Five unbelievable, yet true, facts about influencer marketing

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Not all businesses have a huge marketing budget. Yet for digital marketers these days, it’s not just about the size of the purse but what you do with it.

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Finding methods that have the potential to create outstanding results without breaking the bank is key to marketing success. Influencer marketing not only fits this criteria but outshines many other forms of marketing in terms of ROI.

Influencer marketing is linked to the growth of social media, which has opened up new advertising channels to all types of businesses. With millions of people using the many social media platforms on offer, the potential audience is becoming one of the largest pools of lead generation.

Influencers have built up strong followings on social media, and are considered more instrumental and easy to relate to than the celebrities who endorse products across traditional media sources, such as TV, radio and magazines. Comparably, influencers are normal people who have built their businesses or social media presence by providing interesting and engaging content. As social media has developed, companies have been utilizing the influencer marketing model more to promote their own brands.  

The proof of just how powerful influencer marketing has become is demonstrated by some compelling statistics and facts that are becoming more commonplace.

70% of teens trust social influencers more than celebrities

Young people have always listened to their peers and consider influencers to be a part of their peer group. Although they may idolize sporting and TV celebrities from afar, they understand that famous personalities are not a part of their own lives. They may aspire to be like them, but they appreciate them more as fantasy figures.

The way they perceive influencers, however, is different. They connect and engage with influencers on social media as if they were friends, particularly those who come from similar backgrounds. Influencers talk about subjects that are close to teenagers’ hearts and teens can identify with them directly in a way they cannot with celebrities.

Teenagers feel they know the influencers and because of this, they trust them and their opinions. When an influencer gives them advice they follow it. Consider that 70% of YouTube subscribers are more in tune with influencers than celebrities, and 40% go as far as to say that their favorite YouTube creators ‘understand them better than their friends’ and you will start to appreciate the bond that teenagers have with social media influencers.

This comes down to the strong ties the influencers forge with their fan base compared to the relationship these same viewers have with YouTube videos of celebrities. Influencer videos are watched more and get twice as much direct action (be it interaction, or product purchases etc) as a result of the video than those of traditional celebrities. Sixty percent of subscribers would happily act on the advice of these trendsetters rather than the advice of TV or film celebrities. These are powerful statistics that demonstrate the strength of influencer marketing, particularly when considering the impact on the upcoming generation of online shoppers.

Influencer marketing is more profitable than print marketing

Newspapers and magazines are now widely available online and are read more frequently on tablets and phones than ever before. This, in turn, has led to the slow decline of print marketing over the last few years. Marketers have naturally looked to other forms of promotion, in particular focusing on different methods of advertising online. However, the internet is a crowded marketplace and to be seen across the world wide web, brands have, by necessity, narrowed their target audience down in order to reach out and connect with better, more qualified potential leads.

This has led them to approach influencers who are already in front of their target audience, which resulted in influencer marketing overtaking print marketing for the first time in 2016. Consumers have gradually changed their own methods of purchasing and now seek out recommendations and reviews, trusting those from family, friends and social media influencers over traditional print ads. Purchasers are no longer simply convinced by companies extolling the virtues of their products; instead, they want social proof from people they have relationships with, including the authorities they follow online. With research showing that product reviews are 12x more trusted than sales pitches written directly by the brand, it’s clear to see why influencer marketing has become more profitable than print marketing.

Businesses make a 650% return for every $1 spent on influencer marketing

The return on investment for influencer marketingis estimated at $6.50 for every $1 spent, and in some cases, it has been reported to be as high as $20 or more. Not only is the return high but over 50% of marketers feel that customers gained through influencer marketing are better for their long term business. They spend more money leading to higher average order values and are happy to share their experiences about the product or service as well, leading to second-tier customers gained indirectly as a result of the initial marketing campaign.

With influencer marketing perceived as the fastest-growing method of obtaining new customers, 59% of businesses intend to increase the budget on influencer marketing. It now beats paid search, email marketing and organic search, and is considered the most cost-effective method of marketing by 22% of marketers for acquiring new customers, tying with email marketing for the top spot.

When looking at the most successful platform to use for influencer marketing, blogs take the lead, with 37% leveraging this method for promotional means. Consumers like to read content about a subject before committing to the purchase, so turn to blogs and articles to help them get a better understanding first. Regarding social media, 25% of marketers said they preferred Facebook, outstripping the collective preference for YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other networks.

The influencer marketing industry will be worth $7.5billion in 2020

Although influencer marketing has been around for several years now, it is only in the last couple of years that it has experienced a major growth spurt. Thanks to the popularity of social media, influencers have a greater reach and their voice is heard more. Established companies and newcomers are looking to leverage the power of the social media reach through various platforms and devices; compare the search term volumes for influencer marketing today to three years ago and you will discover a three-fold increase, while the end of 2017 into 2018 saw a five-fold growth rate.

With such a strong growth rate, it’s no wonder that the industry is predicted to be worth $7.5billion in 2020. Ad-blocking is becoming an increasing issue for pop-up ads and traditional display advertising and a large percentage of the population is spending more time scrolling social media on mobile devices rather than watching TV or reading magazines, meaning companies are continually looking for new advertising channels to explore.

86% of women use social media for purchasing advice

According to research, women like to find out more about potential purchases by speaking to others regarding their experiences first. Many turn to friends and family for their advice and a massive 86% use social media to help them with their decisions. As social media has become easier than ever to access, many women are now more active on social media, aided by the rise of smartphone users with 83% stating the mobile helps them get more done.

However, the women surveyed commented that they also have confidence in their own ability to make decisions and the majority said that they felt able to determine which information they read was trustworthy or not. So although they use social networks widely for social proof, they need to feel trust in the authority they are responding to. Instead of being susceptible to opinions from unknown people, they are more likely to listen to influencers they have built relationships with.

Although not restricted to the female audience, the fashion and beauty industry is a niche that relies deeply on influencer marketing, with 57% of companies using it as part of their marketing strategy. Traditionally, its an area frequented by women looking for tips and advice. Instead of asking for a friend’s recommendation, women are now seeking help from their favorite influencers online to discover the perfect product for them.

A final word

The growth of the internet has led to brands seeking new ways to promote their products or services, leading to adaptations across their advertising campaigns. Consumers have become more aware of the sales process, as well as having more choice. As a result, businesses have had to work hard to build relationships with potential consumers through content marketing, email marketing and, lastly, by developing an influencer marketing strategy.

If you are still considering your options regarding working with influencers, get in touch with our publisher management team. As a form of digital marketing, influencer marketing builds consumers trust better than any other method. Incorporating it as part of your marketing strategy can aid your lead generating techniques, exposing you to a brand new group of potential customers.

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