If you are present at least somewhere within the social media-sphere, we’re sure you have seen countless promotional posts created by popular accounts for an array of different brands. This is influencer marketing and, within the last decade, it has taken the marketing industry by storm. Revolutionising the way brands communicate with consumers, the basics of influencer marketing are based on the notion that people value the recommendations of people they like and trust.
Influencer Marketing Basics
The basics of influencer marketing: What is it?
When talking about the basics of influencer marketing, it’s best to start at the beginning. While the industry is constantly evolving to adapt to shifts in the online world, at its core, influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsements and places it into a modern-day, content-driven marketing campaign; that sees the collaboration between brands and popular social media accounts called ‘influencers’.
The basics of influencer marketing: What is an influencer?
Unlike celebrities, influencers can be anyone and are found everywhere. They can seem like ordinary people with a modest following of 10k-100k or they can have large followings of 500k+, but whatever the size of their audience an influencer is defined as being someone who has:
- The power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience
- A following in a distinct niche, with whom he/she actively engages.
A common misconception made by traditional media is that influencers are celebrities. If becoming a celebrity was as easy as gaining 10k followers on a social media platform, the whole world would be one!
Influencers are considered experts within their field. It is not a coincidence that they have the audience that they do. They are often many people’s go-to for questions regarding their expertise and the content they create is made with the aim of providing new and insightful information to those interested. Just like a boss level in a game, this niche audience is what the brands are after and the only way to get to them is through the influencer; hence, a collaboration.
The basics of influencer marketing: Influencer x brand collaborations
More commonly known as influencer marketing campaigns, collaborations between influencers and brands can take on many different forms. The most common being:
- Sponsored posts
- Brand Ambassadors
- Product collaborations
- Discount codes & affiliates
- Giveaways and Competitions
- Brand events
While each of the above collaborations entail different processes and reap different benefits, the initial steps taken when beginning a campaign are always the same.
The perfect collaboration you see on your screen in front of you most likely is a result of strategic planning; which all begins with dissecting a pool of carefully selected influencers in order to find the perfect match. Brands must choose influencers whose values and image is in alignment with their own and whose audience is also the brand’s demographic in order to run a successful campaign. As well as this, the influencer must have sufficient engagement rates to reassure the brand that their product/service is not falling on deaf ears.
Once the influencer/group of influencers is chosen, the collaboration is well underway. Next on the agenda to discuss will be:
- What type of campaign will be run
- What product/service will be promoted
- What the campaign’s goals are (personal and numerical)
- What content will be needed from the influencer(s)
- What benefits the influencer will take from this collaboration
- How the results of the campaign will be tracked and measured
Facts about influencer marketing
Now that you are clued up on the basics of influencer marketing, you may be sitting there and wondering if this is something you could get on board with, either as a brand or as an influencer. The answer is always going to be ‘yes, you can!’. As a post-pandemic world has sky-rocketed influencer marketing into a $13.8b industry as of 2021, it begs the question, just how big is influencer marketing?
Here are a select few statistics and facts about influencer marketing that just might convince you to hop on the bandwagon and enter the modern, digital era.
High average earned media value per $1 spent on influencer marketing
Businesses earn an average of $5.78 per $1 spent on influencer marketing, while others can earn up to $18.
The majority of marketing companies intend to increase their influencer marketing budget
It is clear that influencer marketing is that which most companies see as valuable, with 62% who already utilise the tool, opting to increase their budget for it in the next year.
The industry is set to expand
By the end of 2022, the influencer marketing industry is projected to sit on $16.4b. This growth is attributed to growing short form video platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
More brands will leverage micro influencers
With micro influencers set to dominate 2022, many brands are now looking to utilise their incredibly niche audiences for personal gain. The market share for these influencers grew from 89% in 2020 to 91% in 2021, and is only set to grow by the end of this year. If you are looking for your next paycheck, micro influencing is the key.
What do influencers do in a marketing campaign?
Influencers promote the product/service of a brand they are in collaboration with, to their followers in order to drive sales, increase exposure or drive traffic to the brand’s social pages.
What is an example of influencer marketing?
In 2015, clothing retailer Zara netted $2.3b in annual profits by leveraging its social media campaign with the help of top Instagram influencers who are considered the most fashion-focused. By using influencers, they were able to give the impression that their products were more accessible than high-end clothing. Their #iamdenim campaign combined working with ‘real people to produce clothing for ‘real people’ and one of their video posts gained over 355,000 views due to this openness and authenticity.
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