Influencer collaborations represent a significant trend in the marketing sector. Many major firms have devoted parts of their budget just to influencer marketing strategies because it is such a fast-growing industry with the potential to offer a high return on investment.
Influencer marketing can be a significant asset if you have a business looking for new methods to connect with potential customers and promote brand awareness. However, it’s also a very nuanced field that can be unpredictable because results can be hard to measure and can’t be promised. This means influencer marketing can be beneficial but might not be a good fit for every company.
What is Influencer Marketing?
The simple definition of influencer marketing is that it’s a form of advertising that uses influencers to endorse products and brands to drive sales. It’s similar to putting a famous person on the front of a cereal box. However, it relies more heavily on social media and uses influencers instead of pop singers and Olympic athletes.
So to fully understand this form of marketing, you first need to know what an influencer is and how they differ from a regular celebrity. Influencers flourish on social media platforms and are defined by their audiences. However, the relationship between the influencer’s followers is not the same as a movie star with their fans. Influencers can connect with their followers more directly and are only capable of influencing purchase decisions because of the relationship that develops.
While influencers can have vast audiences, it’s not a prerequisite. What’s most important is that they are trusted by their followers and create content in a specific space. There are fitness and wellness influencers, just like those focusing on books, vegan cooking, or travel.
An influencer’s posts will almost exclusively centre on their chosen topic. Therefore, if you choose an influencer to promote your products, you must select one whose content is relevant to your brand and not just anyone with many followers.
Influencer Marketing Statistics
Below are a few statistics that can help you understand influencers’ role in modern marketing.
- In a 2019 study, it was found that 93% of participating marketing professionals had used influencers to promote brands. So it’s already well-established as a marketing strategy.
- In a separate survey, increasing brand awareness was determined to be the primary reason marketers turn to influencers, with 86% citing this as their goal.
- It’s an effective strategy, as 61% of shoppers trust the products that influencers promote.
- It’s also not all about having the most followers, as ‘nano’ influencers with an audience smaller than 5,000 also produce high rates of engagement.
- Instagram may be the most important platform to focus on, according to 97% of marketing professionals.
Influencer Marketing Is On the Rise
Influencer marketing is a huge industry, and it’s only continuing to grow. This year it’s estimated to be worth just under $3bn more than the previous year. In 2019, Business Insider predicted that influencer marketing would be a $15 billion industry in 2022, which is at this current moment in time slightly lower.
With all of this success, influencer marketing agencies and firms have grown substantially, expanding more than 200% in the sector in just two years. It makes sense that this marketing method has become so popular since its effectiveness has been proven. In fact, the average return on investment for influencer marketing strategies is $5.20 for every $1 spent.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
There are many benefits to implementing influencer marketing into your existing strategy. Some of these include:
- This marketing strategy is all about niche, so it can help you reach a very specific audience that is already interested in your industry.
- People trust influencers, so you can build authority even if you’re a new brand just by having someone with a following promote your products to the relevant community.
- You don’t have to directly create the content yourself, yet you will benefit from the engagement.
- You’ll be able to expand your reach substantially.
The Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing
- You’ll have to be particular about which influencer you choose. Some people have paid for their followers and, therefore, cannot influence or get engagement with their posts.
- Additionally, there are many influencers out there, which means consumers are becoming desensitized to the approach. It’s still an effective strategy, but only if you partner with an influencer that promotes content sparingly instead of constantly using their platform to advertise for many companies.
- There is still a lot of risk with influencer marketing because even with research into the average engagement rate of a social media account, you can’t predict how an influencer’s followers will respond when they promote your brand.
- Plus, if you select the wrong influencer to market your products, it can actually hurt your brand.
There is a lot of potential to be found in this space. It’s an approach to marketing that has been proven to be effective and has demonstrable results. However, this is only the case if you get it right. Influencer marketing can be very tricky to navigate, even for experienced marketers.
It can be challenging to tell which influencers present a good opportunity for collaboration. That’s why it’s important to vet influencers before you partner with them and assess any analytics data that is available to you. However, even with research, influencer marketing is unpredictable. It can be extremely worthwhile when it is effective, but results are not guaranteed.