Influencer marketing is booming and it’s not just about bloggers anymore. Brands, agencies and software companies have invested heavily in finding ways to leverage social media influencers to grow their brands and target new audiences at scale without having to pay for editorial services or engage with them personally as a resource.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the key findings from our study and share some useful statistics about influencer marketing in general.
Influencers are higher-valued than ever before. If you’re not leveraging influencer marketing already, now is the time to start. It’s an important part of your marketing strategy.
Nearly 70 percent of marketers are investing in influencer marketing tactics. They’re not just targeting celebrities, either. More and more brands are turning their focus to micro-influencers who have smaller followings (but don’t have to be famous). Today, 64 percent of marketers are using micro-influencers to promote their products or services, up from 45 percent last year.
The value of influencer marketing has increased by over 400% on average over the past three years.
It takes a lot of work for an influencer to be successful; it’s not as easy as simply posting a video on YouTube or Instagram. In fact, it can take up to 9 months for a brand or agency to find the right influencers and build that relationship with them.
Influencer marketing contributes significantly more business value than other digital channels such as display advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), paid social media ads and Google AdWords.
This post covers a lot of material, and for your convenience, you can use the following links to navigate to specific sections:
- Influencer Marketing and SEO go hand in hand
- Brands Spend the Most on Influencer Marketing
- 3 Billion USD Is the Estimated Global Influencer Marketing Market By 2025
- Women Are Underrepresented in Influencer Marketing, But Still Dominate Online Conversations
- The U.S. Accounts for Almost Half of All Influencer Spend in 2017
- Nearly 80% of Brands Say They Make Use of Influencer Marketing Tactics
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1. Influencer Marketing and SEO go hand in hand
Influencer marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. They’re critical to each other’s success, which is why we found that 81% of brands using influencers describe the marketing mix as ‘containing’ social media influencers in their marketing mix.
SEO can help you reach the right audience, providing a solid foundation for influencer marketing campaigns. It’s super-important to find high-quality content that will be relevant to your target audience. You should use keywords in your content creation and link out to high-quality resources so that people discover your content and links naturally.
Influencers are also a powerful tool when it comes to creating a customer experience that aligns with higher engagement rates. They can provide access to niche audiences and have an impressive ability to draw large followerships quickly, making them an ideal partner for building brand awareness or driving conversions.
2. Brands Spend the Most on Influencer Marketing
The study found that brands spent $3.8 billion on influencer marketing in 2018. That’s up from $2.6 billion the year prior, and a whopping increase of 66 percent from the $1.4 billion spent in 2015.
If you’re thinking about embarking on an influencer marketing campaign, it may be worth noting that the best value comes from influencers with large follower bases who have been around for at least two years, with more than 30,000 followers and at least 400 posts in their social media channels.
3. 3 Billion USD Is the Estimated Global Influencer Marketing Market By 2025
Influencer marketing is projected to grow into a $3 billion industry by 2025.
The study also revealed that the top three most influential social media platforms for influencer marketing are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Facebook ranked fourth, with Twitter following closely behind in fifth place. The bottom of the list was dominated by smaller players like Tumblr, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Women Are Underrepresented in Influencer Marketing, But Still Dominate Online Conversations
While it’s true that women are underrepresented in influencer marketing, they still dominate conversations online. At the time of this blog post, 89 percent of Facebook users are female and 92 percent of Instagram users are female. This trend is consistent among most social media platforms.
So what can marketers do to help change this? First, make sure you’re not only targeting the right gender with your ad campaigns but also with your content strategy. For example, if a brand is targeting male millennials on Instagram, they might consider posting images that appeal to men as a whole rather than just one specific audience demographic.
Other ways to diversify influencer marketing include reaching out to creators outside of the platform you’re using and considering using multiple platforms at once.
The U.S. Accounts for Almost Half of All Influencer Spend in 2017
The U.S. is the largest influencer market in the world, accounting for 44% of global spend in 2017.
Ten percent of global spend went to media companies and agencies, while six percent went to software companies.
Influencers are typically employed by brands as brand ambassadors or spokespeople, but some also have their own independent digital channels that brands can use to advertise their products and services. While there is a wide variety of channels for influencers to advertise on, Instagram led the pack with almost one-fifth (19%) of all global spend in 2017.
Brands are spending more than ever on influencer marketing, up 13% year over year (YOY) in 2017, while agency and media spending has remained relatively flat YOY. The only category growing faster than influencer marketing YOY is social media advertising at 16% growth year over year (YOY).
Nearly 80% of Brands Say They Make Use of Influencer Marketing Tactics
One of the most powerful findings in our study was that 78 percent of brands use influencer marketing tactics and 88 percent say they are effective.
Brands, agencies and software companies have invested heavily in finding ways to leverage social media influencers to grow their brands and target new audiences at scale without having to pay for editorial services or engage with them personally as a resource.
But not all influencer marketing is created equal. We found that around 80 percent of brands make use of certain tactics:
- Influencer marketing tactics
- Brand engagement
- Editorial content produced by the brand
- Influencer outreach activities
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Everyone wants their brand to be seen and heard by a target audience. One way that brands can do this is by leveraging influencer marketing. The key is to find the right influencer to align with your business and message.
Influencer marketing can help your brand reach a specific target audience, but it also plays an integral role in search engine optimization. With the right strategy, you can see a strong return on your investment.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the use of social media influencers to build brand awareness, drive sales and increase consumer loyalty.
There are two types of influencer marketing:
1. Unpaid or free influencer marketing: This type of influencer marketing is the use of social media influencers who have large followings (for example, bloggers or vloggers) to promote a brand or product at no cost to the brand. This type of influencer marketing allows the brand to build brand awareness, drive product sales and increase consumer loyalty.
2. Paid or fee-based influencer marketing: This type of influencer marketing involves paying social media influencers a fee to promote a brand or product. The aim is for the influencer to generate positive brand sentiment and drive additional sales for the brand.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the right people and engaging them in a meaningful way to generate leads and drive conversion.
According to our Global Influencer Marketing Study, 2017, the main drivers of success for influencer marketing campaigns are:
- Diversified targeting strategy of influencers (71%).
- High-quality content (69%).
- Timely & responsive communication (66%).
- Consistent engagement (64%).
- Follow-up actions (63%).
- Compelling offer (61%).
- Quality of followers/likes (60%).
- Targeting specific groups/audiences (60%).
What are the challenges of influencer marketing?
The challenges of influencer marketing are as numerous as they are complex. However, there are a few trends that we have observed that come to mind:
- 1. Influencer marketing is no longer just for bloggers. There are many other types of influencers out there who can help your brand reach new audiences and tell your story in a more authentic way. For example, fashion influencers can help you reach fashion-conscious millennials, food influencers can help you reach health-conscious Gen-Yers and fitness influencers can help you reach active Gen-Xers.
- 2. The price of influencer marketing has fallen dramatically in the last couple of years. It used to cost tens of thousands of dollars per engagement to reach a brand’s target audience through influencer marketing channels. Now, you can pay significantly less to reach the same audience with less investment in digital ads or content creation.
- 3. Meanwhile, the quality of influencer marketing content has increased dramatically in the last couple of years because there is so much competition in this space and so many incredible creators out there that are willing to work with brands for payment and access to their massive audiences’ attention.