CXIntegrated Digital MarketingSEOSocial Media Management

Is Influencer Marketing A Viable Marketing Tool?

The emergence of social media has presented new channels for companies to share their brand stories in an authentic and unique voice. While influencer marketing as a tool is more and more adopted, you could ask yourself: are influencers a viable tool in 2021’s marketing strategy?

The new goal for this year is grabbing audience attention and real engagement. 

Customers are often uninterested in conventional marketing formats. You may show your ads to millions of prospects, but how many of them consciously assimilate the message you were carrying? 

The post-modern buyer is overwhelmed by TV ads, billboards, and pop-up ads, all these demanding their attention. They handle them by subconsciously ignoring them. To reach your consumers, you will need to cut through the noise. Probably the most effective method is to gradually include your brand into the social media experience that your users encounter. But the best approach is not to interfere with their experience but to integrate yourself as part of the experience. 

This new marketing strategy is the reason why influencers have become an essential and powerful tool in your advertising campaigns. 

Who Is The Ideal Influencer? 

For those who haven’t considered yet allocating a budget for influencer marketing, let’s get you up to speed: the most important role of a social media influencer is, essentially, to reduce loud advertising and imperceptibly close the gap between the company and consumer. 

The ideal influencer is someone who: 

  • Is already using and excited about your product or service. 
  • Has built a wide social media network that includes your target audience. 
  • Is already proficient in generating buzz about the purchasing choices with your target audience.
  • Is capable of both initiating conversation about your product, and influencing their followers to purchase it.

Note: The purchase is based on perceived knowledge, authority, or position. A real authority holds no power since these choices are made according to style, branding, and popularity, not expertise.

Using an old-school marketing concept, an influencer is a multiplier, mainly one person able to return a great number of purchases to your company. 

This may sound especially dangerous to those following conventional marketing strategies. To some degree, you surrender control of your online conversation by placing the potential of your brand in the abilities of an influencer. Nonetheless, the level of trust established between consumers and a brand representative is based on the two-way relationship and is rewarded in dividends. 

There are also many more conventional factors to evaluate in order to assess the viability of an influencer, including: 

  • Quality content;
  • Rise or fall in page views;
  • Search engine rankings; 
  • Improved reputation;
  • Consumer awareness. 

However, the main issues most entrepreneurs encounter today are discovering, authorizing, hiring, and maintaining connoisseurship.

To tackle this problem, we looked closely at recent industry studies — and the findings are surprising. Keep reading to reveal key insights to strengthen your influencer marketing strategy for this year.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Just as word-of-mouth marketing, influencer marketing is a subtle way of advertising products and services with the help of trustworthy persons with dedicated followers in the digital world. These can become social media influencers or niche specialists in areas such as cosmetics, parenting, or interior design.

There is no agreement on what makes an influencer. But to have a general idea, influencers are usually third-party consumers who leverage their popularity on social platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and lately TikTok to influence the purchasing choices of their followers.

What Is The Value Proposition Of Influencers?

We, as consumers, are fundamentally sceptical beings. Some of us become more suspicious of a company and its marketing efforts when we notice that a product or service is heavily promoted. Still, we, as buyers, are more likely to accept a product recommendation when we receive it from our close ones or a celebrity we value.

This is the area where influencers become really valuable for any brand. Product endorsements coming from trustworthy, influential people can cast the scepticism that encompasses the average consumer reaction to advertising efforts. If a trusted source makes a recommendation, consumers become more open, letting their guard down, and more responsive to purchase recommendations.

What Is The Influencer Marketing Forecast?

Despite the pessimists and critics, the perspective over influencer marketing efforts for the coming decade is a confident one. According to a study from Linqia in 2018, most of the marketers and advertising agencies, 86% to be more precise, had decided to include influencer marketing in their overall outreach marketing strategy. Within this group, the great majority, which is 92%, consider the approach as a useful one for effective brand outreach.

The length of this trend relies on whether social media platform expansion trends continue in the future. According to eMarketer, Instagram was expected to grow to 112 million U.S.-based users in 2020 and 117 million in 2021. Instagram is considered to be the main platform for influencer marketing when it comes to gross revenue.

But the prognostics say that the main social media platforms are here to stay. Overall, influencer marketing has been happily adopted by ad agencies and brands, and more and more are including this practice in their strategies. So, every indication points toward the expansion of influencer marketing.

Which Influencer Marketing Stats Do You Need To Know Today?

As we entered a new decade, to succeed in influencer marketing you need to have a better grasp of what the future of social media marketing might look like.

  • Analysts expect that the influencer marketing industry’s worth will reach $15 billion by 2022, doubling its worth in just three years.
  • Accounts with less than 1,000 followers on Instagram (nano-influencers) are more successful than those with more than 100,000 followers (mass influencers), experiencing higher (7.2%) engagement rates.

We predict that in the following years, the niche blog sector will decline as a form of online engagement. Influencer marketing will most continue to expand and focus on social media influencers who leverage the expansion of platforms such as TikTok or LinkedIn.

What Are The Main Categories Of Influencers?

Every company, from major ones like Nike and Sephora to startups and e-commerce shops, should allocate enough time to find the influencers who match their brand’s distinct personality. As a general rule, there are two main categorization elements for deciding whether an influencer is suitable for your brand.

Niche 

An influencer’s niche is the first factor essential in defining the person’s match with the brand. Their niche belongs to the distinct market segment that the individual resonates with, and to whom their message is delivered, whether they are cosmetics shoppers, fashion enthusiasts or digital entrepreneurs.

Reach

An influencer’s reach is the next determinant that holds an individual’s potential to engage with your target audience. The influencer’s reach regards the number of their followers, the level of engagement, and the degree of authenticity.

A skilled marketer will expand their influencer list to make sure that they don’t make the great mistake of overcommitting to a highly-specialized portion of the market. As more and more influencers attain a following, be careful when negotiating with influencers by making sure that follower bases don’t overlap with those of influencers already have on your list. Otherwise, you could end up spending double the budget to advertise your products or services to an audience you already engaged.

In this case, successful companies will create their influencer marketing strategy around a small core of various influencers who display higher levels of reach and authenticity. When you operate in a highly saturated and sophisticated market, these qualitative characteristics are more important than the number of followers alone.

Is Influencer Marketing Worth The Investment?

Briefly, our answer is a definite yes. When we are asked if influencer marketing is a viable marketing tool in 2021, the question comes from skeptics oblivious to market tendencies and expansion prognostics in the social media advertising area.

Social media influencers will continue to be a valuable trust-building approach that can be leveraged to build brand identity. In the new decade, you can assume that influencer marketing will expand, coming with a growing share of marketing strategy resources allotted to this powerful outreach method.

If you are convinced that influencers are a powerful marketing tool, we are here to help you build the best outreach strategy for your business. Reach out to us today. We’d love to hear from you!

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