Leveraging Musical.ly in your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Musical.ly, with more than 133 million monthly active users, is one of the hottest mobile apps for teens and emerging Millennials. As described in the iOS App Store, musical.ly is, “the #1 music video community … musical.ly makes it easy and fun to create amazing videos and impress your friends. Simply select a sound and start lip syncing! Anyone can be an awesome singer with musical.ly!”

So, why should you as a marketer care about this app? With Twitter announcing that they’re retiring the Vine app, here at iProspect, we’re predicting that the influencers who are popular on Vine will migrate to musical.ly, potentially expanding the app’s user base at a rapid rate. For advertisers looking to target teens and Millennials, musical.ly has a lot of potential, just not in the traditional advertising sense. Instead, its potential lies specifically within the arena of influencer marketing.

Although musical.ly’s mission is to be a social network, they are technically a mobile app. Currently there is no official paid advertising available. “Advertising” or “marketing” on the platform today is based on partnerships with influencers who post or share organically.

However, the platform is still social in nature and it is likely (and we are hopeful) that it will follow Snapchat’s lead and offer paid advertising in the form of insertion orders followed by the inevitable self-serve ads API option. Therefore, while we recommend that brands think about and plan for musical.ly as a social platform where we can engage with influencers, we also advise brands to keep their eyes open for paid advertising opportunities, should they become available.

What is the value of musical.ly today?

The app is wildly popular with teens with more than 133MM users (called Musers) on the platform today and approximately 13MM new users joining each month.

The best way for brands to enter the space now would be through influencer campaigns and sponsored posts, rather than running their own pages. (This is also how Snapchat first positioned itself for brands.) Coca-Cola was one of the first brands to begin using the app this way, working with popular Muser “Baby Ariel” to seed their #shareacoke contest. Musers were asked to upload a post with #shareacoke to potentially win a FaceTime video call with singer Jason Derulo.

How can you get started?

First, we ask advertisers to take a step back and evaluate their overall approach to influencer marketing. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who am I trying to reach? 
  • What am I ultimately trying to get the consumer to do?
  • Who influences those consumers?
  • Where are those influencers exercising their influence?
  • What are the natural consumer behaviors that take place on those platforms?
  • Do they tie into what you’re trying to get the consumer to do? How will I measure success?

If musical.ly doesn’t seem like the right fit, consider other platforms or outlets like blogs, Instagram, affiliate networks, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, forums, or others.

If, on the other hand, musical.ly appears to be a viable option, the first step is to reach out to relevant Muser influencers.

Brands must contact Musers individually. Most influential Musers list business emails in their bios, giving brands and their agency partners an easy way to initiate conversation about a campaign. However, it’s also important to note that a few popular Viners have also made it big on musical.ly. Vine influencers such as @Lucas and Marcus, @ColeLaBrant, @CameronDallas should be accessible through Twitter’s Niche program, and it’s possible to have them create content through Niche and post to musical.ly in order to reach desired fans. And with Vine now gone, we predict that musical.ly will grow even more, and more rapidly.

While other brands have not been early adopters of the platform, the music industry is quickly embracing musical.ly. There appear to be direct partnerships between labels and musical.ly in order to feature new song releases, create “challenges,” and otherwise promote artists and their songs. This usually requires the artist to post from an official account to kick off the challenge, again working in an influencer capacity.

iProspect's influencer marketing approach is tied directly to business objectives and is rooted in performance. If your consumer insights are telling you that this will resonate with your target audience, let’s connect on how we get your influencer marketing strategy into play. 

Anthony LaRosa, Lead, Paid Social, also contributed to this blog post.