Every time a new marketing technique gets traction, there will always be cynics who claim that the latest “craze” is a “bubble”. So it should be no surprise that some have attempted to query the longevity of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is no longer the “new wonder” and it’s certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. But why?
Because it works! In fact, reports suggest marketers spent over $1 billion on influencer marketing globally in 2017. In 2018, over $1.6 billion went into sponsored posts on Instagram alone. We firmly believe that influencer marketing is not going anywhere in the near future. As it has matured and became even more mainstream, industry professionals and social media platforms have adapted to meet the challenges it has faced.
Here are 9 reasons why influencer marketing is going nowhere:
1. Advertisers Find Influencer Marketing More Effective
Influencer marketing is still as popular as it ever has been. In fact, it’s growing year-on-year.
According to a study conducted by the Influencer Marketing Hub, brands in 2018 saw a return of $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. In a previous study, they also found that 28% of the marketing managers surveyed considered influencer marketing to be the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method. This was nearly double the next highest option (organic search).
A 2018 survey by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that 75 percent of their national advertising companies currently employ influencer marketing and 43 percent plan to increase their spending on it in the next 12 months. Of those respondents not presently using influencer marketing, 27 percent indicated they plan to do so in the next 12 months.
2. Influencer Fraud is Very Avoidable
Fake followers and fake engagements have been a concern for people in the influencer marketing industry since it hit the mainstream in 2018. Despite this, influencer fraud has been present for several years – it has also been avoidable for several years. There are countless ways to ensure the influencers that brands are using are in fact credible, trustworthy and going to be effective.
At our influencer agency, PMYB, we have a disruptive, data-driven 5 stage Chromo-Analysis influencer selection process to ensure the most relevant and highest-performing influencers are used every time. The process helps protect companies from influencer fraud and gives them the confidence that is needed to up-scale their influencer activity.
3. Increased Social App Video Consumption
Vidmob’s 2018 State of Social Video Report (UK results) makes it clear why you can’t ignore social video when targeting Millennials or Generation Z. While the report does not explicitly focus on influencer marketing per se, influencer video content has been pivotal to the lives of millions of young people over the last few years.
A significant percentage of a young person’s time is spent watching video – 40% of Gen Z and 33% of Millennials prefer videos to articles or photos. Combined, both generations spend 57% of their video time per day on social apps. Few watch paid advertising on traditional television anymore. They even watch social video 2.5 times as much as they watch streamed video (on services such as Netflix). We looked at this in more detail in the following post, ‘Is Traditional Television Advertising Dying in 2018?’.
Things are unlikely to change in a hurry. 52% of Generation Z and Millennials spent more time on social media in 2018 than they did in 2017.
Brands do have to be careful when sharing repetitive ads, however. Generation Z dislikes overly repetitive ads (46% say it annoys them; 29% say they tune out). Millennials either tune out or dislike brands who run the same ads repeatedly.
For this reason, many brands prefer to work with influencers. They can create and share promotional video material without the look, feel, and adverse reaction of ads.
4. “Stories” Are Now Exceptionally Popular on Social Networks
Vidmob’s 2018 State of Social Video Report (UK results) also showed the importance of the “story” feature in many social apps. Many influencers have mastered the “story”, and use it regularly.
Over 63% of Instagram and Snapchat users watch Stories on both platforms daily. Millennials and Generation Z have notable differences in their stories consumption.
In the case of Millennials: 68% consume Instagram Stories, 49% Snapchat, and 44% Facebook Stories. Generation Z is even more into stories. 75% love Instagram Stories, 70% Snapchat, but only 31% Facebook Stories.
Quality Chromo-Influencers understand the importance of stories. They create narratives that hook their audience for 24 hours, adding enticing videos and images, to keep the interest going.
5. Long-Term Benefits of Long-Term Influencer Relationships
More and more brands are discovering that a secret to successful influencer marketing is to build longer, more authentic relationships with their influencers.
Finding the ideal influencers for your brand can be hard. But once you find influencers who share your company values and whose followers match your target market, it makes sense to build an ongoing relationship with them.
Developing long-term relationships allows brands to build genuine connections with their influencers. This makes it more likely that influencers draft quality in-depth, relevant content for their followers. Likewise, influencers are more heavily associated with your brand which can do wonders for the retention of consumers.
Having long-term influencer relationships also helps with planning and scheduling. Brands often run multiple campaigns at once, and will often be planning a new one while an existing campaign is underway. If you use the same influencers across various campaigns, it very much simplifies the planning process.
6. Measuring the Success of Campaigns is Simple
One of the most significant myths influencer marketing has faced since its inception has been a lack of a clear-cut way to measure your ROI from your campaigns. Indeed, at the end of 2017, 76% of marketers told Linqia that the biggest influencer marketing challenge for 2018 would be determining their campaign ROI.
Influencer marketing has always been very measurable and there are multiple ways in which brands are doing so on an everyday basis. For 3 unique ways to measure the ROI of influencer marketing read this post here.
Ways to measure ROI vary. According to Linqia’s survey, 90% of brands measure success with engagement, 59% clicks, 55% impressions, 54% conversions, 50% reach, 46% product sales, and 29% audience alignment.
7. Instagram, the Most Popular Influencer Platform is Growing Rapidly
With increased mobile speed in recent years, many more people have been sharing their photos and videos online. Instagram has benefited most from this and now exceeds 1 million active daily users.
As Instagram usage soared, there was a parallel increase in brand-sponsored influencer marketing on the platform. Various industry professionals are predicting that brand sponsored post growth will rise to $32.3 million in 2019, more than three times the sponsorship in 2016. They also forecasted that the Instagram influencer market in 2019 to grow to $2.48 billion from $1.07 billion in 2017 and $1.6 billion in 2018.
The volume of Instagram #Ad posts doubled in 2017. While this may partly be due to increased awareness from the FTC and CMA, it was still clear that Instagram was the place to be for influencer marketing. Klear’s data also revealed that sponsored Instagram posts received many “likes,” generating about 1 billion globally in 2017. That averages out to about 682 per post.
A recent study emphasises the importance of Instagram for influencer marketing even further. They found that an incredible 93% of all influencer campaigns now use Instagram, which is about double of those that use Facebook and YouTube.
Further emphasising the importance of stories to influencer marketing, the use of Instagram Stories in influencer campaigns grew 60% in the last quarter (late 2018). This follows a 198% increase in Instagram Stories in 2017.
8. Influencer Marketing is Turning Brands into Hot Topics
In the past, brands would have to fork out millions just to make their brand the hot topic of discussion. Now one campaign with high-quality Chromo-Influencers can turn any brand into the hot topic of today. For example, Marvin Morgan, the owner of the startup, Fresh Ego Kid has managed to bring his brand to the forefront simply through utilising high profile people on social media.
We sat down with him today. He discussed the details of how influencer marketing has propelled his brand. We will be releasing this video out soon so stay tuned to PMYB.co.uk for the interview.
9. Influencer Marketing Removes Limits
Often in traditional television advertising, and even in traditional digital advertising, companies are held back by limits. Influencer marketing, however, removes these limits. Brands can enjoy the potential of being shared by millions. On the other hand, budgets often hold back people when it comes to most forms of marketing.
Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay.
Influencer marketing may have suffered from a few teething problems during its journey to becoming the mainstream marketing activity it now is. However, industry professionals are meeting these problems head-on, coming up with manageable solutions. Influencer marketing is not going anywhere in the near future, and we expect it to continue to thrive.
One of the keys to influencer success is using genuine, authentic influencers. They produce the content that resonates with their fans, whilst providing successful results for brands. They enjoy life, inspire others, and work with brands as a profession. Top influencers and the leading influencer marketing agencies that manage them are the latest group of marketing experts delivering strong and tangible results for brands across the globe.