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Does influencer marketing still work?

If you watched the documentaries on Hulu and Netflix about the fraud surrounding the Fyre Festival—which was known for being largely promoted by social media influencers—you might be a little put off by influencers these days. In fact, maybe you’ve even listened to the people who have declared that influencer marketing is now dead. But it turns out that’s not necessarily true. Despite the influencer marketing fails that you might hear about in the news, this type of marketing is still a big part of the strategies employed by several major brands. Here’s how it works and what experts predict for the future of influencer marketing.

How Does It Work?

If you’ve never tried influencer marketing, you should get familiar with how and why it works. Basically, this type of marketing relies on popular content creators to increase brand awareness for the company that pays them to do so, typically via social media. Examples of influencers include well-known makeup artists with millions of subscribers on YouTube, or Instagram models who have hundreds of thousands of followers. An influencer can also be a celebrity—such as an actor or singer—who is active on social media and has millions of followers there.

No matter which platform or job they’re most well-known for, one thing influencers all have in common is that they already have their own audience that trusts them and therefore listens to their recommendations. They’re able to use both social proof and word-of-mouth marketing This means they have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of their fans—and brands are happy to pay influencers so they can use that power to their advantage.

Top influencers get paid thousands or even millions of dollars to promote brands in various ways. The following are some examples of ways influencers can introduce a brand to their audience:

Post pictures or videos of themselves using a product on their Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page.
Write a blog post about the advantages of a product or service, and post it on either the brand’s website or their own extremely popular blog.
Take over a brand’s social media page for a day to attract more attention to it.

While there are lots of ways for influencer marketing to work, note that blogs and Facebook tend to be the most effective options. In fact, one study found that 37 percent of brands said blogs were most effective for them, and 25 percent said Facebook was—though Instagram has been a fast-growing competitor here. Regardless of the medium you use, you should get some great ROI from influencer marketing, since the same study discovered that businesses can generate $6.50 in profit for every $1 they invest in this form of marketing!

Influencer Marketing Stats to Know

If you’re not sure if influencer marketing should be included in your marketing mix for 2020 and beyond, you should consider the statistics that several companies have put together. Overall, you’ll find that they spell good news for this form of marketing and the brands that use it.

For instance, Mediakix released the results of its 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey that discovered that 80 percent of respondents find this type of marketing to be effective. The same survey said 71 percent of marketers attest that the quality of traffic and customers from this type of marketing is better than they get from other types. This is because influencer marketing allows brands to do the following:

Increase trust and expand their reach to the followers of their influencers.
Have an impact on consumer purchasing decisions.
Reach more engaged audiences.
Improve brand messaging via endorsements.

And the reason influencer marketing can do all this for brands is because it works so well among consumers. The following statistics will spell out what that means:

70 percent of teens said they trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.
49 percent of consumers rely on recommendations from influencers.
74 percent of consumers turn to social media for help with purchasing decisions.

Clearly, influencer marketing is still working well for both consumers and marketers, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down in the near future!

The Future of Influencer Marketing

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of influencer marketing, so you might not be surprised to learn that this strategy still has a lot of potential in the future. In fact, 65 percent of marketers said they planned to increase their influencer marketing spend this year. That’s about double the number of marketers who said that last year!

And other studies confirm findings like these. For example, the influencer marketing field will likely be worth about $10 billion by 2020. In particular, 69 percent of marketers plan to spend the most on influencer marketing via Instagram, which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Granted, the most popular platform for influencer marketing is bound to change often, even year by year, so pay attention to the most recent trends before you decide where to focus your efforts with this type of marketing.

So, if you’ve been questioning whether influencer marketing still works, the answer is yes! It still has amazing ROI, and a whopping 92 percent of respondents of one survey said influencer marketing is effective. If you’ve used influencer marketing, do you agree that it works well? Feel free to comment your experiences below.

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