Advertising as we know it began over 100 years ago and it started picking up exponential popularity in the mid 1920s. Companies have been paying more and more for a spot in the pages of newspapers and magazines, or for airtime between popular television shows. A 30-second commercial during the 2019 Superbowl, watched by an average of 98.2 million people, cost just over $5 million to air. In recent years though, the trend of Influencer advertising has been making it much more affordable for a business to gain visibility in their respective market.
Influencer marketing is the method of reaching out to sponsor an individual who is famous on social media. This style of marketing has been changing the way B2C, or business to consumer, companies advertise. Brands are able to save a considerable amount of money by partnering with an influencer who will provide product visibility and brand awareness. This saves them from having to approaching a celebrity for an expensive moment of their time to film a commercial. With B2B, or business to business, companies joining the field of Influencer advertising, the Influencer industry is projected to grow into a $15 billion industry from a $8 billion valuation in 2019.
Why are Influencers so important?
The social media industry was worth $51.3 billion in 2018, and is only going to grow in 2019. While some of that money is coming from direct advertising on social media platforms, a significant chunk is reserved for Influencers. Rather than television or magazines, they advertise on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and so on.
Chances are that if you watch YouTube, you have probably experienced Influencer marketing. The YouTube “Adpocalypse” of early 2017 led to a significant increase of Influencer marketing on the platform. When advertising revenue began to drop for YouTube channels in late 2016, sponsorship became increasingly more popular. To counteract this, YouTube creators began offering to endorse products on their channels, providing increased visibility and awareness for brands. Rather than competing with other companies for visibility before a popular video, a brand can sponsor a spot on a video and have a guarantee that they will be seen.
What makes Influencer marketing unique?
The popularization of streaming, believe it or not, is adding to the importance of Influencer marketing. 2019 marks the first year in which digital advertising will cost more than ‘traditional’ advertising, which includes print, radio, and television. As it becomes more popular for people to use Netflix to stream television and Spotify to stream music, the potential of traditional advertising diminishes.
Digital advertising, though, is continuing to grow. Instagram has 500 million daily users, with Snapchat coming in at 186 million and Twitter with 126 million. Facebook claims an incredible 1.56 billion daily active users. This places it at 7th rank on Alexa’s Most Popular Websites in the World. By reaching out to an Influencer, you gain access to visibility by millions of social media users while traditional advertising may only reach a few hundred thousand. After extended campaigns, Influencers frequently become “brand ambassadors”. Brand Ambassadors are individuals who are permanently hired on to a company to increase visibility and create content that promote the image of a company.
Should you partner with Influencers?
While your brand can get a valuable boost through partnering with an Influencer, doing everything by yourself may be problematic. Working with Influencers is a difficult task that includes a substantial amount of work that you may not be prepared for.
One of the most difficult details of working with Influencers is the importance of reputation for both Influencers and the businesses. Influencers are constantly marketing themselves in order to establish their brand, which is in part based on how relevant their content is. Most Influencers look to partner with brands that pair well with their demographic. For instance, a beauty Influencer is more likely to partner with a skincare company, rather than a car rental company. Think of it as how products would be marketed in magazines or on television networks; you need to find the right audience to market to.
Influencers also strive to maintain their reliability while partnering with brands. Your brand or product may be exceptional, but you need to reassure an Influencer of the quality of your product and brand. Even if you do partner with an Influencer, it is advantageous to actively work on marketing material with an Influencer in order to properly integrate the advertising. Heavy handed, blunt advertising, even with an Influencer as popular as any of the Kardashians, is obvious and ineffective. Producing content that blends well with the Influencer’s existing content, called ‘native advertising’, is found to be much more effective than blatant promotion.
What about businesses that offer services rather than products?
Influencer marketing is a tool that can be used by any business, no matter what they sell. While it is more common for influencers to promote tangible items like beauty or fitness products, there is plenty of room for companies that offer services. The appeal of Influencers and their use of social media is that they can take a picture or make a comment on anything, regardless of what it is or where they are. They can then market it to their fans or followers with the tap of a button. Instagram’s shopping feature, explained in detail by Grace, makes Influencer marketing even more lucrative.
How big should a company be before hiring an Influencer?
Companies of all sizes can approach Influencers and get results. The only catch to benefiting from a partnership with an Influencer is that it requires a significant amount of time, something most businesses do not have. You need to introduce Influencers to your brand, educate them on your product or service, and work with them to create an effective campaign. Overall, it takes dozens of hours to produce a positive result.
This does not mean that recruiting an Influencer is out of reach for you, though. While you are working at building and maintaining a company, Siva can do everything else. We make all the connections you need to accelerate your growth through Influencer marketing. We act as an intermediary who takes the time to find the proper market, contact Influencers, and build a powerful marketing solution for your company. If you’re interested or want more information on the matter, email us at [email protected]m. You can also reach out to us through any of our social media outlets.