Influencer Marketing explained
Influencer marketing: This article explains the concept of influencer marketing in a practical way. This article contains a general definition of influencer marketing, different strategie, practical examples and the steps to aply it. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful marketing tool. Enjoy reading!
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing (IM) is a form of marketing that involves the use of key public figures to promote a brand or product. These so-called opinion leaders often have an extensive network of followers and fans that give companies access to an enormous reach.
More than half of the world’s population will use social networks by 2022. The majority of this is therefore also connected to influencers. With influencer marketing, companies can reach consumers that they otherwise would not be able to reach. A large proportion of internet users use an adblocker, but do take advice from influential public figures.
Return on Investment influencer marketing
A large survey by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions among marketers shows that the Return on Investment (ROI) is higher with influencer marketing than with traditional marketing techniques.
The ROI is one of the most important metrics when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of an investment. IM yielded $285 per 1000 impressions, according to the aforementioned study. That’s 11 times more than alternative marketing channels.
In addition, the use of influencers in marketing ensures that the ROI improves over time. This is because no additional investment is required from the customer, but the influencer’s content remains online and is viewed more and more.
In short, influencer marketing is crucial in this era and has become an indispensable part of the social media landscape. It helps build consumer confidence and delivers impressive results.
Is influencer marketing better than other marketing channels?
Influencer marketing is not always better than other marketing methods, but it does tackle several disadvantages associated with the use of, for example, content marketing.
Is influencer marketing better than content marketing?
Content Marketing is a fairly expensive marketing technique that is used to create compelling content that offers value to consumers. Read more about content marketing in this article.
Sometimes this content is not noticed online, or is not picked up by the various social media algorithms. As a result, the content often does not get the attention it deserves. Sometimes this is due to the strategy, but sometimes it is just bad luck.
Influencers often have a loyal and devout following. As a result, a relatively large number of people see the messages and content that they share. A collaboration with influencers is therefore almost always effective when it comes to displayed impressions.
Is influencer marketing better than traditional advertising?
Paid advertising is a proven method in the world of marketing to generate revenue. The use of adblockers has already been mentioned before, which reduces their effectiveness. The use of ad blockers prevents consumers from seeing the advertisements online.
Options for a premium subscription to services such as Youtube and Spotify are also increasingly being chosen. The advantage for consumers is that they no longer see and hear advertisements. This is obviously a disadvantage for advertisers.
By using influencer marketing, a company can be sure that the promotions are seen by the potential consumer.
Benefits of influencer marketing
Above are already some advantages of influencer marketing compared to other marketing methods. The use of influencer marketing in itself also has some very attractive advantages.
Boosting brand awareness
Influencer marketing works well for a reason. It is very effective in increasing brand awareness.
Infuencers are basically opinion leaders who share their stories. They often mention products and services that they say they use themselves and that they recommend that others do the same.
They wrap this up in a talk in which the mission and values of a certain brand are propagated. A common phrase is that word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is. The effectiveness of influencer marketing when it comes to ROI proves this.
Influencer marketing drives engagement
The ROI is not the only advantage of this form of marketing. Working with the right opinion leader also increases awareness about a brand or product among consumers.
A successful influencer marketing strategy will ensure that more people become aware of the existence of a brand.
Some of these people will also visit a brand’s webpage, sign up for a newsletter, or follow a brand on social media. All these forms of engagement are good for marketing statistics.
Improved content strategy
Influencer marketing offers companies a good opportunity to enrich their content. The content shared by the influencers can be re-shared on the channels of a company or brand. Research shows that more than a quarter of brands do this. For example, the contracts drawn up with opinion leaders may also stipulate that companies may share the content on other channels.
Traditional forms of marketing require a recurring investment, such as advertising on social media and in search engines (SEADigi).
A certain amount of money is paid per hour or day that the advertisement is visible. When the budget is exhausted, the advertisements disappear and are no longer seen by potential consumers.
This is not the case with influencer marketing. The moment the opinion leader shares a post on social media promoting a product or service, most people see this immediately in the hours after the post is shared.
But the post will remain online, which means that in the days and weeks that follow, the post will also be seen by people who visit this influencer’s profile.
The impressive growth of influencer marketing
The Influencer Marketing Hub is one of the most important sources of information when it comes to influencer marketing statistics. Research by this organization shows that the use of opinion leaders for marketing purposes has skyrocketed in recent years.
Since 2016, the number of searches on Google for the term influencer marketing has increased by almost 500%. It is clearly a popular topic that many parties are interested in.
Search growth is now slowing slightly, proving that influencer marketing has become completely mainstream.
Research by the same organization shows that influencer marketing revenue in 2021 has grown to nearly $14 billion. The coronavirus, among others, contributed to this. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In 2016, a total of ‘only’ 1.6 billion dollars was involved in this form of marketing.
Increase in platforms and agencies
As mentioned, influencer marketing has become mainstream and this is also apparent from the number of platforms that are springing up for this purpose. The purpose of these platforms is to make the search and selection process for influencers and companies as easy as possible. Influencers can sign up to these types of platforms, after which they can be picked by companies to promote products and services.
Another statistic that shows that this form of marketing is now mainstream is that 75% of respondents to a survey of marketers say they have a budget for influencer marketing in 2021. In 2017, this percentage was still 37%.
Influencer Marketing on Instagram
Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels out there. The service has grown in popularity in recent years. In 2021, more than 95 million photos and videos were posted. Daily! In addition, the like button was pressed more than 4 billion times a day.
In the year after Instagram was bought by Facebook, more than 1 billion active users signed up on the platform. One of the most popular features of the service is story sharing. 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
The average number of followers a so-called celebrity influencer has on Instagram depends on the niche and popularity of the person. Music stars generally have fewer followers than models and beauty accounts, but there are exceptions.
Footballer Christiano Ronaldo currently tops the list of most followed Instagram accounts. Over 440 million individuals follow this account, followed by 336 million followers for television personality and model Kylie Jenner. The top 10 also includes Lionel Messi (326 million), Selena Gomez (318 million), actor Dwayne Johnson (314 million), Ariana Grande (310 million), Kim Kardashian (310 million), Beyoncé (255 million) and Khloé Kardashian (241 million).
The share of Instagram in the complete influencer marketing pie is large. 55% of marketers say they use Instagram for marketing, followed by Youtube, TikTok, TV ads and Twitch.
Strategy for an influencer marketing campaign
Below is a simplified step-by-step plan for setting up an influencer marketing strategy for smaller and new businesses. Developing a strategy requires deliberate targeting and careful planning. Success is not achieved by sending influencers products for free and leaving it at that.
Step 1: do research
Research is the first step, as with any strategy formulation. First, choose a platform on which you want to become active. It is possible to choose multiple platforms, such as Instagram and Youtube, but a beginner will benefit more from focusing on 1 platform. You can always expand.
Social listening helps you determine where people talk most about the products or services in your industry. Beauty and fashion are mainly concentrated on Instagram, where video games are mainly found on Twitch and Youtube.
Step 2: set a budget
Many of the influencer marketing agencies clearly set out how much a sponsored post costs per influencer. An influencer with a reach of 500,000 followers obviously costs more than a relatively small influencer with 15,000 followers.
Influence.co published a study in 2017 examining the cost of sponsored posts. The average price was nearly $300 per post. For small influencers, this was around $80, and for influencers with a reach of more than 100,000 followers, it was nearly $800. These prices can vary widely today. Pay attention to this.
Also think carefully about the ROI you expect with this investment.
Step 3: set goals and work on message
The most frequently cited reasons for companies to use opinion leaders for marketing initiatives are to increase brand awareness and accelerate sales. It is also possible that you want to increase the customer base in a certain age category or want to expand it to a new user group.
Different target groups can be addressed with different influencers. Make sure the tone of the message that the influencers share is tailored to the audience.
Step 4: approach influencers
Reaching influencers is done in different ways. Sometimes a platform is used where influencers and companies come together. Micro influencers can also be approached directly, for example through a direct message (DM).
Larger, established influencers often have a link in their profile description that allows companies to sign up for sponsored initiatives.
Step 5: review
Prior to the start of the marketing campaign, identify certain times when you will measure the progress of the initiatives. Not every campaign is successful, but you can learn from most campaigns for the next.
Now it’s your turn
What do you think? Do you recognize the explanation about influencer marketing? Do you recognize this form of marketing on social media? What do you think of the use of influencers for marketing purposes? Are you more likely to buy a product or service when your favorite influencer talks about it? Do you have any tips or comments?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Brown, D., & Hayes, N. (2008). Influencer marketing. Routledge.
- Jahnke, M. (2018). Influencer marketing. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
- Sammis, K., Lincoln, C., & Pomponi, S. (2015). Influencer marketing for dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
- Jin, S. V., Muqaddam, A., & Ryu, E. (2019). Instafamous and social media influencer marketing. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.
- Deges, F. (2018). Quick guide influencer marketing. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
- Taylor, C. R. (2020). The urgent need for more research on influencer marketing. International Journal of Advertising, 39(7), 889-891.
How to cite this article:
Janse, B. (2022). Influencer Marketing. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/marketing/influencer-marketing/
Original publication date: 05/12/2022 | Last update: 05/17/2023
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