Influencer Industry Boom: How Influencer Marketing Has Come to Dominate the Marketing & Advertising Landscape

Image from The European Business Review

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly put a halt to many things, one thing it could not stop is influencer marketing.

The past year has shown just how powerful this form of advertising is. With more people turning to the internet to meet their e-Commerce needs, traditional marketing and advertising methods have proven to be incompatible with the virtual environment that the pandemic has brought about. Yet despite a 20% decline across advertising last year, influencer marketing grew by 46%. Brands have recognized the power of social media for effective promotion and have turned to influencers to create relatable content that will authentically resonate with an at-home audience. This influencer industry boom is not predicted to slow down any time soon. As brands begin to recognize the potential of social media to expand their audience, generate new leads, and earn more revenue, influencer marketing will only continue to grow.

According to recent estimates from Business Insider, influencer marketing is positioned to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019. Brands are devoting more marketing spending towards influencer promotion than in previous years, with roughly 63% of marketers saying that they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2021. This business focus is not a chance occurrence; a variety of factors have inspired brands to tap into this advertising method as a primary marketing strategy. Outlined below are several significant reasons why influencer marketing has gained such a strong foothold in companies’ business models, and why it is expected to continue its dominance in the marketing and advertising landscape.

  1. Social media use is only going to continue to grow

This one is rather obvious, but everyone knows that social media is not going anywhere any time soon. The social media landscape is constantly changing, with existing platforms frequently evolving and new platforms constantly emerging. As this continues to happen, online user engagement will only increase, therefore creating an optimal space for marketers to promote their products. No one understands and can adapt to new online trends better than influencers. With their significant presence and following on social platforms and unique knowledge of the digital landscape, influencers (especially those who are popular on multiple platforms) provide brands with the optimal product promotion strategy that can effectively reach a large and engaged audience.

2. Influencer marketing allows flexibility in its approach

Influencer marketing is extremely flexible and easy for companies to implement in their marketing strategy. They can decide between a one-off sponsored post or long-term partnership, and they can decide how involved they would like the influencer to be with the brand and the company. Brands can also work with the influencer to decide whether payment will be made in cash, or free or discounted product. Businesses also have a wide array of options in deciding what promotional approach they would like to use for the influencer marketing campaign that best fits their ultimate marketing objectives. Whether it is posts on social media, Q&A sessions, or product reviews, influencers are capable of authentically engaging with their audience in a variety of ways. As brands begin to recognize that influencer marketing is easily adaptable to fit into their marketing strategy, its popularity in the marketing and advertising landscape will continue to grow.

3. Specialization of influencers allows for increased audience reach and visibility.

The beauty of influencers is that they strategically carve out niches for themselves to develop expertise in a particular industry or specialty, therefore establishing themselves as a credible resource in that area. They have amassed a significant amount of followers whose interests align with their niche, and who genuinely value the information these influencers are sharing. Brands in those verticals typically have the same target audience, therefore collaborating with influencers is an effective way to reach intended consumers who are actually likely to buy their product if recommended to them by a trusted influencer. Because their followers treat them as honest consumers, influencers’ endorsements of products or services can impact a consumer’s purchase decisions and overall attraction to the brand.

4. It has proven to be a successful marketing strategy

Influencer marketing is a tried and proven method that has shown to be an effective marketing strategy. According to a recent survey conducted by the Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing delivers an ROI of $5.20 for every $1 spent–a much higher ROI than other forms of digital marketing. A study conducted by Mediakix also reported that 80% of marketers agree that influencer marketing is more effective than conventional marketing methods, and that 71% of them also agree that the customers, engagement, and traffic received are of greater quality than other marketing methods. These positive results indicate that it is clearly effective, and the benefits of implementing it into a brands marketing strategy are definitely worthwhile.

Influencer marketing has quickly become the buzzword for brands and companies. Rather than indulging in self-promotional tactics, this marketing technique boasts authentic and genuine benefits that are more likely to give brands the best bang for their buck. As its benefits continue to become more transparent to the business world, influencer partnerships will likely become a typical and permanent marketing investment.

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