Is influencer marketing worth it?
Engaging with influencers and digital creators is still a new form of marketing. But, as the market becomes saturated, is it worth the bang for your buck to continue to use influencers in campaigns?
It might feel like we’ve had influencer marketing in our lives forever. Every time you go on social media, you’re bombarded with #sponsored content. However, as familiar as we are with it, influencer marketing is still a relatively new concept. Is this way of marketing here to stay? Or has it had its day?
Influencer marketing in numbers
Influencer marketing is still paying off for many brands. Businesses who are engaging with it still reap the benefits of creator posts. In 2016, influencer marketing was estimated to be worth $1.7 billion dollars for the brands, it is now estimated at a staggering $13.8 billion.
These numbers might seem astronomical, but with 500 million daily active Instagram users, it remains a huge industry. In fact, 68 percent of consumers say that they come to the platform specifically to engage with influencers.
Brands already actively engaging with influencers to promote their product or business see the value in it. Ninety-one percent of them believe that influencer marketing is effective. A huge result, as the concern for those not yet engaging in it have reservations around over saturation.
Instagram users are reportedly using the platform to discover, research and decide about purchases. Eighty-one percent of users discover new products when scrolling. Eighty-one percent also use the platform to research products and services. Eighty percent use the platform to help in the final decision when it comes to purchasing.
Rise of micro influencers
Although influencer marketing seems to be here to stay, it’s more about who to engage. Influencer marketing was once about getting whoever had the largest platform onboard. More numbers means larger reach, right? Not necessarily. It is now being proven that ‘micro influencers’ can be better for a brand to connect with.
Micro influencers are defined as influencers with 25,000 or less followers. Although they were once seen as not having the reach as those with 100,000+ followers, this has now become a positive. They are a more niche feed. If they are a specific sort of influencer (food, skincare, fashion, etc.) then it can be assumed that their followers are there for more specific content. So, these niche influencers are able to connect directly to an audience who are interested in certain products/lifestyles. This means that brands can narrow down who they’re talking to and create more meaningful connections.
The future of digital creators
Engaging in influencer marketing is still paying off for brands. But, it’s a shift in how it’s done. A concern for those who are engaging with influencers is that they are not able to measure the return on investment (ROI). Eighteen percent say that they struggle to measure ROI. Instagram has begun to work on this for the brands and the creators.
Branded content ads have recently started on the platform. Instead of it being a ‘paid partnership’ with a certain influencer, it is now a ‘sponsored post’ but on the Influencer’s feed. However, that sponsored post is controlled by the brand themselves. They are able to dictate the audience that it goes out to, the way they are for their own content.
The new feature allows more control. It helps brands achieve reach, optimisation and most importantly measure. Being able to know the performance of a campaign is an imperative part of marketers’ role. Instagram has heard the demand, and answered accordingly.
Influencer marketing has often been met with some trepidation by marketers. But, it seems that it is almost definitely here to stay. So, it’s about how to use it, rather than whether you should or not.