 2017. Instagram now has more than 800 million monthly active users and 300m+ accounts use Instagram Stories every day. With 75% of users living outside the US. Among the last 100 million who joined, more than half came from Europe and Asia.

Nike has signed a $1 billion lifetime pact with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo due to the soccer player’s large reach and influence on social media channels, according to Business Insider. In 2016, Forbes estimated Ronaldo earned $88 million in earnings, with $56 million (about 65%) coming from his salary and winnings, and the rest from endorsements. The new deal with Nike, which was finalized in December 2016, highlights the value and importance of mega influencers, and how brands can leverage these popular figures to drive customers, and ultimately increase sales.

Ronaldo’s social media presence reaches 262 million people. The platforms with the largest Ronaldo following are Facebook at 120 million, Instagram at 92 million then Twitter at 50 million. While there are likely some overlap and duplicates among the three platforms, the sheer audience size of each one provides Nike with an engaged base of loyal followers. Compare this to Snap’s 158 million daily active users, and one could argue a mega-influencer campaign can be more valuable when trying to maximize reach. Nike got off cheap based on a new report from Hookit, which measures the social and digital media value for brands.

“Cristiano is one of the top influencers on the planet who has effectively leveraged his social following and engagement into a media powerhouse to drive tremendous value for his sponsors,” says Hookit co-founder Scott Tilton. “He’s been incredibly effective at integrating his sponsors into the content he shares with his over 240 million global followers.” Here are the numbers behind Ronaldo’s value to Nike. He posted 1,515 times overall on social media during the first 11 months of the year with 21.7% of those posts promoting Nike via a hashtag, mention or logo. Those posts generated 443.5 million total interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets and views on videos). Ronaldo’s massive social media presence generated a staggering $474 million in value for Nike this year via 329 posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This means Nike can potentially recapture their $1 billion investment in Ronaldo in just over two years.

Lessons for Others

Mega influencers can be lucrative investments for brands. Depending on the size of an influencer’s following, and the engagement these followers generate, mega-influencer endorsements can generate high returns on investment. This could particularly be good for brands than can tie influencers effect to an increase in product sales. Micro-influencers are still important, too. Advertising businesses are tapping into this emerging trend to turn to “everyday” social users into influencers overnight. Posts from people with small followings get strong engagement, and bring an air of authenticity and trust. This helps brands skirt any negative perception tied to more blatant forms of advertising. And obviously, employing micro-influencers is much cheaper, free even, than tapping a celebrity.

Organization: Nike
Industry: apparel and textiles
Name of Organization Contact: none

Authored by: Nick Shailes

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.