The 8 Metrics You Need to Know Before Launching Your Next Social Media Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencer marketing campaigns have become integral for brands, with the industry growing to a $10 billion dollar industry over the past five years alone. But, does influencer marketing work? How much should you dedicate to your influencer marketing budget? Which social media platforms are best for your brand? And will your brand actually see an ROI?
Let’s discuss the most critical statistics you need to know before you invest in an influencer marketing campaign.
First, What is Influencer Marketing?
Before you allocate your ad dollars to influencer campaigns, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of what an influencer actually is, is not, and what influencer campaigns are designed to do. Influencer marketing has definitely become an industry buzzword, but what’s the buzz all about?
What is an Influencer?
Influencer marketing is the modern day version of a celebrity endorsement, but the people hired to endorse a product or service aren’t necessarily celebrities, at least not in the traditional sense (some are, and we’ll get more into that later). Influencers are people with a strong online following, whether it be in the blogging community, YouTube, or other social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Influencers have almost a cult-like following, with their followers looking to them as a lifestyle authority.
There are different ‘sizes’ of influencers, from nano influencers all the way up to bona-fide celebrity influencers. When it comes to influencer marketing, however, it matters less about the actual number of followers an influencer has: it’s more about the engagement rate.
Why Would a Brand Invest in an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Influencers are well known because their content is well known, and their followers trust what they have to say. Influencer marketing is a ramped up, more complex word-of-mouth form of marketing, and every business owner knows: social proof is one of the best ways to grow a brand. This makes influencer marketing one of the most successful marketing campaigns when it comes to return on investment.
What’s the Difference Between a Celebrity and an Influencer?
There are some significant differences between a celebrity and an influencer, although a celebrity can be considered an influencer and an influencer is somewhat of an internet celebrity. Confused? Let’s break it down:
Influencers are content producers, having gained notoriety through the content they’ve posted on social media platforms or other digital outlets. Because they’ve gained the trust of their audience and have become well known across the internet, many of their followers consider influencers ‘celebrity status.’
Celebrities, on the other hand, become popular through other mediums such as movies, TV, or music. Because they have a large, built-in audience of people who consider them role models, they are inherently influencers.
Both influencers and celebrities depend on the know, like, and trust factor to build their own brands and to secure brand deals and influencer marketing partnerships.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Allocate Money From My Marketing Budget to Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing campaigns can create massive brand awareness, boost long term revenue, and result in next-level loyalty for brands, but before dedicating your marketing budgets to influencer marketing, you need to know the facts and statistics behind the influencer marketing industry and how to use these statistics for better campaign management.
The State of Influencer Industries: Influencer Marketing Statistics You Need to Know
#1. 89% of Marketers State that Influencer Marketing is Comparable — Or Even More Successful — Than Other Forms of Marketing
Almost 90% of brands and digital marketing agencies are seeing a better return on investment from their campaigns as compared to other marketing strategies. That’s huge news for businesses of all sizes, especially small to midsize businesses who need to be more intentional with the budgets behind their marketing strategy.
While what is considered ‘successful’ is subjective, when it comes to influencer marketing, most brands are looking at the success of their campaigns from a holistic standpoint:
- Has there been an increase in brand awareness since the influencer content has been published?
- Is the company seeing a boost in interest in the products and services?
- Has the company seen growth on social media platforms for every dollar spent on the campaign?
- Would the company feel confident that launching a new product with influencer marketing would replicate the same results?
- How did the campaign results compare to other aspects of the company’s overall marketing strategy?
Smart brands and marketing agencies understand that influencer marketing is a long term strategy that affects brand awareness, engagement rates, and revenue in the immediate, one year, three years, and ten years down the road. With upwards of 90% of brands agreeing that the results are comparable or better than that of traditional or other digital marketing, those brands are looking towards the future.
#2. Instagram is Currently The Number One Influencer Marketing Platform
With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has become the top influencer marketing platform worldwide. While Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms are still wildly popular, Instagram’s quick and easy way of sharing content has made it the number one platform for influencer marketing campaigns.
With popular features such as Reels, Instagram stories, IGTV, and regular posts, content marketing has been streamlined for both brands and social media influencers.
#3. Snapchat is the Least Preferred Influencer Marketing Platform for Brands and Influencers
It is important to pay attention to the influencer marketing statistics of not only the most popular influencer marketing platforms, but the least popular as well.
While Snapchat is a powerhouse when it comes to sharing short video content, the way Snapchat is designed, it makes it difficult for social media influencers to reach anyone outside of their direct following. Because the platform is more challenging to navigate and sees a smaller return on investment, the influencer marketing industry has largely shied away from Snapchat in favor of platforms that have the potential of a more viral reach, like Instagram posts and Instagram Stories.
It is important to note, however, that the biggest influencers aren’t automatically the best influencers, and quantity doesn’t always yield quality in regard to your specific campaign. For example, micro influencers influencers (influencers with a follower of at least 2k) in very specialized industries may result in a worthwhile ROI on smaller marketing channels such as Snapchat, simply because their followings are so niched down.
It all comes down to your audience demographics, brand objectives, and the specific influencers who are tapped into your target market.
#4. Over 60% of Marketers Agree: It’s Difficult to Source the Best Influencers and Celebrities When Running Influencer Marketing Campaigns
While influencer marketing has seen rapid growth over the last few years, so has the concept of influencers as a whole. With AI, bots, and agencies selling fake likes and comments to artificially boost engagement rate, it can be difficult to vet influencers that will actually generate the best ROI.
What does this mean for companies looking to allocate money from their marketing budgets to influencer campaigns? Simply put, it means that the time and effort to find high quality influencers that produce equally high quality content has increased.
How Do You Find the Right Influencer For Your Campaign?
There are a large number of influencers on social media platforms who represent almost every imaginable industry. Your perfect influencer is very likely out there, waiting to help you increase brand awareness and boost your digital marketing efforts. But, this jump in the number of influencers over the last few years means that it’s harder to sort through the ‘fluff’ and find the influencer who has the right marketing channels and audience for you.
Before you spend your whole budget on influencer marketing, look for the following:
- Quality of interaction: While some people feign their influencer status by buying followers, likes, and even comments, marketers should be on the lookout for the quality of the engagement. This goes far beyond engagement rates: this means looking for real conversations, real comments, and consistent engagement from the same accounts. Influencers with real engagement tend to have followers that seem to follow the influencer’s storyline. Look for whether or not the comments are applicable to the content itself, and look for comments that are more than just a few words or a single emoji.
- Overall reputation: It is important for companies to take their brand safety seriously before investing money in influencer marketing. If the influencer you are thinking of working with is always involved in some sort of scandal, if you see multiple negative comments, or if you find negatively-charged user generated content tagging the influencer, stay away. Influencer marketing can definitely increase brand awareness, but with influencer marketing, the opposite of the old adage is true: NOT all press is good press.
- Quality of the Content: When you choose to spend money on influencer marketing, you’re not just making an investment in a single campaign — you’re investing in the overall reputation of your brand. Be mindful of what kind of content you want associated with your company; if the content posted on an influencer’s page is sloppy, disorganized, or low quality in any way, you are risking the perception of your brand. From micro influencers to nano influencers to mega influencers, choosing the best associations with your brand is key.
#5. Twitch is the Least Likely Platforms on which Companies to Spend Their Influencer Budgets
Influencer marketing is one of the best forms of marketing, but not all influencer content means a good ROI. Because Twitch is so niche in the populations it attracts, unless you are advertising to gamers, it’s probably not where you want to spend your influencer budget.
The non-gaming companies that do invest their influencer marketing budgets on Twitch would do best to work out a cross-platform content marketing plan, using additional influencer platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
#6. Nearly Half of Americans Use Adblock — and Influencer Marketing Gets Around That
According to GlobalWebIndex, 45% of Americans use some sort of ad blocking software. This means that popups and in-app advertising are becoming less relevant and definitely less effective. Because influencer content isn’t a paid ad in the traditional sense, meaning it’s not taking up dedicated ad space, you can circumvent adblock in this way. Influencer content like Instagram posts, TikTok videos, blog features, or Facebook posts are posted native to the platforms they’re on, meaning its dependent on organic reach, but not at the mercy of ad space.
#7. 50% of People Are Likely To Take Action When Exposed to Positive Social Proof
Social proof is the phenomenon in which people look to their a third party for affirmation before making a purchase or taking an action. Social proof includes positive reviews and word of mouth — both of which are amplified in an influencer marketing campaign.
When an influencer of any size discusses your product, service, event, or other offer on their platforms, social proof is maximized: people already know, like, and trust the influencer, giving even more power to their testimonials, making influencer marketing budgets worth the money, so long as you have a positive partnership with the influencer and the influencer is going to be creating a positive association with your brand.
#8. 31% of Consumers Search For Products or Services on Social Media
Considering that social media is still relatively new in the content marketing world, this is one of the most significant influencer marketing statistics of 2021. With popularity of social media use exploding over the past decade and new social media channels popping up in rapid succession, that 31% is expected to grow exponentially over the next three years, six years, ten years, and beyond.
Social media platforms like Facebook have offered in-app shopping for relatively longer than other apps of its kind, but with YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok following suit, it is essential for brands to invest in the long game and allocate part of their marketing budget to producing the kind of content that is appealing to social media users.
Should You Invest in Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing statistics show that the state of influencer marketing isn’t just stable — it’s booming. Content has always been King, but now, more than ever, it’s important for brands to adapt to the kind of content that attracts the modern consumer.
How to Begin an Influencer Marketing Campaign
The type of influencer marketing campaign that will garner the results you’re looking for is largely dependent on your specific industry, your budget, and both your short and long term goals.
While influencer marketing statistics show that these types of marketing campaigns are exceptionally successful, actually implementing them isn’t as easy as just going out and finding influencers. The companies that see success with their influencer marketing campaigns do so strategically.
Before investing money on influencer marketing platforms, consider the following:
Do you know your ICA?
You might say yes, but do you really, really know your ideal customers? Before investing your budget into influencer marketing, you need a firm grasp on who your customers are, what they want, how they want it, where they’re looking for it, and how they want it served to them.
Have your other marketing strategies worked?
Just because the influencer marketing statistics are largely positive doesn’t mean that your influencer marketing spend will result in a huge ROI. If none of your other marketing has worked for you in the past, it’s very possible that influencer marketing will yield similar results. It’s important for companies to look at every aspect of their brand, from the branding itself to the online assets such as the appearance and functionality of their website, and overall presentation on social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.
Do you understand the possible benefits and risks of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is designed to do what the name suggests: influence.
Just like good and bad press can shape the future of a brand, influencer marketing can do the same — and on a much more significant level. Remember those statistics above about good reviews and social proof? The opposite can also happen. This is why it is crucially important that you have a solid strategy, great relationships with potential influencer partners, and the proper oversight of your campaigns.
Do you know enough about influencer marketing to DIY?
The information you read online doesn’t fully encompass everything involved with an influencer marketing strategy. These types of content-driven, very public campaigns are a multi-tiered, compounding process with innumerable moving parts. If you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of how influencer marketing works both on the public-facing side and the tedious work it takes on the back end, your best opportunity for success is enlisting the help of marketing professionals.
Skip the DIY. Work With An Agency
Working with an influencer marketing agency ensures that the campaigns you run with an influencer are as successful as possible. From ideation to implementation, an influencer marketing agency takes care of the tedium while your brand reaps the benefits.
What is an Influencer Marketing Agency?
An influencer marketing agency is a highly specialized agency that acts as the liaison between brands and influencers to create extremely powerful campaigns. An influencer marketing agency is intimately involved with your influencer marketing strategies from the ideation of your project, to sourcing the right influencer for your objectives, to optimizing your campaign for success, and ensuring that the actions you take post-campaign keep the momentum of your success going.
Influencer marketing agencies are like traditional marketing agencies in the sense that they have a full knowledge of every aspect of marketing, but with an in-depth understanding of the nuanced world of influencer marketing. A campaign with the type of potential that influence marketing has can make or break your brand. Trusting the experience of industry professionals will ensure that it’s the former.
Why Work with an Influencer Marketing Agency vs. a Traditional Marketing Agency?
Brands have virtually unlimited options when it comes to working with a content marketing agency, but influencer marketing is a highly specialized form of content marketing. The ability to leverage relationships and source the best influencers for your brand are key to a successful campaign.
Influencers Want to Work With Specialized Agency
Influencers are, as you would expect, bombarded with partnership opportunities, brand deals, and requests to use their platforms to push other creators’ content. Remember: people are in business to make money for their own brands, not for yours. Approaching an influence the right way, with the right proposal, in the right way, and with the right content plan is key to securing an influencer for your campaign.
Influencers prefer to work with influencer marketing companies because these highly specialized agencies have a proven track record of success, while respecting the influencer’s time, effort, and platform. For these reasons, brands looking to launch a campaign with an influencer put their best foot forward by partnering with an influencer marketing agency.
You’ll Get the Right Influencer and the Right Content for Your Brand
Influencer marketing is nuanced, and brands must be selective with the influencers they include in their promotions. Influences are not all created equal: most specialize in a specific niche, appeal to a specific population, or both. Working with marketers that work exclusively with influencers ensures the best influencers are matched with your brand and promotion.
Influencer Marketing: Worth the Effort, Worth the Budget
The statistics prove it: influencer marketing is both the present and the future of marketing. With the popularity of apps like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms, marketers that want their brands to succeed are investing more of their advertising budget in influencer marketing every year.
If you want longevity and next-level brand loyalty, influencer marketing is worth the investment of both time and budget.