Across all markets, influencer marketing is living its best years in terms of growth. Throwback to 7 to 8 years ago, influencer marketing was perceived as a luxurious and unnecessary line that brands weren’t willing to invest in. Fast forward to today, the industry is expected to surpass $16bn in 2022 and is an integral part of any brand’s marketing strategy.
The increase in brands’ reliance on social channels, the rise of TikTok, innovations in measurement technologies and creator platforms, and more people using ad blocking tools, all fueled the industry’s immense growth to become what it is today. And we are just getting started.
Experts are bullish on the industry’s growth, confident that we will witness more money poured in, and maybe eating up from other marketing activities’ budgets too.
Here are some predictions on what’s next:
The current digital landscape is a very suitable medium for the industry’s growth, driven by the increasing reliance on social channels, let alone TikTok, and the booming creator economy. Now, consumers are more influencer-friendly as more than 50% of them depend on influencer recommendations to make a purchase.
Moreover, Ad blocking tools are giving brands a hard time getting their voice out. Ad blocking is now a default in many browsers, and millions of users worldwide use various tools to block Ads. Alternatively, brands resort to influencers to navigate such blockers and get noticed by customers.
The sector is attracting a lot of attention, and investors are placing high bets on it. Technology is rapidly evolving to help brands choose influencers who fit their brand values and measure their results and figures as well. Influencer marketing platform LTK is now valued at $2bn after its latest round, while GRIN is valued at around $910m.
A lot of capital is being poured into the influencer marketing industry, and that’s a big testament.
Influencer campaigns used to be more of “awareness” only and not deeper into the funnel, but today, influencers forced their place across the marketing funnel all down to conversions. Sales are now as important as awareness when running influencer campaigns, and more than 70% of brands track sales from them.
Over time, products measuring influencers’ ROI will get better and become readily available for brands, helping them reliably assess their influencer campaign efforts with a more holistic approach.
Micro-influencers are typically those with a follower count of 10–100K, while nano-influencers are those with 1–10K followers. You might wonder why a brand would be interested to team up with a creator with less than 10 or 100K followers, but in fact, the market share of micro-influencers is more than 90% to date.
Micro- & nano-influencer campaigns guarantee higher engagement rates, access to niche communities, improved trustworthiness, genuine content, and higher ROI in most cases.
With the recession and budget cuts, these types of campaigns are very attractive to brands, moreover, brands can partner with multiple influencers at a time to minimize risk.
Influencers will look out for more niche content to stand out. For instance, a lot of content started to branch out from beauty influencers already. You might find someone who only talks about a particular skin type and what products to use, or someone who’s only focusing on organic products. For food, some only talk about vegan or gluten-free recipes.
And it goes on…
We have all seen multiple campaigns on LinkedIn that are driven by employees for employer branding and to attract talent. Some companies took it to the next level where employees are posting about their companies’ products and how they fit into their lives, and people are loving it. The key here is authenticity: people always favor user-generated stuff as it’s more genuine.
A very cool case is Macy’s. The company offers incentives to employees who post about the company’s products if it leads to sales, and honestly, it’s a great model and a win-win situation for employees and the company for sure.
Influencers have their audience for sure, but solely relying on organic reach to get your message across is no good. Leveraging targeted paid Ads along with influencer content will be key to beating algorithms and ensuring your campaign’s success.
With the industry growing full-throttle, all brands will jump in, and looking at influencers as unnecessary extravagance will be a low-key digital suicide