The word is out: influencer marketing is the new future of advertising, marketing, and PR. The global market value of influencing has skyrocketed, more than doubling since 2019. As of 2022, the market value has reached a record $16.4 billion USD. Influencers can drive engagement, boost your brand’s visibility, and have an impact on the purchasing decisions of millions of viewers.
You’ve seen it, whether you were aware at the time or not. It’s a type of social media marketing which involves product placements and product endorsements by online content creators. More and more top brands are recruiting influencers in mutually profitable collaborations as these partnerships open doors for both parties.
Influencer marketing takes an old idea - celebrity endorsements - and makes it modern by establishing a real connection between the influencer and the brand. In addition, influencers are known to endorse brands that they actually believe in - and, usually, brands that they already purchased before even becoming influencers. They are selling goods and services that they know and trust, and that translates to their viewers.
Influencers have the power of relatability - instead of glamorous models with impossible beauty standards touting the benefits of a certain perfume, for example, an everyday citizen (who happens to have a large online platform) who endorses the same fragrance is able to form a connection with users.
Relatability creates a feeling of trust and creates a more personal connection. If you follow a creator and like their content, you’re more likely to trust them when they recommend a type of soap or brand of shoes. In a 2018 study, it was reported that 38% of viewers between 18 and 34 trust influencers when it comes to products and services more than they trust the companies offering those products and services.
Many influencers are seeing success on Instagram, the most popular platform for global influencer marketing. In 2020, the global market value of Instagram influencing surpassed $2 billion USD. Instagram users all around the world are making a living from collaborative marketing campaigns and paid posts. Instagram has over 2 billion active users as is the 4th largest social media network.
Another huge influencer marketing space is the short video platform TikTok, which is becoming more and more popular; in 2020 the number of influencers on TikTok rose from 35.5 thousand to over 106 thousand. TikTok is worth around $50 billion, and has been downloaded more than 3 billion times. That’s a lot of potential customers.
YouTube is another huge market for influencers. With over 2 billion active monthly users, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Video content remains available for longer than on other platforms and it’s easy to monetize content. Also, 60% of subscribers have reported that their favorite YouTubers strongly impact their buying decisions.
To tap into the power of social media influencers for your PR campaign, look for influencers who are already using and/or promoting goods and services that align with what your company has to offer. This creates an organic, natural, and believable relationship between your company and the influencer.
For example, maybe you’re an organic grocery store that offers a wide variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free products. Going after the Texan influencer who routinely posts videos of grilling up steaks and burgers might not be your best move! You’ll want to find influencers who post content about their favorite vegan meals, or influencers living with celiac disease who are always searching for gluten-free products.
You’ll want to create a specific goal for your PR campaign, as your goals will determine what types of influencers you’ll want to reach out to. Whether you’re driving conversions, promoting your brand, trying to reach a niche market, or going after a broad audience, determining your business goals is your first step.
There are nano-, micro-, and macro-influencers. The nano-influencer is an everyday social media user with 1k-10k followers. This is the girl or boy next door, the parent, the teacher - they aren’t professional, but are often very sincere. Their content may be less polished and they may not upload as often because they typically have other jobs. But they’re good at creating personal connections.
The micro-influencer has between 10k and 50k followers. This influencer is starting to make money from marketing and will typically require more in return for endorsements than a nano-influencer. Micro-influencers are great for driving conversions since they typically have a very engaged following.
And the macro-influencer is totally different - usually a marketing/PR professional who has decided to offer their services on social media platforms. They usually have a following of 10k-1 million. Macro-influencers are the top choice for promoting your brand, as they have a very broad reach and create professional content.
It’s important to do your research - check out the type of content being posted by influencers in your desired market. Look at their past partnerships to determine if they’re going to be the best fit for your brand. There are also online tools you can use - often for free - that allow you to research influencers’ engagement rates and their audiences.
Determine which platform(s) you want to target and research the rate of success that other brands have seen with influencers on that platform. If you have the new version of the viral TikTok leggings, for example, you may do better on TikTok than Instagram; if you’re offering a type of jewelry that blew up on Instagram, look for influencers on that platform.
Examine the influencers you’re interested in, their past relationships, and learn what their rates for collaboration are. Remember that the bigger influencers will have higher rates. The baseline for rates is typically $100 for each 10,000 followers and you may opt to pay extra for being included in an influencer’s highlight reel. Smaller influencers may promote a product in exchange for that product; macro-influencers may charge thousands of dollars per post.
Follower counts aren’t everything - look into that influencer’s engagement rates as well by adding up comments, shares, likes, and other interactions, dividing that by the number of followers, and multiplying by 100.
Imperium Group is an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm. Founded in 2016, it specializes in guaranteed placements, creating utmost transparency for its clients. Imperium Group generates over 15M impressions a month for its clients. Its team is based out of New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
For more information about Imperium Group, please see https://navigator.imperiumgrouppr.com/.