If you’ve been around the influencer marketing industry you’ve probably heard of LiketoKnowit and RewardStyle.
But did you know that, in late 2021, the two merged into one powerhouse brand: LTK?
With the merger comes some change to how influencers can use the platform. It also introduces a brand-new self-service influencer portal. This makes navigating the platform more user-friendly.
What We’ll Cover:
- An Introduction to Influencer Marketing
- What is LTK?
- How Brands Can Use LTK
- How the Platform Works
- LTK by the Numbers
- Who Should Use LTK?
- FAQs About LTK and Influencer Marketing
First, What’s the Big Deal About Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing places the focus on real people – or influencers – rather than big brands or companies.
This makes marketing feel more authentic and accessible. Imagine your best friend is the one selling you a product, rather than a large corporation.
It’s so effective because it mimics word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted friends or sources, and is statistically proven to be one of the most effective ways to market:
- Nearly 9 out of 10 marketers see a greater ROI from influencers than other marketing channels. (MediaKix)
- 82% of consumers state they are likely to follow an influencer recommendation when making a purchase. (ExpertVoice)
- 40% of millennials say their favorite influencers understand their interests better than their friends. (MediaKix)
- 70% of teens say they trust influencers over traditional celebrities. (Digital Marketing Institute)
- Influencer marketing grew from a $1.7 billion dollar industry in 2016 to a $9.7 billion dollar industry in 2020. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
While influencers come in many forms – industry experts, celebrities, journalists and makeup artists.
One group, in particular, has emerged as particularly in demand: the lifestyle expert. According to a recent Forbes survey of 200+ brand marketers, “almost half (48%) said that a “Lifestyle Expert” is currently the type of influencer most in demand for brand and celebrity partnerships.”
Why the lifestyle expert specifically? Forbes attributes the surge to a few core reasons:
- Relatability: because lifestyle experts are real people, not celebrities, they possess two of the most sought-after qualities in the industry: trustworthiness and relatability. Their opinions and recommendations are viewed as more genuine and more likely to resonate with their audience
- They know their audience: the lifestyle influencer has built a following from scratch, without the added benefit of name recognition. Doing so makes them very aware of their audience (what they like, what they don’t, what content resonates with them) – which increases their authenticity.
- Quality content: – In order to gain a high follower rate, lifestyle experts have mastered the content in their niche. They know to post content that will have high importance to their audience. Any branded content they post will, therefore, be highly relevant
- ROI: – lifestyle influencers tend to cost less than beauty gurus or travel bloggers, making them ideal for brand partnerships
Lifestyle experts are the exact group that LTK partners with.
The Benefit of an LTK Partnership?
Forming influencer relationships takes a long time and has a high margin for error.
A brand has to identify the most relevant influencers in their space. Then they need to reach out to them with collaboration offers. If the influencers aren’t already familiar with your brand, it’s hard to tempt them to work with you.
But when you use a platform like LTK, they do the relationship-building side of the process for you.
What is LTK?
LTK is a platform that connects influencers with select retailers for marketing purposes. It was born out of a merger between two of the biggest influencer platforms: LiketoKnowIt and rewardStyle.
This invitation-only platform targets primarily beauty, fashion, and retailer bloggers.
It works like this:
- LTK forms relationships with retail brands
- LTK invites bloggers and social media personalities with the right social following to promote those brands through affiliate links.
Using it, influencers make a commission (usually 10-25%) from items sold through their affiliate link.
Buyers don’t get a discount. But the platform makes it easier for them to find products featured on their favorite influencers’ pages. There is no added cost for using your favorite influencer’s link.
Influencers and bloggers can’t see who made purchases using the link. They can only see how many of their followers ultimately clicked on their link and the resulting commission.
Today, LTK currently works with 150,000+ hand-selected influencers in 100+ countries. These influencers sell products to the 8,000,000 shoppers who visit the site on a monthly basis.
LTK For Brands
LTK currently works with 1 million global brands and 5,000+ retailers.
To work with LTK, a brand must complete a short application process before being accepted into the program and connected to influencers.
The platform touts itself as “an invitation-only, influencer content marketing channel for global brands. As their end-to-end business and technology consultant, LTK maintains unique high-trust relationships with influencers, which allows for maximum economic success.”
Its model seems to work. Since the merger, the company has over $3 billion in annual trackable brand sales and that number continues to grow.
It’s not only profit that is growing, but brands are also seeing an amplified 2X growth in engagement with consumers.
Working with the platform costs a flat fee, which covers full campaign management at every stage, from the initial connection with an influencer to campaign execution and metrics.
Throughout the campaign, brands will have access to detailed analytics and reports to show the retail impact and branding influence.
How Does the Platform Work?
LTK has a web-based platform but works best through its dedicated app.
For end-users, the process works like this:
Step 1: Download the LTK app from your app store.
Step 2: Take screenshots of LTK posts featuring the small white heart icon on Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat.
Step 3: Return to the app which will have automatically uploaded your screenshots. It will provide thumbnails and links to purchase items included in the post.
Step 4: Tap one of the items to visit the page URL of the store it’s from.
You can also use the platform by simply opening the app and searching for bloggers or influencers through the search bar. This will take you to their individual page where you can view all LTK-enabled posts by that influencer.
The main benefit for both brands and shoppers is the ease of use.
Shoppers no longer have to hunt down their favorite outfits or do deep research to figure out where to buy the item they saw. Instead, they’re connected almost instantly to a page where they can purchase the items they like.
For brands, it delivers prospects straight to the end of their sales funnel with minimal marketing spend. This increases brand awareness, generates interest and engagement, and in the best cases, a sale. And it’s also as easy as signing up with RewardStyle.
LTK By the Numbers
Don’t underestimate the power of this incredible platform.
Since its introduction, the LTK has delivered:
- $3 billion annual online sales
- 8 million+ followers on Instagram as @shop.ltk
- Partners with 150,000+ influencers, 5,000 retailers, and 1 million brands
- Has 699 million unique consumers
- Reaches 100+ countries
While those are impressive numbers, keep in mind that this platform works specifically with certain industries. Consider them only if your work falls into the following categories:
- Family travel
Also, keep your target audience in mind. Seventy-five percent of LTK consumers are between the ages of 18-35 and many are women.
If those industries and audiences fit the bill, give LTK serious consideration to connect your brand directly with influencers.
Who Should Consider Using LTK?
While LTK is ideal for retailers, it may not be the best platform for everyone.
Keep in mind, it’s entirely lifestyle-focused, and will perform best in conjunction with brands that sell lifestyle products like fashion, home furnishings, beauty products, and the like.
The platform is powered heavily by Instagram users. It’s imperative (as always) to have a fully-formed marketing strategy that outlines the channels your customers are most likely to use.
If you find that your target audience isn’t as active on Instagram, LTK likely won’t generate great returns.
LTK is ideal for many smaller brands that don’t generate as much business on name recognition and instead focus their value proposition on catering to a specific lifestyle.
Using these influencer platforms allows some smaller retailers to compete head-to-head with larger labels on social media and connect them to influencers who may not otherwise know about your brand.
Before you make the decision, ask yourself the following:
- Does your product fall into a lifestyle category (fashion, beauty, fitness, home, travel?)
- Is your target audience between 18-35?
- Does your target audience use Instagram and social media regularly?
If the answers are yes, then LKT is likely for you.
FAQs on Using LTK:
1. How Do I Become an LTK Creator?
The simplest answer is that you must first become an influencer.
In other words, you need a significant following and high engagement on social media, especially Instagram. If you’re not at that point yet, then it’s time to get busy.
Beyond that, the most important step you need is to cultivate a following that’s interested in one or more of the brands that use LTK.
LTK won’t allow just anybody to participate in its program. Influencers must post high-quality content with good engagement rates.
Once you’ve made it past the screening process, you can start earning a commission by promoting LTK brands on social media.
2. How Do I Make Money on the Platforms as an Influencer?
To make money on the platform, you need to identify which brands pay you commissions. Many brands in a variety of industries in the LTK program include:
- West Elm
- Laura Mercier
- Crate & Barrel
- Joe Fresh
- Starwood Hotels
- Kate Spade
There’s a misconception that LTK is only designed for people in the fashion space. As you can see from the list above, there are brands in several other industries that rely on the influencer marketing program with rewardStyle and LiketoKnowIt.
3. Why Don’t I Receive a Notification When I Screenshot an LTK Image?
There are a couple of reasons why that might be happening:
- You didn’t give the app permission to send you push notifications. Just go to settings on your mobile device, select Notifications, and then choose the Like to Know It app. Turn on “Allow Notifications.”
- You only get notifications when the app is running. If it’s closed, it can’t detect when you take a screenshot and therefore it can’t send you a notification. Just tap the app icon to open it.
Wrapping Up Our Discussion on LTK
Standing out on social media and monetizing your presence is no easy task whether you’re a brand or an influencer.
By using these platforms, you can easily streamline the process and lead customers directly to your (virtual) door.
If you operate in the retail or e-commerce space, LTK is certainly worth your time.