Influencer marketing is a kind of social media marketing where influencers — people with a dedicated social following — get paid by companies to endorse their products and services. An article on Business Insider states that the influencer marketing industry will be worth up to roughly £11 billion ($15 billion) by 2022, as 93% of marketers already use this marketing strategy. 97% of companies use Instagram as their social media of choice, with 83% using Instagram stories specifically. Facebook, the “king of social media”, ranks third with 79%.
The reason many marketers use this strategy is because it just works. By collaborating with the right influencers, it helps their brand broaden their reach while still targeting a relevant audience. Influencers help a company build trust and credibility among followers. They lift pressure off a business by making original content. After all, influencers are also content creators who spend a lot of time and effort in creating engaging posts.
However, there is a risk involved when implementing influencer marketing campaigns. Working with the wrong influencers can do more harm than good. Some common influencer mistakes include not disclosing that a post is sponsored, posting content that doesn’t resonate with the brand’s audience, and inflating engagements using bots. These can all tarnish your company's reputation and even result in legal repercussions.
With the incredible amount of social media influencers out there, a rookie entrepreneur might think that they’re spoilt for choice. However, even with such a large pool, the demand for influencers is incredible. In fact, a blog post on influencers by Petal explains that even the smallest influencers (those with anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 followers) get paid £64 per post on average. Larger influencers – those with over a million followers – are paid nearly £510 per post. And for every £0.73 that is spent on influencer marketing, businesses make about £4. Companies may have different budgets for influencer marketing, but the average campaign costs approximately £730-£7,300 for a year. Just because these influencers are people who are posting to social media doesn’t mean advertising comes cheap. However, even marketing through nano- and micro-influencers has been found to increase brand engagement.
Most companies get positive results from implementing influencer marketing. The bottom 25% of companies that don't are likely the ones who don't understand the methodology behind it, or they choose the wrong influencers. A good example is multi-national clothing brand H&M. The company put together a simple campaign that involved mega influencers wearing the latest H&M collection as they go about their normal routine. The influencers genuinely liked the brand and sincerely recommended it, thus appealing to their followers.
Credits: @sincerelyjules on Instagram
Previously on ‘Marketing Strategy is in My Genes’, we mentioned that it is important for people to genuinely believe that a product or service is exactly what they need. Sometimes, the best way to do this is to show other people — real people — using your product and benefiting from it. Influencer marketing is definitely a worthwhile endeavour, if you’re willing to reach out to influencers and work patiently to develop your marketing strategy.