Near the end of 2016, it was clear that 2017 was going to be the year of influencer marketing. The concept of getting a brand boost from those who have built up online networks hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of people deep has obvious appeal. It almost does away with the need of having to establish such a following for the company’s profiles. That is debatable, of course, but the benefits that come from an influencer marketing campaign are undeniable.
Why The Sudden Growth of Influencer Marketing The truth is that the need for something of this nature has been in the making for years. Slowly but surely, the social platforms have been making it increasingly impossible to garner organic social traffic. To make matters worse, virus software and operating systems have made it possible for people to block the advertisements that companies spend large sums to create. Nearly half of all internet users employ ad blockers. Of course, the ads haven’t been as effective as hoped, even with those who do see them. Why? People aren’t as apt to buy into the ad messaging. Instead, they are seeking firsthand advice, reviews, and referrals. Social network platforms have made it easy to come by that information. And, so, the influencer marketing age was, in essence, the natural next step in the evolution of online marketing, proving people that personal connection that they desire. What was surprising, to many, however, was how fast this movement grew. Today, surveys consistently show that 8 out of every 10 marketers will employ some degree of influencer marketing before year’s end.
Influencers Ease the Burden on Businesses The rush to find others to promote a brand online is understandable. After all, influencers can take a lot of the hard work out of making social marketing successful. A company who hopes to naturally build the massive following that it takes to be influential can expect to dedicate at least four hours per day to social networking. Crafting a single post, according to the leading influencers, requires three hours or more. There is much more to social networking than merely signing in and posting something relevant to the brand. There is a need to regularly interact with other accounts, to employ high quality images or video that catch the eye, and a very fast response time.
Where are the Influencers? So, where do you find the influencers who will ease the social networking burden for your business? Instagram. We say that with confidence given the fact that most surveys report that up to 90% of the influencers on the internet today list Instagram as their primary platform. You can expect a slight shift in the numbers as the year progresses though, as everyone, including influencers, begins to acknowledge the power of live video. YouTube is expected to steal a bit of Instagram’s thunder as a result.
Understanding the Cost All of this makes influencer marketing sound very appealing. It is. However, the fast growth has also pushed the demand higher. As Economics 101 suggests, the higher the demand, the higher the pricing. There are influencer campaigns to fit every budget, which all comes down to finding the right influencer to back your brand. However, do expect to pay for the service. Some of the leading influencers command very high price tags (upwards of $50,000 for a series of Instagram posts), but these social networking gurus have proved their worth, often causing the brands they promote to put products on back order, because the production team can’t keep up with the sudden influx in orders.