Marketing on social media has been in constant evolution since it began. Gone are the days of 30 to 60-second commercials, featuring celebrity endorsements or cheesy taglines. Today’s audience spends about three hours a day on social media, so it’s not a surprise that it has become essential for brands to begin marketing their services and products across digital platforms. In recent years, online influencers have grown to become a massive marketing tool for brands, but how exactly can influencer marketing help you build a trusted brand on social media? Let’s take a look at what exactly influencer marketing is and how it can help you!
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing was originally developed out of celebrity endorsements and blog adverts and has consistently adapted for different platforms and ever-changing trends. The type of influencers that are good for your business:
- Have an Established Following
- Are considered an Expert in Their “Niche”
- Serve as “Social Proof” to Customers
There has been a major pull for authenticity in social media marketing in 2021 and 2022. In previous years, platforms like Instagram promoted perfectly cultivated and edited shots; now authenticity is a major driver for a successful post. Consumers like feeling as if a friend is recommending a product! The “social proof” the influencers have makes their followers feel like they can trust their opinions. Additionally, we have seen an upward trend in employee-driven content. For similar reasons as to why they are more likely to purchase a product promoted by an influencer they follow, audiences like to “see the sausage get made.” It helps them feel secure in supporting your brand (it’s also a really fun way to get everyone at the office involved).
The Value Influencers Offer to Your Brand
Influencer Generated Content performs better than branded posts. In 2018, MediaKix found:
- 89% of brands say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than traditional marketing.
- It drives ROI at an 11x higher rate.
- 90% of brands indicated that IGC is more effective than traditional marketing.
Consumers prefer influencers that are relatable and everyday people. There is a desire from consumers for platforms like Instagram to appear more like a feed of friends and family they follow rather than brand pages. There has also been a transition from single post deals between the brand and influencer to more long-term partnerships. It’s hard to generate engagement within a single sponsored post, as the consumer may see the post and never return to it. However, ongoing partnerships between an influencer and a brand can help the campaign seem more authentic, and by extension generate more engagement. In addition, consumers are more likely to remember or purchase from a brand if the influencer seems to actually like and use the product.
Influencer Marketing Trends for 2022
Video is The Thing
We have previously discussed the exciting new trends in social media, specifically the growth of short-form video content. There is a continued move from text and image to audio and video content, and content with soundless optimization also receives an increase in views. Adding Closed Captions is also a helpful way to make content more accessible to your audience. Additionally, what platforms are considered “good” for marketing is expanding. Creators on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and podcasts are becoming more and more influential! Platforms that used to be still image and text dominant, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are trying to adapt their algorithms and platforms to feature SFV.
Diversity and Inclusion in Branding Campaigns
We’ve highlighted the importance of authenticity in influencer marketing, however, there has been another big shift in what influencers and audiences are looking for in brands: an emphasis on diversity and equal representation. Digital marketing agencies like Shade and Black Girl Digital work to be the solution for people of color connecting them with brands. This shift towards diversity and inclusion is also important to your audience! Consumers want to be confident in supporting your brand, and inclusion and diversity in your influencer marketing is something that helps build that trust!
Utilizing Niche Markets
Social media communities are becoming more and more specific to audiences’ interests with tags like #booktok or #designtok. Each of these tags has a ton of subsections as well, meaning influencers can focus on very specific types of content. Additionally, Influencers come in varying degrees from nano-influencers with only a few 1000 followers to celebrity influencers with millions. Unsurprisingly, considering the desire for authenticity and inclusion, micro-influencers with fewer than 25,000 followers have the highest engagement rate at 7%. Additionally, since their content is so specific, they have a strong relationship with their followers. By focusing on nano and micro-influencers, marketing teams will be able to stretch their influencer budget while still working with influencers that are deeply connected with their audiences.
Influencer marketing is projected to grow to a whopping 16.4 billion dollar industry and has proven itself to be a formidable form of advertisement. We know staying on top of the various trends across social media platforms can be tough! We hope this breakdown on the value of influencer marketing and trends helps you build a road map for your brand. For more information on how we can help you build your social media presence, contact us!