Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Influencer Dashboard, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Earlier this year, when the coronavirus pandemic began to hit the US, some top retailers suspended their affiliate marketing programs to save on costs.

But now many of these companies have brought their programs back, as ecommerce sales spike across the industry. That’s good news for affiliate networks and the influencers using them, who generally make money by getting a cut of every sale they send to major retailers.

“What we saw in the early days of shelter-in-place was uncertainty and a quick reaction from some retailers that pulled back on affiliate and influencer marketing programs,” a representative for the fashion ecommerce platform ShopStyle Collective said. “But many or all of those retailers came back very quickly because they saw the value influencer marketing offered, including the ability to create new content at a time when content creation options were limited, and as an effective way to drive sales.”

Most affiliate programs are run on the same basic principles: members apply and once they are accepted they are granted access to brands and can earn a commission off of sales made through personalized links.

But there differences. Networks offer varying rates, different tools (like shoppable apps or special tracking information), and each network has specific qualifications to apply.

To help influencers, publishers, and brands understand this changing market, my colleague Sydney Bradley and I broke down the 11 top affiliate programs for content creators in 2020. Read more here.

TikTok has doubled its employee count in 2020. Here are the teams and offices it's hiring for.

Foto: Source: Associated Press

Even as TikTok continues to spark controversy, its user base and overall company continue to grow rapidly.

My colleague Dan Whateley collected data on TikTok's employee growth from LinkedIn and spoke to Kate Barney, the head of HR for TikTok America's global business solutions team.

TikTok has more than doubled its global employee headcount this year, according to data compiled on July 2 by LinkedIn.

One area that the company is focusing on when adding employees is its global business solutions team, which focuses on roles that TikTok needs to earn revenue - namely sales and marketing jobs. The number of employees at TikTok focused on business development has jumped 483% over the past year, according to LinkedIn's analysis. Marketing was the company's second-fastest-growing employee category, with marketing hires rising 143% over the past year.

Read more about the teams and offices the company is hiring for, here.

How to best use Instagram Stories as a brand, influencer, or business

Foto: Source: Instagram

How can you use Instagram Stories effectively?

Sydney wrote about a new report from the analytics company Conviva, which looked at the state of Instagram Stories in 2020.

Here's a sample of some of the findings:

  • The report found that having eight or more frames in an Instagram Story and turning on replies helped increase reach rates across accounts.

  • The most effective stories were shared by accounts with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers.

"More than half of Instagram's one billion plus users are consuming Instagram Stories daily and they are one of the most powerful engagement tools in use by brands today," Conviva VP of strategy Nick Cicero said.

Read the four key takeaways from the report, here.

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Jackie Aina

Foto: Jackie Aina. Source: Sarah Morris/Getty Images

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