Is influencer marketing effective? More and more companies are starting to think so.
Recently, I was going over the 2021 Benchmark report about the state of influencer marketing. It reported that 59% of the 5,000 businesses surveyed had a standalone budget for influencer marketing. The Benchmark report also revealed that there were no signs of it slowing down. Influencer marketing was expected to expand into a nearly $14 billion dollar a year business.
I have believed in the power of social media marketing from the beginning. Promoting myself on these platforms has given me a total following of over 9 million people. So I have some skin in the game. Here are my insights on the effectiveness of influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing Hits Consumers Differently
To start, it is shown that engagement is higher on content marketing using influencers as opposed to content without them. This alone is a good argument that influencer marketing is effective. But why is that?
I strongly believe that people follow people, not companies. Influencers have the trust of their followers that a faceless company may not have earned yet. These influencers seem like they are giving recommendations from a friend. This explains why the engagement rates of smaller influencers are higher. People like feeling like they are a part of a small group of friends.
Weighing the Good and the Bad
Marketing of any kind can feel like a gamble. Using influencers to market is no different. First, let’s look at the bad.
The main con that I see from working with influencers is influencer “fraud.” There are some unscrupulous people who buy followers that are, in reality, just bots. They do this to receive free products and get paid for their promotion when they have no audience at all. However, these fake influencers are easy to spot if you know what to look for. So, this is a smaller concern these days.
Now, we’ll move on to the pros of influencer marketing. Both of the ones I’m going to talk about were actually mentioned earlier in this article. Number one: usually you can compensate influencers with free products which is extremely cost-effective. Smaller influencers– who have higher engagement, by the way— are more likely to promote you for little cost to you.
At the end of the day, is influencer marketing effective. Definitely. Especially as we as a society spend more and more time online. We as a whole have become more suspicious of people “selling” us something. I go over this in-depth in my courses. Influencers have that established trust with their followers which is critical to any sale. As a result, I think this style of marketing is here to stay.
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