Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay.
U.S. residents spend an average of 2.4 hours a day on social media, according to a report from the creative agency We Are Social.
Billions of people are using social media sites for entertainment, business, and marketing.
According to the research group Statista, due to the usage of low-cost mobile devices and increased wireless internet availability, almost half of the world’s population uses some form of social media. This figure is much higher in the United States, where almost 80% of the overall population has at least one social media account.
Who uses which social media differs based on variables such as age and geographic area, however the most popular social media sites in the United States are Facebook and Instagram, with TikTok attracting the under-30 crowd.
The influencer marketing market has grown exponentially in the last several years. The market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. It hit $13.8 billion in 2021, demonstrating consistent growth. This year, the market is expected to grow to a stunning $16.4 billion.
Keep reading to see if influencer marketing is right for your business or products.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Put simply, influencer marketing is an arrangement between a business and an individual influencer, where the influencer agrees to promote the business’s product or service on their social media sites.
This sort of marketing makes use of people’s confidence in the opinions of their heroes and their desire to mimic them. When you combine influencer marketing and social media, you have a more subtle approach for influencers to promote your brand.
Most brands are making influencer marketing part of their marketing plan, according to Oberlo. Some 93% of brands have used or are using influencers, according to the business design site.
What Can Influencer Marketing Do for You?
Social media can be a strong inspiration to get someone to purchase something. People use their family and friends’ opinions for recommendations on businesses like plumbers and HVAC services. More than half of people research a product before they buy it, according to Think with Google.
Using the right influencer can have astonishing effects on your business. According to Apptamin, 3% of people generate 90% of the impact online. If you can find an appropriate influencer for your product and your target market, you may be zeroing in on a partnership that could benefit you both.
Working with an influencer on social media can help your brand reach new audiences. It doesn’t have to be a big-name influencer like a Kardashian-Jenner sister, either. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, audiences of “micro-influencers” are more engaged and likely to convert.
Liesl Perez, a member of the Forbes Communication Council, said micro-influencers are perceived as more authentic and transparent than highly polished influencers with millions of followers.
“Micro-influencers offer brands a new way of engaging consumers with authentic content and experiences,” said Michael O’Connell, another member of the council. He believes partnerships between businesses and micro-influencers will reduce advertising costs per action.
Types of Influencer Posts
Shoutouts: When you pay a user to promote your company or product on social media, this is known as a shoutout. They may be used with or without an image and with any type of call to action.
Giveaways: This is when you provide a product to an influencer and they hold a contest for their followers to win that product. Contest requirements can be for the entrants to follow the business and influencer, repost the post of the influencer, or other lead generation tools.
Platform Takeovers: This is when a business grants influencer access to their preferred social media outlet. The influencer may then select material for the company and direct their own followers to the brand’s account so they don’t miss out on “exclusive” content.
Affiliate Marketing: When an influencer promotes a brand’s product, the influencer receives a commission based on sales made through the influencer’s platform. Brands want to engage influencers for affiliate marketing since having payment related to output makes influencers more enthusiastic about your product.
Sponsored Content: Sponsored content is an influencer partnership that you may use whether or not your business has a lot of ready-to-share material. You may either develop material for influencers to share or collaborate with them to create and share content for your company.
Product Seeding: Product seeding occurs when marketers give items to renowned influencers in the hopes that the influencer will post something nice about it. While this relationship can work for nano- and micro-influencers, influencers with larger followings will undoubtedly expect marketers to try harder to lure them.
Brand Ambassadorship: With these collaborations, influencers have most likely been using your items for some time and are already enthusiastic about your brand. Influencers will provide videos, blogs, pictures, and other content about your company and products on a regular basis as brand ambassadors.
Pros & Cons
As with anything else, there are pros and cons to purchasing influencer marketing.
- 61% of people trust influencer recommendations, compared to 38% who trust branded social media content.
- Businesses make $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, on average. The top 13% of such businesses see $20 in ROI for every dollar spent, according to The Social Shepherd.
- More than half of marketers believe influencer marketing helps them get better customers.
- Influencer marketing can be expensive. Nano-influencers, or those with very small followings, may charge $10 to $100 per Instagram post, but even mid-tier influencers may charge up to $5,000 per Instagram post.
- Rates fluctuate based on the type of post, whether you require exclusivity from your influencer, the time of year, and more.
- If you have a particularly niche product, it may not perform well using influencer marketing.
Things to Consider
If you have investigated your social media analytics and found that you are lacking engagement with your posts, working with an influencer can bring much more engagement. People prefer to interact with an actual person rather than a brand. One thing to note: Small- to mid-range influencers do tend to earn more engagement with their followers than mega-influencers.
Does Your Audience Care About Influencers?
Every audience is unique, and it’s possible that influencers will not transfer well to your field. Before you spend money, make sure you have a thorough grasp of your audience and their likes and dislikes.
Alternatives to Influencer Marketing
If you’re uncertain if working with an influencer could help your business, there are some other options that can provide you with similar results.
Social Post Time Slots
“Renting” time slots from prominent social media accounts, similar to influencer marketing, may help you reach more people and boost your own following. They are affordable, starting at $10.
Social Media Ads
You can buy ad space on social media sites directly, instead of utilizing an influencer. Instagram and Facebook, for example, have pretty extensive advertising choices that allow you to stretch your cash further and target particular demographics.
Careful consideration of your brand, and setting a budget before looking for an influencer, can have very positive effects on your business.