Digital and social media networks are thriving – especially those focused on building authentic and genuine connections. Here’s how to win as a business with influencer marketing today.
Influencer marketing has seen an explosion of growth as social media platforms continue to grow. More than ever before, content creators are able to speak directly to a target audience about a brand, product, or service. So much so that brands are duking it out for the top spot on a social media influencer’s feed.
And yet, things are rapidly changing in the social media influencer landscape as well. Gone are the days when power was held by a small group of influencers in a single space. Today, influencers with communities of all sizes are able to authentically connect a company’s brand, message, and products with their audience.
As customers have begun to rely more on the internet to meet their shopping needs (especially during the pandemic), traditional marketing methods are becoming less effective. If you haven’t considered influencer marketing, or are looking to improve your current digital marketing strategy, 2022 is the year to do it!
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses real people (content creators) to endorse products. These influencers may include product mentions, information, and full reviews or opinions on products that are provided to them. Influencers are viewed as “experts'' in their niche or community about specific subjects. Because of this perceived expertise, social media influencers are persuasive to their peers when discussing products or brands.
Today, most influencers charge a price to post ads or sponsored content on their pages in addition to requesting free products. Influencers with various community sizes of followings may charge vastly different rates depending on the project.
Influencer marketing facts and stats
2022 has seen some shifts in the overall landscape of influencer marketing. Here are some trending influencer marketing stats as of March 2022.
- Despite a 20% reported decrease of overall advertising spend, influencers saw a 46% increase recently. This is a huge indicator that the influencer industry is trending, providing real-time results, and becoming a keen interest to many brands. Smaller influencers (like micro influencers) stand to benefit from this boost as they’re able to reach for a piece of the pie along with the mega-scale influencers as well.
- Influencer marketing is projected to reach $4.6 billion total spend in the US alone.
- About 79% of marketers state that Instagram is an integral part of their marketing campaigns, including influencer campaigns.
Why Influencers Make an Impact on your Brand
Influencers have a number of ways to impact your brand’s image and bottom line. Here are some of the reasons that companies are working with social media influencers.
- The ability to target specific, niche, and optimized audience segments through influencer representation.
- Influencer campaigns have a more authentic tone and can be better suited for making authentic connections with potential customers versus regular paid digital advertising.
- Influencers have already created a sense of trust and loyalty with their community which means that your brand can utilize that to its advantage.
- Content creators produce trendy and relevant content that your own company may not be capable of producing.
- An influencer’s following is usually more “real” than a segmented audience would be for a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign because content creators interact regularly with their audience.
- Influencers can advertise your product in multiple ways and on multiple different channels to maximize the number of potential touchpoints for your brand to the consumer.
Influencer Marketing Trends in 2022 and Beyond
New influencer marketing trends are cropping up all over the current social media landscape. As technology and algorithms evolve on social media, so too does the strategy around influencer marketing. Here are some of the hottest potential trends that are being forecasted by industry experts.
- TikTok’s Rise of Nano and Micro Influencers – TikTok’s algorithm is one that’s quickly becoming unique amidst the social media giants. With 3 billion total downloads of the app, TikTok is here to stay (and so is their unique platform design). As a network, TikTok allows anyone to be visible and reach large audiences. This style of algorithm makes it much easier for any user, regardless of following size, to go viral. The TikTok algorithm also prioritizes content in an expert way to specific audiences based on their interests. This has led to various corners of TikTok that some users see all of the time and others never come across during their time spent on the app. The uniqueness of the TikTok content feed has posed a challenge (and opportunity) to content creators and brands. It means that micro influencers and/or nano influencers stand a chance against the mega influencers because their branded content is just as relevant to potential audiences. Those who produce engaging, authentic, and unique sponsored content have the best chance to win in this landscape.
- Live Shopping Experiences – Remember your parents watching “The Shopping Channel” as a kid? Well, this kind of facilitated shopping experience is back… and it’s going digital with the help of social media platforms. This new influencer trend is focused on live videos that mix a demonstration of products or services with an entertainment aspect. It’s like shopping with a friend – but, through a screen.
- New Influencer Tools and Software – Social networks are realizing the value and impact that influencers and content creators have on their bottom line. As a result, social media networks are continuing to innovate in new ways to make it easier for these content creators to make effective content for brands and companies. This includes tools such as Instagram or Facebook shops, affiliation programs, and marketplaces or other integrated business opportunities for content creators.
- The Professionalization of Influencers – With a mature influencer market becoming slightly more saturated, content creators who work on a professional brand and image are going to stand out. With new regulations on the horizon, brands and companies understand that working with an influencer who plays by the rules and is a true professional can make the project less susceptible to liability. Even micro influencers and nano influencers must maintain a professional image and abide by regulations on the platform that they’re building a following on. Some influencers are also being managed by talent agencies or representatives who work to acquire the best deal possible for their content creators.
- Regulation in the Wild West of Influencing – Regulations are on the horizon across North America (and Europe). Major changes in advertising laws on social media have affected the ways in which products and brands can communicate through influencers. One of the most notable changes is the fact that influencers must make it clear that they have been paid or sponsored to endorse a specific product. Social media platforms have also included warnings or transparency features to make it easier for influencers to standardize this kind of transparency with their audience. Again, this is more about being honest and truthful with an audience and helps to eliminate deceptive advertising tactics across social media platforms.
Want to learn more about social media influencers?
The best way to launch successful, efficient, and legal social media influencer campaigns is to utilize an agency that specializes in it. At Brand Vision, our team brings a professional perspective to social media content creation and manages digital marketing strategy end-to-end on behalf of our clients. Working with the right influencers is just as much about branding and strategy as it is about creating an effective message and campaign.
If you want to learn more about how to maximize social media influencers as a digital marketing strategy – reach out to our team anytime!
Want to find out how Brand Vision can elevate your company? Request a free consultation today to ensure marketing and branding success.