With the world going digital, social media is emerging as a powerful tool for influencing the choices and demands of customers. During the global pandemic, social media platforms experienced an influx of 1.3 million new users every day. Leveraging this opportunity, major brands are turning to influencers to not only market their products, but to also appeal to a wider audience, and build a strong brand identity. With the soaring popularity of short-form video content spanning platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, influencer marketing is projected to become a USD 16.4 billion industry by the end of 2022.
The steady growth of influencer marketing
Since its inception, the influencer marketing industry has witnessed massive year-on-year growth – its market size has more than doubled since 2019. With 59% of the world’s population currently on social media, brands are investing in influencer marketing more than ever. A growing number of influencers continue to impact the purchasing decisions of millions, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.
The number of users on the popular video-hosting platform, TikTok, surpassed 116k. With the growth of the industry, the number of companies that provide influencer marketing services has also grown steadily. In 2021, there were in total of 18,900 influencer marketing-related companies- an overall growth of 26%.
Choosing the correct platform
With so many options available, which are the platforms advertisers can target to create the highest impact and achieve the most out of their influencer marketing endeavors? Here are some of the key platforms to consider:
A popular video and photo-sharing platform, Instagram is typically the first pick for brands for their influencer marketing needs. The platform with its stories, posts, reels, videos, and IGTV content enables influencers and brands to engage and connect with their target audience, and create a strong online presence through a large following.
Influencer marketing on Instagram is especially advantageous for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) brands as they can directly reach a higher number of consumers through the platform. Small businesses, too, can utilize Instagram to collaborate with micro-influencers with a significant native following at affordable prices.
In 2021, businesses spent over USD 1 billion on influencer marketing via Instagram, and various reports show that 69% of marketers plan to spend their 2022 influencer marketing budget on the platform.
The popular micro-blogging site, Twitter, is one of the best choices for influencer marketing as it allows businesses to identify and engage with their target audience. With over 180 million active users, Twitter is the best platform for Europe, Southeast Asia, and USA-based businesses to generate sales and leads through their influencer marketing campaigns.
Twitter is a great platform for Business-to-Business (B2B) companies to invest in influencer marketing, as many B2B influencers on Twitter are industry experts who can help them to enhance their reach and build a relationship of trust with their target audience.
One of the most popular emerging social media platforms, TikTok allows businesses to collaborate with a wide variety of influencers to promote their brand and enhance visibility. Influencer marketing via TikTok is organic in nature and focused on creating an authentic bond with consumers.
With its in-feed ads, videos, TopView ads, brand takeover ads, and branded effects, TikTok influencers can generate significant engagement for brands over a short period, making it easier to gain popularity. Features like TikTok advertising enable brands to track the performance of the influencer marketing campaign hassle-free.
With over 2.895 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the third most popular social media platform for influencer marketing, as it provides a higher reach than any other social media platform. With features like comment, like, share, and react, Facebook provides even more visibility than the audience of the influencers.
With stories, videos, and posts, Facebook influencer marketing not only helps in acquiring new customers but also keeps existing customers hooked. As Facebook influencer marketing drives traffic directly to the websites of businesses, it is a great choice for both B2B and B2C enterprises.
A 2016 survey revealed that 32% of influencers themselves preferred Facebook over other social networking platforms. Since then, Facebook has experienced a continuous rise in popularity, with over 68% of marketers planning to include it in their influencer marketing strategy.
The future of influencer marketing – A story of constant growth
For a lot of brands globally, influencers marketing strategies have become a key aspect. Relevant and authentic influencer collaboration can build brand awareness and drive up sales. Some of the reasons why influencer marketing will experience continued growth are as follows:
- With the continuous growth of social media platforms, the number of influencers will also grow. With more people curating highly specific content, the chances for brands to find the perfect voice to connect with their target audience will also increase. Currently, there are 3.2 million- 37.8 million influencers globally on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
- With a growing number of influencers, the variety of product-specific content is also increasing, enabling brands to attract an audience to their niche products more effectively. Content creation and consumption are constantly evolving, with short-form videos being proven especially effective for influencer marketing recently. 67% of marketers believe that content marketing has helped them in generating leads.
- As the number of influencers rises, influencer marketing agencies have emerged as efficient mediators between marketers and influencers. Equipped with the right tools and experience, they facilitate the collaboration of brands with suitable influencers and track the progress as well, driving up sales and lead generation indirectly. In 2021, influencer marketing-related agencies grew by 26%.
The benefits of influencer marketing strategies
- Enhanced brand awareness
If executed optimally, it can integrate a refined style and expression into brand campaigns. Well-targeted influencer programs can help the audience skim through a barrage of advertisements and focus on the products or services of a particular brand, increasing visibility, and brand awareness.
Read more: Four ways to measure brand awareness
- Enhanced trust and credibility
In today’s review-driven world, most consumers rely on the suggestions of their favorite influencers, as they are considered to be experts in their specific niches. Positive reviews by influencers make marketing campaigns come across as more personal and authentic, increasing consumer acceptance.
With the rising cost of paid marketing, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to run elaborate marketing campaigns and pay for airtime on mediums like televisions for advertising. Influencer programs are a cheaper, yet effective alternative, especially for small businesses as the fees of influencers depend on their number of followers, and specialty. Performance-based fees of influencers allow brands to generate higher returns and sales at lower costs.
- Higher Return on Investment (ROI) than traditional advertising channels
A recent study conducted by Twitter and Annalect revealed that over 40% of consumers are motivated to make an online purchase after watching an influencer use the product. The ROI for influencer marketing stands at 11x higher than banner ad marketing, which makes it beneficial for businesses.
- High lead conversion rates
The endorsement of products by influencers increases their credibility in the eyes of consumers. Marketers think that influencer marketing attracts more relevant customers, as social media users are usually more affluent and generous with recommendations. A successful influencer marketing campaign has a conversion rate of 3% and higher, which is considered high by industry standards.
The Netscribes advantage
Netscribes enables brands to generate high returns from influencer marketing using cutting-edge social media monitoring and analytics. Netscribes is the trusted digital partner of many leading brands, who rely on our expertise in social media analytics to find and collaborate with suitable influencers, gauge ROI and engagement, and develop a deeper understanding of their consumers.
Contact us to find out how you can maximize the impact of your influencer marketing by leveraging cutting-edge analytics.