Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing explained

Influencer marketing is increasingly becoming a larger component of a brand’s overall marketing strategy in recent years, and with good reason.

More and more people have over the years become more discerning and less trusting of the marketing messages that they receive and tend to trust them less and less, which makes it more difficult for brands and companies to market and sell to their target audiences.

On the other hand, consumers continued to have a much higher level of trust and affinity towards personalities that they constantly get exposed to or follow on social media, and generally respond better to calls-to-action or buy recommendations from these influencers.

Today, influencer marketing has become an indispensable part of a brand’s marketing strategy, more so if the brand is in consumer markets such as food and beverage (F&B), hospitality, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and personalised services (e.g. hairstyling and wellness), among others.

Even so, there is still confusion over what exactly is influencer marketing all about, and how brands can best leverage it to grow their following and increase market share.

In this article, we dive right in to understand all there is to know about influencer marketing and how to make it work for your brand or business.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that uses people or organisations of influence to make endorsements or recommendations about a brand, service or product, to generate awareness and exposure, encourage buying behaviour, or both.

These people or organisations are usually quite prolific in their circles and attract a large following on social media, usually on the main platforms such as Instagram, Youtube and TikTok.

Celebrities like Hollywood stars and famous personalities like Elon Musk are considered influencers since they can significantly affect public sentiments and actions – even market movements – with just a quick video or tweet.

What is an influencer?

An influencer is typically a person or group of persons who possesses significant persuasion influence over his or her audience to perform quantifiable actions – such as making a purchase – through the publishing and distribution of content on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and others.

Current state of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is entering a new chapter. It is now a highly sophisticated marketing strategy. For years, influencer marketing was synonymous with Instagram, that’s no longer the case with the rise of TikTok and social media usage across all platforms hitting an all time high. To meet all of those demands, marketers need to partner with an influencer marketing company with the expertise and technology to deliver influencer ROI. This is especially true for enterprise marketers.

This year our annual report, The State of Influencer Marketing 2021, is focused on enterprise marketers and their agency partners. Download the full report to see how this group of marketers will be leveraging influencer marketing this year.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Interest in using TikTok in influencer marketing campaigns rose 325% in just one year! Now 68% of marketers want to leverage the platform in 2021
  • 90% of enterprise marketers wanted to work with micro-influencers, up from 80% in 2020.
  • Marketers are working with significantly less influencers than three years ago. In 2018, we found that 62% of marketers activated more than 10 influencers on a single campaign. This year only 31% of marketers activate that many on a program
  • 86% of respondents are already using shoppable links to allow consumers to go from inspiration to purchase instantly, showing that shoppability is a hot trend in influencer marketing
  • 65% of respondents indicated that measuring ROI continues to be the biggest pain point in influencer marketing

About a decade ago, there were a handful of influencer marketers in the arena and mostly celebrities and only a few committed bloggers. Currently, the trend has drastically shifted such that social media influencers are exponentially increasing, saturating the market so that only the best can stand out.

If you’ve tried research on influencer marketing, you could have come across conflicting information and recommendations varying significantly. Remember, influencer marketing strategies are challenging to navigate more than ever for brands, especially since the industry is dynamic.

For instance, in 2014, it was much easier to gather followers on your Instagram channel than it is today. If luck was on your side and you just got featured on your Instagram page or appeared quite distinctive enough, chances were that you would be tapped as an influencer.

After significant brand partnerships, some marketers have succeeded in embracing social media influencer marketing as a full-time job

Influencer Marketing Statistics

By 2021, influencer marketing will be at $ 13.8 billion, with an upward growth rate in the future. Businesses that have adopted influencer marketing make over $ 5. 81 ROI for each $1 spent on creating a lead influencer marketer.

The Google Search for the word ‘influencer marketing’ has increased by over 465% since 2016, which implies that many people are interested in learning what is it about this trending phrase 90% of those responding to surveys on influencer marketing have indicated a positive attitude towards the effectiveness of this marketing strategy.

About 1380 influencer marketing-based agencies and platforms have entered the market alone in the past six years.

In 2021 alone, about 59% of marketers were very optimistic that influencer marketing was among the most effective marketing trends, ranking ahead of other marketing strategies such as experiential marketing, SEO, and short-form video marketing content.

Over 80% of marketers feel that influencer marketing is very effective, while 89% feel that the strategy works just fine, just like other popular marketing channels.

About 86% of marketers have expressed an interest in investing the same amount or increasing their influencer marketing investment proportionally.

Instagram is the leading social media platform with most influencer marketing. Facebook, on the other hand, is viewed as the most effective platform for influencer gigs
71% of marketers feel that influencer marketing brings in long-term customers and traffic than that from other platforms

One of the major challenges facing influencer marketing is how marketers measure the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign. The cost of funding influencers is another challenge marketers come across.

Gen Zeds are the most confident in influencer marketing among all age groups.

Why is influencer marketing effective

What sets influencers apart from celebrities is that an influencer can be anywhere and anyone. An influencer becomes influential because of their huge following on social media and websites.

For example, an influencer can be a well-known fashion photographer taking a good place on Instagram or an expert cybersecurity blogger who actively responds to marketing executives on a given platform such as LinkedIn.

Each industry has influential people, and a marketer has to find them. While others have hundreds of thousands of followers and millions, they are more likely to be ordinary people.

In some cases, some influencers have about 10,000 followers or less, but they have already created a reputation in the industry due to their expertise in a given field.]

What works in influencer marketing

  • Consider your influencer marketing approach very carefully
  • It would be best if you were extra organized, developed a strategy, a solid plan, and a budget and took time to research the topic
  • Decide on the most suitable approach to picking influencers – it could be through subscribing to a given platform, organically or even getting assistance from an agency
  • Give it time. Remember, people are interacting with people, not the official company to company communication!
  • Come up with a schedule.
  • Does your influencer opt for biannual, monthly, or quarterly calls?
  • Integrate the schedule with your product release or PR schedules
  • Send mails on behalf of top executives, plan travel schedules, and arrange face-to-face meetings.

Influencer marketing on Instagram

Marketers need to connect with thousands of impactful social media influencers who have the potential to market and sell their products or services to a wide target audience.

One of the most influential social media platforms is Instagram. With over 1 billion monthly active users. Instagram has become a great social media platform for influencer marketers to reach their audience.

Instagram Insights

Access to a huge gallery of Videos, Photos and Likes on Instagram each day. Instagram has been among the most used social media for the last few years. Users can post over 95 million videos and photos, and over 4.2 billion posts each day is quite amazing.

Indeed, photos comprise over 64.5% of the entire Instagram feed posts, while carousel posts take 18.9(and Video posts about 16.4% of the entire Instagram main posts.
Instagram has reported substantial growth in support in the past few years.

Instagram didn’t suffer from being acquired by Facebook. Indeed, users have been increasing on Instagram. During the Facebook era, there has been an increase in Instagram users, thus making it ideal for influencer marketers.

Instagram Influencer Marketing has reported a rapid growth rate.
The overall hike in influencer marketing and real growth on Instagram has made it a very visible social media platform, letting many brands spend their money on Instagram influencers.

An example of early influencer marketing was a YouTube Celebrity, PewDiePie. In his marketing strategy, he collaborated with horror filmmakers based in French catacombs within Paris.

It was the first pitch-perfect content since PewDiePie amazed over 27 million subscribers and almost doubled the number of viewers as a movie’s trailer. In this case, everyone just won.

How much does influencer marketing cost

Today, over 80% of consumers believe more in word-of-mouth highlights and recommendations; it has become critical for companies to establish relationships with influencers.

So, what is the average cost of influencer marketing? It will cost anywhere from $1000 to $1 million per post. Factors that determine the cost of an influencer marketing pricing are

  • Your target audience
  • Competitor Intelligence Report
  • Research
  • In-depth Target
  • Creative brief
  • Targeted keyword research
  • Dedicated outreach specialists
  • Strategy development
  • Influencer vetting, hiring terms and contacting.

How to get started on influencer marketing?

  • Establish your campaign goals and objectives
  • Establish your target campaign audience
  • Set a budget and pick your influencer type
  • Choose the right influencer and take your time to review their recent work accomplishment
  • Come up with a campaign message to guide your influencer
  • Pay your influencer
  • Measure and evaluate your results.

Influencer marketing FAQs

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with established online influencers to promote and market a given service or product.

Some influencer marketing results are less quantifiable, implying that brands will work with influencers to improve a brand’s online recognition.uencers with an aim of improving a brand’s online recognition.

What does influencer marketing mean?

An influencer can be defined as any person or an organization with powers to affect the buying decision of others based on their authority, knowledge, and relationship with their target audience.

They have a substantial following with a unique niche, and who they are actively engaged with/ the type of the topic an influencer chooses determines their size of following/ audience.

Influencer marketing is a hybrid of an old marketing strategy and a modern marketing strategy involving product placements and influencers’ endorsements.

What is influencer marketing, and why does it matter?

Influencer marketing is a hybrid of a recent and an old marketing tool. The concept revolves around using online influencer endorsement and placing it into the current-day content-driven marketing gigs.

A great differentiator in influencer marketing is that any result of the rig is a direct collaboration between the influencers and the brands.

However, influencer marketing doesn’t only involve celebrities but also those with a substantial command of social media but would otherwise consider themselves less famous in a typical offline setting.

How effective is influencer marketing?

We experienced the power of Influencer Marketing in 2020. Various Benchmark reports indicate that influencer marketing has a bigger potential for promoting services and products.

After the emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 brought about many changes in almost all industries, including influencer marketing. From a low of $ 1.7 billion in early 2016, influencer marketing has exponentially grown to a market size of over 13.9 billion in 2022.

Bearing this in mind, industries that embrace willingness and flexibility to adapt to fast-paced changes have the upper hand over the conservative.

Based on the upward trajectory in the previous years, influencer marketing is full of new opportunities as long as the firms are willing to engage, experiment and be flexible.

How do you measure influencer marketing?

The quantifiable areas depend on your marketing goals. These include but are not limited to

  • Impressions
  • Audience Reach
  • Sentiment
  • High-Quality Content
  • Engagements such as Likes, Shares and Comments
  • Conversions: Overall growth of your business followers, form completions, Subscriptions, and Brand Mentions, among other variables.