The power of influencer marketing

The power of influencer marketing is undeniable. While it is not a relatively new phenomenon in the marketing industry, it has become mainstream thanks to the rise of social media.

Today influence marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing tools that many businesses are adopting. Why? Because marketing audiences are changing and the traditional channels are not scoring huge numbers like they used to.

So what is influencer marketing? The short answer is that influencer marketing uses individuals with a vast social media following to market products and sway opinions. But the actual definition is much more complicated than that.  

Many marketers find it hard to keep up with the influencer marketing world’s rapid growth and constant changes. If this is you, you probably have many questions such as;

  • Which online platform is currently ranked the best food influencer marketing?
  • How much should you invest in influencer marketing?
  • How much ROI should you expect?

In this article, we will attempt to address all these questions and more. Regardless of your beliefs, it’s pretty clear that influencer marketing is a powerful tool and shows no signs of slowing down.

Still a skeptic? Well, perhaps these numbers will change your mind.

Key influencer marketing statistics & trends

Recent studies show that nearly 68% of marketers in corporate America with 100 employees or more will likely use influencer marketing by the end of 2021. Why? Because many brands realize its potential. The following useful statistics will shed some light on just how powerful influencer marketing has become. 

Influencer marketing engagement statistics

  1. At least 60% of millennials are more likely to listen to advice from YouTube influencers compared to other media personalities. According to a study by Defy Media, 6 out of 10 millennials are more likely to buy something based on a marketing ad by a YouTuber over a TV or movie star. 
  1. 86% of women look for buying advice and recommendations on social media. 
  1. At least 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts for information on products. Businesses that activate their shop tab on their Instagram pages receive quite an impressive number of traffic and buyers. 
  1. 80% of consumers admit to having purchased something after an influencer recommendation. This shows that influencer marketing is more than just about brand recognition; companies are getting direct sales from it.
  1. A 2019 study done by Rakuten found that 41% of customers found new products through influencers every week and 24% on a daily basis. Influencer campaigns are king! 
  1. An influencer marketing global survey conducted in 2019 discovered that at least 3 in 4 customers are willing to spend $629 on influencer-inspired purchases. 

Statistics on the growth of influencer marketing

  1. In 2019 Google Trends reported that online searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” were growing by 5000% every month. 
  1. By the end of 2020, there were 1360 influencer marketing agencies. The aim of these agencies is to simplify the influencer process for brands and companies by connecting them with the right influencers. 

ROI statistics for influencer marketing

The Return On Investment for influence marketing has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. If you’re still wondering just how powerful influencer marketing can be for your bottom line, take a look at the following numbers:  

  1. According to Mediakix, 89% of marketers believe that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
  1. 71% of marketers also believe that the quality of organic traffic received from influencer marketing is better than other sources. 
  1. Further studies found that 92% of people are likely to trust online word-of-mouth from influencer recommendations compared to the 33% that prefer banner ads. This shows a complete shift from traditional channels of marketing. 
  1. One study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions reported that influencer marketing ROI is 11 times greater than banner ads. 

Influencer marketing platform statistics

Instagram is by far the most popular influencer campaign platform. In 2020 nearly 90% of influencer campaigns targeted Instagram for their marketing. There’s a good reason for this. The visual layout on Instagram makes it more ideal for marketing products and services than other platforms.

While 78% of marketers feel that influencer posts are the most effective form of online marketing, Instagram stories had 73% of the votes. Youtube had 56% votes, and Instagram Videos had 54%.  

So now that we’ve bombarded you with these insane statistics, let’s discuss what influencer marketing entails. 

What is influencer marketing?

At its core, influencer marketing borrows heavily from the celebrity endorsement effect. In today’s world, influencer marketing has a strong focus on modern, content-driven marketing campaigns. 

While there is no need to define what marketing is, the idea of an “influencer” needs further exploration. Influencers are individuals who have managed to develop a personal brand using their social media platforms. The role used to belong to traditional celebrities but soon evolved to include ordinary people who have a large online following.  

Thus we can define influencer marketing as a process of recognizing, exploring, and engaging an influencer to create a conversation about your brand, product, or service. This conversation has to have a high impact and must lead to an identifiable benefit to the company.  

Why It Works

For an influencer to be effective, there needs to be a certain level of trust between them and the target audience. While people trust celebrities, ordinary influencers seem to be gaining more pull because they are more relatable.

Other online marketing channels, including banner ads, have one flaw. The audience has to be enticed enough to click on the ad. While a good banner campaign can gain significant traction, the numbers are nowhere close to what influencer marketing is pulling. 

People generally find it easier to follow the recommendations or advice of an influencer because it feels more genuine and personal. This is especially true for younger audiences whose purchasing decisions are strongly influenced by people they see and interact with online. 

So why does it work? Well, it all boils down to the influencer. Usually, by the time a brand or company approaches an influencer, they already have a big following on social media. Their following trusts what the influencer is saying, and many are likely to take the recommendations. Influencers are a source of credibility for their audience.  

Influencer marketing works because the influencer has already laid the groundwork and has a relationship with their audience.  

Courtesy of Sideqik

How to find the right influencer

This is a pretty big decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. Finding the right influencer will make or break your marketing efforts.  

Today, you can use several tools to find an influencer but don’t rule out doing your own research. Looking for an influencer on your own may produce more reliable results. We’ve compiled the following steps to help you plan your search for an influencer. 

Step1: Create a roadmap for all the factors you’ll need to consider when looking for an influencer. Make sure to include the following:

  • Niche
  • Number of followers
  • Engagement rate (we will give you tips on how to check for this below)
  • Social media platform
  • Contact info

Step2: Focus on influencers that are familiar with your brand. Look for someone who has previously mentioned your brand. Go with them if they tick all the right boxes.

Step3: Avoid trying to poach influencers from your competitors. It’s likely to have an opposite effect if an influencer is seen switching between competing brands. 

Other factors to keep in mind

  1. It’s not just about the number of followers.

While influencers with a big following are essential for the success of your marketing campaigns, it’s not just about the numbers. An individual with a big following might not have the right amount of pull required to launch a successful campaign.

For some famous people, a massive chunk of their followers might consist of fans who don’t necessarily respect, trust, or even like that person enough to be influenced by their words. If you think about it, how many people do you follow online that have no sway on your decision-making whatsoever? 

It is a big misconception that large followers will translate to successful marketing. 

Your focus needs to be more towards an influencer who has the right followers. People who will actually like and buy your products. So, for example, if your business sells baby-related stuff, there is no point engaging a popular makeup influencer. 

  1.  Engagement rate

The engagement rate for a post is calculated by looking at the total interactions it receives compared to the number of followers. So if an influencer is receiving a significant number of likes and comments that tallies with their follower base, they have a high engagement rate.

It is more likely that their audience loves interacting with them and views the influencer as a credible online source for advice or recommendations. 

Studies show that influencers with less than 5,000 followers (nano-influencers) are more likely to have a higher engagement rate compared to micro-influencers with over 500 000 followers. So we reiterate it’s not just about the numbers. 

3. Authenticity

Authenticity is essential when looking for the right influencer. Factors such as the person’s personality and style should be unique and engaging enough to warrant influence. It is their personal brand and not necessarily your products or services that will keep the audience interested. 

Red Flags you should avoid.

That said, many gimmicks exist in the influencer world. Because it has become such big business, some people are trying to make a living off influencer marketing using back-door tactics.

Some influencers have suspicious growth patterns, especially on Instagram. Additionally, other signs will show you whether the influencer is a good or a bad pick. 

The following red flags should be at the back of your mind during your influencer search: 

  1. Giveaways

These competitions are one of the most common ways people gain followers and increase engagement on their platforms. The process of a giveaway involves running some form of contest where new and old followers stand a chance to win something for free. The tradeoff is following the influencer’s account and commenting, sharing, or liking specific posts. 

When an influencer constantly engages in giveaways to gain followers, it distorts the number of organic engagements they receive. And once the giveaway is over, the account usually loses about 30% of followers. Suppose you notice a sharp spike and decline in numbers on an influencer’s account. In that case, it’s most likely that they don’t have organic followers. 

  1. Sudden follower spikes

Aside from giveaways, another reason for sudden spikes in follower numbers is the use of artificial accounts. Hundreds of apps and websites sell fake accounts to boost followers. Some aspiring influencers engage in this practice as a way to get noticed by brands. 

  1. A steady loss of followers

If you notice that an influencer is slowly losing followers, it may point to a shift in the audience’s view. This may be due to people losing interest in what the influencer has to say or pointing towards some type of controversy. It’s always best to avoid being associated with controversial influencers because they could cost you your brand. 

The size of an influencer’s account is not the only thing you should be focused on. You should carefully analyze the growth and decline patterns of these accounts. 

So how do you measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns?

There are several ways you can use to check the profitability of your influencer marketing campaigns. These are:

  1. Use Promo codes

Assign promo codes to your influencers to track the origin of the customer. This will help you see which influencers are profitable and which ones struggle to draw traffic your way.

  1. Create a hashtag

A hashtag assigned to a specific influencer will also help you track the origin of the traffic you receive. This will show you how many people actually engage with your influencer and whether the campaign is successful.

The bottom line

Influencer marketing is an extremely powerful tool; the numbers don’t lie. Given that it’s uniquely placed between social media and marketing, influencer marketing will likely become one of the most significant ways to reach an ever-evolving and diverse audience in the future.  

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