A Guide to Influencer Marketing in 2021
Can you guess what happened here?
Top fashion and beauty blogger/influencer Chiara Ferragni shared this Instagram post featuring a nail art product from Passioneunghie – and it got over 390K likes.
This is an example of influencer marketing.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
One of the popular forms of marketing today, influencer marketing involves identifying and sponsoring the right influencer for your brand. The person then creates content that promotes your brand and positively influences the crowd to buy your products.
With this form of marketing, brands and businesses collaborate with influencers to increase brand awareness and generate more ROI through social media and other marketing channels.
Influencer marketing is not new; it existed long before the digital days. Have you seen television commercials that feature celebrities? These sorts of collaborations have also been common in print media. Those are examples of influencer marketing using traditional (non-digital) media.
What’s different now is that influencer marketing is not limited to big corporations and celebrities. Thanks to social media, influencer marketing is more common and widespread than ever. Today, influencers can easily connect with potential clients, and businesses (of all sizes) can leverage social media to find and work with multiple influencers.
Best Platforms for Influencer marketing
According to an April 2021 report by Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram is the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing campaigns. The report shows that 68% of brands consider Instagram to be one of the important channels for running influencer marketing campaigns.
TikTok is the second most important and popular channel with 45% of businesses using it already for this purpose.
Apart from that, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are some other go-to destinations for both brands and influencers.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub, "The State of Influencer Marketing 2021: Benchmark Report," February 15, 2021.
Who Is an Influencer?
An influencer is an individual who has gained significant authority on niche topics and can influence audience sentiment or consumer decisions.
Although there are no specific rules, influencers can be roughly categorized in four groups, depending on their follower count:
According to the competitive analysis group, Mention, influencers with a follower count between 1,000 and 5,000 are considered nano-influencers. Although they have a small number of followers and subscribers, they are considered growing experts in their own fields, so they have a powerful persona to drive engagement.
In a November 2020 Built In article, Rachelle Lasquite, a creative strategist at the influencer marketing agency The Shelf, said that nano-influencers' ability to generate quality of engagement tends to be higher in many cases. This explains why it has become common for small businesses to entice nano-influencers to promote their brands.
Much like nano-influencers, micro-influencers possess knowledge about certain specialist niches and have gained a sizable social media following – generally between 1,000 and 40,000 followers.
Yet what makes them approachable is not their follower count, but their relationship and ability to influence their followers to benefit businesses with whom they collaborate.
Influencer Marketing Hub says those with 40,000 and 1 million followers are macro-influencer. Mediakix, however, has slightly rearranged the numbers and divides this entire group into two categories:
Mid-tier influencers (50,000 to 500,000 followers), and macro-influencers (500,000 to 1 million followers) on social media.
Mega influencers are definitely those with a vast number of fans, followers, and subscribers – typically more than 1 million – on social media.
Interesting Stats about Influencer Marketing
There is plenty of evidence that influencer marketing is worth the investment. Here are some statistics that make it clear why brands consider influencer marketing a smart marketing strategy.
- 90% of businesses consider influencer marketing an effective form of marketing.
- Influencer marketing is expected to grow to nearly $14 billion in 2021.
- 72% of businesses agree that the quality of customers and traffic coming through influencer marketing is better than other sources.
- 45% of marketers say audience relationship is a valuable factor that decides whether or not they want to work with an influencer. Content production is another important element.
- 44% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations for their purchasing decisions.
- 24% of them have recommended products or services based on a post shared by an influencer.
(Sources: Influencer Marketing Hub, "The State of Influencer Marketing 2021: Benchmark Report"; Invesp, "How Social Media Influencers Impact Online Buying Decisions – Statistics and Trends."
Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Influencer
Brands, business owners, and marketers who want to hire an influencer should keep the following things in mind:
1. Before reaching out to influencers for collaboration, do some research to learn about their potential, past campaigns, and performance.
2. Make a list of all potential influencers and determine if their values match your brand/business.
3. Set clear expectations and goals.
4. Use tools to search and connect with the right influencers.
How to Increase Chances of Collaboration as an Influencer
Many of our app users are influencers. If you're one of them, here is how you can increase your reach, get more opportunities and more contracts, and make money:
1. Create quality and valuable content that your audience enjoys.
2. Make sure the brands you're going to promote share your values.
3. Follower count plays an important role in having more opportunities. So, always use relevant hashtags to maximize your chances of getting your content seen and acquiring more new followers. You can use Hashtag Expert to intelligently create a list of hashtags for your posts.
4. Keep your community engaged. Share informative, entertaining posts with your followers, and remember that some companies – to be specific 39%– consider engagement rate as a deciding factor in partnering with an influencer.
5. If you're participating in hashtag challenges, make sure to tag them in your posts.
Whether you are a business owner or an influencer, the possibilities with influencer marketing are endless. Now that you know the basics, you'll be able to create an effective strategy that makes the most of it.
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