What Is Influencer Marketing and Why Is It Worth the Effort?

Anna Komok

Anna is the Head of Marketing and PR at HypeAuditor, the most accurate and in-depth Instagram and YouTube analytics tool on the market. She is passionate about influencer marketing and Instagram analytics.

Times have changed and so has the definition of effective advertising. Magazines aren’t as popular as they once were. People don’t trust ads and celebrity endorsements anymore.

Many brands feel the need to transform their marketing activities and shift their ad spend towards influencer marketing.

Even though COVID-19 slowed down the growth of influencer marketing, it didn’t suffer as much as other industries. In 2021, the Instagram influencer market is expected to reach around $5,869 million growing by 15% compared to the previous year.

Global Instagram Influencer Market

State of Influencer Marketing 2021 by HypeAuditor

Definition of Influencer Marketing

When speaking about influencer marketing, we mean the process of building relationships with influential personalities who can help you create visibility for your brand and ultimately convince your consumers to buy your product or service.

Influencer marketing isn’t a new thing, it’s been around for years. But today it’s on everyone’s lips, as more marketers realize how powerful it can be. It’s a more efficient alternative to traditional advertising that is more expensive and has less credibility.

So why is influencer marketing so popular? How to find relevant social media creators for your campaign and make influencer marketing a powerful asset to your marketing mix? This post covers everything you need to know, so read on.

Why Is Influencer Marketing Effective?

One of the greatest aspects of influencer marketing is that everyone involved benefits from the process.

Brands get exposure to large audiences and gain credibility with influencers’ followers who are highly engaged. Influencers, in turn, can show their creativity and talent by creating content that amuses their subscribers. And the audience gets quality content from people they like and trust. 

Below are five key benefits of influencer marketing for your business.

1. Authentic Connection to the Audience

Compared with traditional advertising, influencer marketing seems more organic, because influencers build genuine relationships with their audience through their talent, creativity, and expertise.

When people log in to Instagram or other social networks, they want to consume content of those they follow and like. Ads interrupt this experience, which makes them very annoying. People visit social media not because they want to see ads, and they see them a lot, but because they want to learn something new or just have fun. On the other hand, social media creators produce interesting content that’s organically intertwined into user experience. 

According to Statista, 25.8 percent of internet users were blocking ads on their devices in 2019. And the number of ad blocking users is expected to continue to grow. It means that a considerable amount of advertising messages will never reach the audience.

Ads seem like they’re coming from a faceless company, while sponsored content created by influencers seem like a genuine recommendation provided by someone you trust. Consumers long for authenticity, and that’s what influencers can give them. 

2. Influencer’s Expertise and Credibility

If previously influencers were associated primarily with celebrities who have huge audiences, today the influencer marketing landscape is far more vivid than it used to be.

There are different types of influencers according to their audience size and content topic. In recent years, we saw the rise of micro-influencers who became a sweet spot for many brands. These creators have enough followers to attract the attention of brands and can be even more influential than celebrities.

The level of trust given by the audience to influencers, especially micro-influencers, can be explained by their knowledge and expertise in a specific topic. They are experts who can give professional recommendations. For example, fitness influencers have high credibility in approving sports gear, and social media creators who post content about new technologies seem like a reliable source of recommendations about new gadgets.

3. Relevant Context

Social media creators build an audience of devoted followers based on their niche. If you work with relevant influencers, you can place content with mentions of your brand right in front of a social media audience who is already interested in the topic related to your industry. 

With the help of influencers, you can get quick access to a ready-made target market. What’s more, leads that will be generated within your influencer campaign will be relevant.

4. Cost-Effective Way to Reach New Audience

When it comes to influencer marketing pricing, there’s no single model or standard prices that are applicable to any social media creator. The final price depends on multiple factors like the complexity of content production, the time needed to create content, and the number of influencer’s followers. 

In some cases, brands use other ways to compensate influencers. It can be free samples of products, exclusive access to brand updates, invitations to special events, and other non-monetary ways.

The truth is that influencer marketing is cost-effective and in many ways more affordable than traditional commercials. It gives brands and marketers the opportunity to experiment, make mistakes, learn, and optimize their processes.

5. Stronger Brand Image

Building a memorable and consistent brand image is one of the keys to a successful business. It has a direct impact on how effectively you can attract and retain customers.

Influencers can help you build a strong brand image by generating a buzz around your business on social media. The more people talk about your brand, the more powerful it becomes. 

Working with the right influencers that are aligned with your brand can give you access to a more targeted and engaged audience. Even creators with relatively small reach, but high credibility, can help you drive your brand message to your customers.

Find the Right Influencers for Your Campaign

Before searching for influencers, start with goals and metrics for your influencer campaign. Once you have a clear picture of what you want to reach with your marketing activities, you can move to the next step.

To make sure your influencer strategy will work, you need to partner with relevant influencers who can help you reach your business goals. 

In HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery, you can search for Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok creators with multiple filters to sort out the results.

Filters for Influencer Search in HypeAuditor Discovery

When choosing influencers for your campaign, pay attention to several key elements. Account Analytics in HypeAuditor allows you to delve deeply into profiles of social media creators, so you can pick the best candidates for your brand.

Influencer’s Audience

Obviously, you want to attract people who will be interested in what you offer. That’s why you need to carefully analyze the audience of your potential partner. 

Check their audience demographics to make sure your brand message will reach your target market. Take a look at their estimated reach to better understand how many people will potentially see your sponsored content.

Audience Demographics in HypeAuditor Account Analytics

Follower Growth

Besides the size of the influencer’s audience, it’s also important to analyze how the account of your chosen influencer grows. Is it growing organically? Are there any suspicious patterns in its follower growth?

In HypeAuditor, you can perform a thorough analysis of how the number of followers of a particular creator increases and spot abnormal spikes in the account’s growth.

Follower Growth in HypeAuditor Account Analytics

Engagement Metrics

Take a closer look at their audience engagement, as this is the best way to understand influencer’s authenticity. Even if a creator has millions of followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean their followers actively engage with their content.

Metrics like Engagement Rate, Comment Rate, and Likes-Comments Ratio will help you get a clear picture of how engaged the audience of a particular influencer is.

Engagement Rate in HypeAuditor Account Analytics

Also, Account Analytics allows you to assess the quality of influencers’ accounts. Each creator is assigned a specific score — Audience Quality Score for Instagram, Channel Quality Score for YouTube, and Account Quality Score for TikTok — that shows the overall quality of a creator.

Influencer’s Content

Last but not least we suggest you invest time in research and have a look at influencer’s content. Make sure that their message and voice align with your brand. Creators will be representing your business, so it’s vital that you share the same values. Your brand message should be organically intertwined with content created by an influencer.   

You can also check these common mistakes you need to avoid when searching for social media creators and hiring them to prevent your brand from wasting money on the wrong influencers.

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