While some of us may have resolved to reduce screen time in the new year (me!), social media use is on the rise—more than 3.2 billion people are now active on social media channels worldwide (Emarsys, 2019), with Americans spending nearly 2.5 hours scrolling and liking every day (Digital Media World).
With its pervasive reach, it’s likely your marketing strategy already includes social media elements—but if it doesn’t also tap the power of influencer marketing, you could be missing out. Consider these stats:
- 74% of consumers use social media to make purchasing decisions (Sprout Social)
- 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations on social media to inform their purchasing decision (Fourcommunications, 2018)
At a basic level, influencer marketing involves celebrities, industry insiders or social media stars lending their credibility to your product/service by throwing their clout behind your brand. It’s a digital word-of-mouth strategy that’s grown over the past decade to become a major force in our industry.
The state of the market. More than a trend, influencer marketing is an essential element of a balanced social media strategy. The reach of influencers is expected to increase in 2020, largely because these campaigns get results:
- 92% of consumers trust online word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends and influencers; and only 33% trust online banner ads (Nielsen)
Where we’re headed. It used to be that the lines between a paid #ad and an organic social media post were blurred, which led to consumer skepticism. But increasingly, we’ve seen more transparent partnerships between brands and their influencers or ambassadors, which has created more authentic brand connections.
There’s also been a shift away from celebrity endorsements—instead, brands are using micro-influencers to spread brand love. On average, micro-influencers (loosely defined as those with 10-50K followers) have higher engagement rates than that of macro-influencers with 500K-1M followers.
- Micro-influencer campaigns drive 60% higher engagement rates than average campaigns (Go2Experticity)
- 82% of consumers would follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer (Go2Experticity)
What we’re finding is that people who follow mega-popular influencers and celebrities do so simply because they’re recognizable—not because they share an actual connection. So, when it comes to responding to a CTA, the audience feels less inclined to buy in from these big-name influencers, and instead, follow the lead of those who they feel are more on their level.
Are you planning to use influencer marketing in 2020? There’s a lot to consider. To learn more, watch for my blog next week that will include tips for getting started.