It’s no secret that word of mouth is the best form of marketing. The reason why it’s so effective is because of the trust factor. Consumers are more likely to buy something if it’s been recommended by someone they like, know, and trust. Chances are, you’ve purchased a product at least once because a friend or family member recommended it to you. Well, your customers have likely done the same thing.
Social media marketing is a relatively new concept, only having existed as long as social media platforms have leveraged their space for paid advertising. The newest form of social media marketing is Influencer Marketing. Influencer Marketing, in a nutshell, is monetized word-of-mouth marketing.
There have been debates over the last half decade as to whether or not influencer marketing is here to stay, and in the last year, a conclusion has been reached: it is. In fact, brands are projected to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing in 2022 alone.
Influencers and eCommerce
The rise of influencer marketing has impacted eCommerce more than any other form of shopping. As influencing has grown, so have the ways in which influencers direct their followers to products and services.
Commissionable shopping links are a mainstay. Now, consumers can shop directly from their favorite brands on Instagram, with influencers only having to tag the products they’re promoting. TikTok has also recently expanded its partnership with Shopify to make it easier for brands to use their Ads Manager.
One of the most popular ways to utilize influencer marketing is through direct partnerships with influencers themselves. That could mean collaborating on a limited edition collection, sponsoring a post or series of posts, or sending specific products that align with an influencer’s style of content.
Nano, Micro, and Mega Influencers
While all influencers bridge that gap between their communities and the brands they partner with, not all influencers are valued the same. It used to be that the more followers or subscribers an influencer had, the more income they could make, but that’s no longer the case. Now it actually pays to have fewer followers. Because of this, influencers are broken down into three categories: nano, micro, and mega.
Nano influencers have 1,000-4,999 followers and micro-influencers have 5,000-19,000 followers. While the term “mega” influencer usually refers to influencers with a following of 1,000,000+, it’s safe to say that it includes those with 20,000+ followers.
Nano and micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than their mega counterparts, which makes them more attractive to brands utilizing influencer marketing. For instance, marketing spending on nano and micro-influencers is expected to increase by 220.5%, while marketing spending on mega influencers will only grow by 8%. Nano and micro influencing has also shown to be more effective among Instagram and TikTok influencers.
Influencers and brands alike utilize all social media platforms for community growth and brand awareness, but some platforms outperform others, and some are steadily growing in popularity. Instagram and TikTok are in the top six in terms of app downloads and usage overall and are also first and third, respectively, when it comes to marketing dollars spent on influencers.
Marketers will likely spend around $2.23 billion on Instagram influencers, as opposed to $774.8 million on TikTok influencers. That being said, don’t count TikTok out. TikTok’s growth in popularity and influencer marketing spend has it set to overtake YouTube by 2024.
While YouTube holds the #2 spot, in terms of marketing dollars spent there, other platforms are increasing their investment in influencers. Amazon has had an influencer program for a few years and recently hosted a group of influencers at a Mexican resort for three days.
The newest platform to see a rise in influencing is LinkedIn, the social networking platform for professionals. LinkedIn influencers engage in what’s called business-to-business influencing. Enterprise companies are now partnering with B2B influencers to sell to other companies. While B2B influencing makes up a small percentage of influencer marketing spending overall, it’s just further proof that influencer marketing is here to stay.
Should Your Brand Partner With Influencers?
In short, if you have a product or service that’s marketable on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube and you’re looking to reach a younger audience (40 and under), it’s worth looking into. Influencer marketing may feel like uncharted territory, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re considering influencer marketing but aren’t sure where to begin, the team at Blue Wheel would be happy to help!
Simply fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch to discuss your influencer goals.