In 30 seconds:
- The influencer marketing industry is increasing by an estimated 50% year on year. But why is influencer marketing effective? We’ll explain why this form of digital marketing is booming and what it means for your brand.
- Gen Z not only listens to influencers, but wants to emulate them. Here’s how your brand can tap into their mindset.
- There are plenty of social media platforms that are ideal for influencer marketing. In this article, you’ll find some vital statistics to help you work out which one is right for you.
Influencer marketing is vital for brands. The industry will be worth $16.4 billion this year, shaking up the marketing landscape through its unique ability to capture specific, targeted audiences and secure impressively high ROI.
And despite social media influencers themselves no longer being a new phenomenon, influencer marketing is still growing at break-neck rate, providing ample opportunities for brands.
So, let’s discuss why influencer marketing is effective. Understanding why the industry is booming will help you strategise the best way to use influencer marketing for your business. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing. It uses influencers (people who have a large group of people following them on social media) to endorse or sponsor products and brands through paid social media content.
Influencers are also known as ‘content creators’ because that’s precisely what they do. Usually, they will have a niche they specialise in and will create social media posts specific to that topic.
But what makes these people impactful is their personality – or ‘personal brand’. Their social media followers choose to tune into them for a reason, but that rationale is individual to each influencer. They are not simply a content marketing vessel for the brands they represent, but bring a unique spin that makes people take notice.
Social media influencers have become the experts on what makes their followers tick, creating content that captures and holds people’s attention. That’s a lucrative skill when modern consumers have increasing numbers of digital distractions, and their attention spans are getting shorter.
As Gen Z marketing experts, we’re often talking about this age group’s infamous “8-second attention span”. But the truth is, influencer content can reel in even the most difficult-to-reach groups and keep them interested for longer, securing key metrics such as Cost per acquisition (CPA), Brand awareness, enhanced Brand sentiment, Website visitors, Reach and engagement rate, and sales.
All brands want to become part of their customers’ daily lives. By tapping into their current digital habits – and the voices they tune into frequently – they can insert themselves naturally and convincingly into the conversation.
The rise of influencer marketing
Since 2019, the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled its worth. As the world of technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, influencers have been front and centre.
Remember when brands used to question the benefits of social media for business? Well, now 4.2 billion people are active social media users, and they’re interacting with brands there.
One of the challenges of social media marketing is that social media’s core experience is peer-to-peer, facilitating conversations between friends, families and colleagues. Brands have been negotiating their place within this space for years, however, and now GlobalWebIndex reports that visitors across different social media platforms consistently use them to ‘follow/find information about products/brands’.
Influencer marketing is effective because it leverages what social media users like best about the platform, to create brand messaging and endorsements that users not only engage with, but actively seek out.
Influencer marketing isn’t new (93% of marketers already use influencer marketing), but it’s a field that’s adapting all the time, and the way brands can work with influencers is evolving, fast. It means there’s always room for brands to make a meaningful impact.
It’s an exciting time for social media creators, with more opportunities arising to work with brands on campaigns. One particular demographic knows this more than any other.
Why influencer marketing is effective
There are a few reasons influencer marketing works so well. We’ve listed the four main pillars, but there are individual reasons why specific influencer marketing campaigns are more effective than others, too. If you’d like to learn more about creating an influencer marketing campaign for your brand, get in touch.
1. It’s based on trust
Would you prefer to hear the benefits of a service or product from the brand selling it, or from someone closer to you who has used it? Whose word would you trust more?
People want to hear from trustworthy individuals about the brands they use, and 70% of consumers say they trust the opinions of influencers as much or more than their real-world friends. Most Gen Z (92%) trust influencer recommendations more than traditional adverts or celebrity endorsements. The views of influencers matter, and people are listening increasingly to them.
In particular, TikTok influencers command trust. This is partly to do with the nature of TikTok itself: 53% of TikTok users expect others to be their true selves on the platform.
Marketers know that one of the most powerful forms of marketing is word of mouth. It drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending globally. Customers who join brands via word of mouth or a recommendation from a friend are incredibly valuable for businesses: they buy more and they’re more loyal.
Influencer marketing is a form of this marketing on a much larger scale. Influencers act as brand ambassadors, with effective influencer marketing communicating brand values and benefits.
2. It’s highly targetable
Finding the right influencer in your brand’s niche will mean you immediately have your target audience at your fingertips. An influencer will be able to indicate to you who their audience is: where they live, their age range and gender, amongst other insights.
It’s no longer a guessing game as to whether those eyeballs will be interested in your marketing efforts, either. simply look at the influencer’s feed: this is what their followers want to see. If your content chimes with this, their audience will like it.
It’s not just a game for the big players, either: brands’ influencer marketing budgets may vary, but an effective influencer content strategy can see impressive results from many types of influencers, from micro-influencers to superstar creators with millions of followers.
51% of marketers believe that influencer marketing helps with quality customer acquisition. Brands can ensure the highest quality customer acquisition every time by making sure they are working with the most well-aligned influencers.
There are up to 38 million influencers globally, all covering different subjects in different ways, and drawing different audiences – on different platforms, from Snapchat and TikTok to LinkedIn or Instagram. This sounds overwhelming at first – but it means there will always be someone who is the ideal fit for your brand. This is Fanbytes’ expertise. We work with brands to ensure their influencer marketing campaign reaches the perfect audience and attracts the ideal potential customers, every time.
3. It overcomes common issues with ads
69% of web users bounce from a site when presented with an interruptive display ad, and the average global desktop ad-blocking rate sits above 43%. Gen Z are particularly adept at avoiding digital ads, so the number of audiences using this software skews much higher when considering the younger generation.
So, ads that “feel like ads” are out. What should replace them?
Influencer marketing content doesn’t register like these interruptive ads. Instead, they emulate the exact content that social media users come to the platform to see. We know that 85% of Generation Z uses social media to find out about new products and trends, which indicates that young audiences are actively seeking out social content that leads to a purchase.
Create content that your audience is actively seeking out, and you’re not simply overcoming the issue with increasingly digitally-savvy demographics avoiding or ignoring your ad, but you’re creating digital content that they regard as entertaining, helpful, and valuable to them.
4. It’s a space to be original
Influencer marketing gives brands the flexibility to think creatively and hone their goals.
Creativity is essential here, and collaborating means building a partnership that will work for the whole campaign. Any influencer you work with will know what their audience is looking for, so taking their ideas and adapting a brief to suit them is the key to success.
As brands’ Gen Z partner with our own successful influencer talent arm, Fanbytes is uniquely positioned to understand the way brands can work most effectively with influencers. Brands must have a clear goal, but the influencer’s personality is what’s going to make the campaign stand out and resonate with the audience, securing the best influencer marketing ROI.
This is particularly true of brands seeking to work with influencers to create a dynamic campaign such as a TikTok challenge or starting a TikTok trend (as opposed to a static Instagram post or Instagram story). 56% of Gen Z consider themselves “creative”; they not only want to see creativity on their platform, but want to express it themselves.
Influencer posts that encourage user-generated content (UGC) should be exciting: giveaways and clever hashtags are a great tried-and-tested strategy to increase brand awareness, but don’t be afraid to try something new. We’d love to talk to you about creating a campaign that gets people talking, so if that sounds exciting to you, get in contact.
Gen Z: the influencer generation
Gen Z are a key influencer marketing demographic. They are the age group that depend most on influencer recommendations, with 97% of them using social media as their top source of shopping inspiration. 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers, and 52% of them indicate that they trust influencers’ advice.
That’s especially impressive given how difficult this generation is to reach via traditional marketing tactics. Gen Z are more distrustful of TV advertisements than older generations, and as we mentioned above, a huge proportion (69%) take active steps to avoid digital ads on websites.
The fact these young people are following influencers is brilliant for brands: this is where Gen Z have actively chosen to watch, listen and engage – and they take on board what these personalities have to say.
This is partly because Gen Z relates so closely with influencers. 86% of Gen Z are willing to post sponsored content for money, and 54% would become an influencer, given the opportunity. They see influencers as their peers, making them ideal for peer-to-peer marketing strategies.
This is an important characteristic for brands to note when creating modern influencer marketing campaigns. It’s not just the big-name influencers who can advocate for brands: a multidimensional campaign that motivates “normal” Gen Z social media users to create content around your brand can be particularly powerful.
Campaigns that spark UGC on social networks are a known way to explode a brand’s reach by sparking a viral content trend. It also builds trust: 70% of Gen Z find UGC helpful when making a purchase decision.
Influencer marketing in 2022 and beyond
In 2022, 86% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in influencer marketing. This all points in one direction: influencer marketing is here to stay, and it will continue to advance as social media channels and technology progress.
The metaverse is also on its way and will provide more opportunities for influencer marketing to grow and change within a new, virtual space.
Getting the right influencer marketing strategy is vital to increasing brand awareness. That’s why we want to put you ahead of the game and get your campaigns firmly in the hearts of Gen Z. Influencer marketing is our thing, so why not get in touch and find out how we can nail your campaigns and put you a cut above the competition.