The social media influencer is everywhere these days; all you have to do is check your YouTube channel, Instagram stories, or Facebook or Twitter page, and there they will be, looking back at you, eager to unbox some shiny new product.
They have become such an essential component of marketing in the current day that it is anticipated that worldwide spending on influencer marketing will reach between $5 and $10 billion.
On the other hand, it’s possible that you’ve also heard the less positive details. Influencers who approach businesses in the hope of receiving free goods and services in exchange for positive posts on social media are being called out by those businesses and by their customers. The audacity of some social media stars to ask for freebies is driving owners of local businesses to the point that some of those owners are considering outlawing the practise entirely. There is a lot of scepticism going around regarding inflated following counts; how real are those follower stats, exactly?
In any case, publicity, whether positive or negative, is still publicity, and it would appear that influencers are here to stay. Let’s take a look at the positive, the negative, and the emerging trends in the field of marketing through the use of influencers.
Influencers on social media wouldn’t be relevant today if they weren’t able to attract customers and generate excitement about the products and services they endorse. Nonetheless, 78% of marketers choose to use them as a marketing tool, and as a result, influencer marketing has provided 11 times the return on investment (ROI) of traditional marketing techniques. In addition, 81% of marketers that worked with social media influencers found the collaborations to be productive, which indicates that these collaborations are not likely to be discontinued in the near future.
Example: 60% of Instagram’s 1 billion users learned about a new product or service through an influencer’s post, and people are five times more likely to buy when they see sponsored material from influencers on the timeline.
The most important component that businesses feel contributes to the success of influencer marketing is consumers’ faith in social media influencers whom they already like and follow. The fact that customers hear these influencers talk about their daily routines, relationships, dogs, and the food they ate for breakfast, lunch, and supper gives the impression that they are close personal friends. They will sometimes cram in some new recommendations for items or services that they stand by. This is particularly true with YouTube influencers; compared to fans of other online superstars, YouTubers’ followers have seven times the amount of emotional attachment to their favourite YouTubers. Watching them on TV practically daily in realistic settings is a major contributor.
It’s not all about the numbers, and larger isn’t always better all the time. It has been observed that once an influencer has a reach of more than 10,000, there is often a decline in the amount of user interaction they receive. According to several estimates, the optimal number of customers for marketing purposes is somewhere in the range of 1,000 to 10,000.
42% of companies also worry a lot about the percentage of an influencer’s follower count that is made up of false accounts produced or acquired by the influencers themselves when making decisions about who influencers to work with. Marketers can think twice about choosing an influencer for their company because of how difficult it is to discern which influencers have a genuine audience and which have largely bot followers.
In the meanwhile, there are also increasingly high expectations placed on companies that have a significant presence online, even though this trend is not entirely driven by influencers. 78% of customers who complain to a firm via social media expect a response within an hour, but unfortunately, just 10% of messages posted to brands’ social media accounts get a response.
Those who identify as part of Generation X are also 160% more likely to stop following a brand’s social media account as a result of an abusive tweet. Thus, account administrators and social media influencers need to exercise caution about the content that is made public. Something that older people might find amusing and unique could be a deal breaker for younger people. Millennials are notorious for having a unique sense of humour.
The Current Favourite
We now have a better understanding of how successful influencer marketing can be. Where would you say it is most desirable to have influence at the moment?
Instagram is presently the most popular medium for influencer marketing, with seven out of ten hashtags used being for businesses and ninety-three percent of influencers choosing to use Instagram as their primary social media channel. The photo and video-sharing application has reached over 1 billion users, and it is anticipated that this number will continue to increase at an exponential rate of 50% per year! It’s easy to see why it’s in first place.
YouTube comes in at number two on this list. Vloggers who are influential on YouTube may potentially reach as high to 1.5 billion users per month. Despite having 2.27 billion members, Facebook is only ranked third in popularity. Several scandals are to blame for the diminishing power of this group. Twitter comes in at number four with 326 million monthly active users.
For the time being, though, these four social media platforms remain the primary battlefields for wannabe influencers and advertising companies trying to broaden their reach. Even if we are unable to make an accurate forecast about the path that influencer marketing will take in the years to come, one thing is certain: this fruitful tactic will not be disappearing in the near future.