Influencer Marketing: Is it Here to Stay?
Are 93% of marketing right in using influencer marketing to drive product sale? Find out why it’s not too late for you to take advantage.
Influencer marketing has taken over in the last few years, from Instagram to TikTok, there’s no shortage of online personalities pushing products to their followers in nearly every post. However, some people are starting to doubt whether influencer marketing still has a place in 2020 and beyond.
While there have been some missteps within the influencer community and some people are tightening their budgets as the coronavirus pandemic continues to carry on much longer than original predictions, it’s not likely that influencer marketing is going anywhere any time soon.
In fact, according to AspireIQ’s The State of Influencer Marketing 2019, 69.8% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2020. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the current state of influencer marketing, why it’s still relevant, and how you can leverage your influencer relationships into the future.
The Current State of Influencer Marketing
According to SocialPubli’s 2019 Influencer Marketing Report: A Marketer’s Perspective, 93% of marketers currently practice influencer marketing. That’s the vast majority. Based on that number alone, influencer marketing clearly isn’t coming to a crashing halt. After all, marketers would have to evaluate their plans, reallocate resources, and find the next-best marketing method.
Not only are most companies partaking in influencer marketing as a major aspect of their website marketing efforts, but it has a good ROI. According to Tomoson, businesses generate an average of $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing. Tomoson’s survey also found that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel for acquiring online customers.
With all these factors combined, it’s clear to see that influencer marketing is not only still effective and relevant, but it provides unparalleled value and opportunity.
Why Influencer Marketing Is Here to Stay
There are many reasons why influencer marketing has continued to be relevant and valuable, despite changes in trends, consumer behavior, and the economy. Let’s take a look at just a few of the most prominent reasons that influencer marketing is likely here to stay:
Social Media Usage
One of the reasons influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere is the prevalence of social media in the lives of younger generations. Gen Z and millennials are online for most of the day and because of that, there is a lot of potential for influence over what they buy.
Ability to Reach Niche Audiences
While it might seem like consumers are being more and more fractured, with hyper-specific likes and interests, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is actually where influencer marketing holds the greatest value. Since they gain followers based on their content, you can assume that many (if not most of their followers) share their interests and look to them for ideas or inspiration.
Established Trust with Their Following
Short of a scandal that ends up in getting them “cancelled”, influencers generally have the trust of their followers. By letting them into their daily lives, being transparent about when they’re posting sponsored content, and giving their honest reviews of products and services, influencers are able to build a relationship with their followers.
As you know, the power of social proof is invaluable to growing your customer base. It’s been proven over and over with sites like Yelp, before and afters and testimonials featured on websites—check out this example on White Rock Realtors to see how you can leverage customer reviews if you aren’t already—and most recently with influencer marketing.
That’s not to say that influencers don’t ever endorse products they don’t like or don’t actually use, but in many cases, their followers keep faith that they’re giving their honest accounts. This trust is something that many companies have to work much harder and spend much more to earn.
Opportunities for All Budgets
While big-name influencers such as celebrities (Kylie Jenner or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who currently hold the title for highest-paid celebrities on Instagram) and internet celebrities (Eleonora Pons and Huda Kattan) require substantial payment—often close to or even over $100,000 per post—that’s not always the case.
There are many micro-influencers that will share sponsored posts for much less. In fact, you may be able to find micro-influencers and local bloggers in your area who are looking to grow their following and willing to reach an agreement with you for little to nothing or even trade for free merchandise.
According to WebFX, the average price for an Instagram influencer is $10 per post, per 1,000 followers. So, if you were working with a micro-influencer who had 5,000 followers, a sponsored post would only cost you $50. However, working with a macro-influencer (celebrities and internet celebrities) with say 200,000 followers, that would cost you $2,000 for a single sponsored post—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for these kinds of influencers.
That said, since there is such a broad spectrum of influencer options for start-ups, small businesses, and big brands alike, influencer marketing can be fit into virtually any budget.
What Influencer Marketing Might Look Like Going Forward
With less and less people blindly putting their trust into companies—and can you blame them with all the scandals of past years—they are going to continue to turn to their peers, including influencers, to help them make purchasing decisions. While it’s likely that consumers will continue to turn to their favorite influencers to keep up on relevant trends, find products they trust, and help weed out the ones that aren’t worth their hard-earned dollars, that doesn’t mean things are going to stay the same.
Going into the future, it is smart to diversify your influencer relationships in order to broaden the audience you reach and as they say, not put all your eggs in one basket. As we’ve seen over recent years, influencers can make a single major misstep and fall from the ranks. Having a network of influencers can increase your reach and mitigate your risk.
A mix of macro-influencers, micro-influencers, and even customers with limited followings can all be valuable resources for growing your brand. As people become more connected through social media apps, communities are growing, the landscape of influencer marketing is shifting, and the ability to tap into these opportunities becomes increasingly important.
Use Influencer Marketing Opportunities to Your Advantage
If you haven’t already, aligning yourself with micro-influencers that cater to your core audience is a smart move. Not only that, but it’s a necessity to raise brand awareness, keep your brand relevant, and to remain competitive. As we mentioned earlier, the vast majority of companies are seeking out influencer relationships to help them grow; if you aren’t part of that majority, it’s likely that you’ll miss out on one of the best opportunities to reach younger audiences. In some instances, this could mean that you’re more or less allowing your competition to get a hold in the market.
Whether you’ve been hesitant to introduce influencer marketing into your strategy or are considering increasing your influencer spending, we say go for it if you can afford it.