Influencer Marketing Over the Decade: A Transformational Journey
Over the past ten years, influencer marketing has undergone a fascinating metamorphosis, evolving from an emerging phenomenon to an essential element in brand marketing strategies. Ultimately, we’ve come to understand that the best approach is to make every impact count, guiding the evolution of education on influencer marketing in parallel with platforms and audiences.
From Creators to Storytellers
In its early stages, influencers were primarily seen as creators of visually appealing content. However, the last decade has witnessed a profound transformation, with influencers becoming true storytellers. According to data from a GlobalWebIndex survey, 68% of consumers consider an influencer’s authenticity crucial when making purchasing decisions.
As influencer marketing matured, challenges emerged in measuring real impact. Beyond superficial metrics like “likes” and followers, brands found the need to assess genuine engagement and brand perception. A Nielsen report indicates that 84% of global marketing specialists consider ROI measurement one of the significant challenges in influencer marketing.
Due to these metrics, justifying the investment in influencers became a central theme. As brands sought to compare influencers with other strategies, it became evident that the emotional connection and personalization offered by influencers generated not only direct revenue but also loyalty. Data from a Linqia study reveal that 57% of marketers believe influencer marketing outperforms other forms of advertising in terms of generating loyal customers.
This is based on two key elements: authenticity and transparency. At SamyRoad, always striving for the best possible match between influencer briefs and client expectations, coherence between the two is critical in collaborations. Consumer trust, essential for long-term success, is built on the foundation of authenticity. With stricter regulations, such as those established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), brands have had to prioritize transparency in their collaborations.
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a significant evolution in regulations regarding influencer advertising. The FTC, for example, has intensified its efforts to ensure that collaborations are clearly labeled as advertising. This evolution has led to increased awareness of ethical practices in influencer marketing and strengthened the trust relationship between brands and consumers.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Looking ahead, collaborations between brands and influencers are heading towards greater regulation and transparency. Additionally, the integration of new technologies like artificial intelligence promises even deeper personalization in identifying and collaborating with influencers. Brands that embrace these trends and adapt to emerging regulations will be better positioned to maximize the effectiveness of their influencer marketing strategies.
Every post, every collaboration, every shared story matters. They are bridges that build trust, create communities, and impact not only metrics but also hearts and minds. Ultimately, influencer marketing is not just about products or services; it’s about people, experiences, and the magic of connecting in a digital world.
It’s clear that influencer campaigns are a highly effective strategy, as evidenced by the fact that 8 out of 10 marketers plan to allocate 10-20% of their budget towards it in 2022-2023. Actually, the market size of influencer marketing is projected to reach $21.1 billion, according to Viralyft.
What all these numbers reveal? That brands and businesses recognise the value of influencer marketing, not just for increasing awareness, but also for driving sales. In fact, our study, State of the Influencer Marketing, shows that 36% of marketers consider driving sales to be the most important conversion metric for their IM strategy.
The rise of influencers has created a booming “creator economy,” revolutionising the way businesses and brands engage with consumers
Truth be told, influencer marketing is a profitable business. Various media outlets and studies have highlighted the key elements of an effective marketing strategy, including setting clear goals, selecting the right influencer, considering their reach and expertise, ensuring brand values align, developing a content strategy, and measuring results. The question, now, is how to achieve these goals.
In the Influencer world, there is room for all sizes and territories
Regarding the “size” or “reach” of influencers, it is outdated to believe that the largest influencer is always the best choice just because of that. Several factors must be taken into consideration, including the niche we are trying to reach as a brand, whether it’s our established target audience or a new business opportunity.
However, the main question remains: how do we filter, select, and develop a strategy with the right influencer? Many CMOs and CEOs are concerned with this issue. Fortunately, through innovation in technology and solutions, we have discovered a way to achieve these goals.
The role of AI in Influencer Marketing Campaigns
In today’s influencer marketing industry, artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the way brands identify and collaborate with influencers. By analysing key data such as engagement rates, audience demographics, and content quality, AI-powered systems can help brands efficiently and effectively select the right influencers for their campaigns, saving valuable time and resources.
We have taken our 10 years of experience in the field to develop our own AI tools that enable us to plan, strategize, create, execute, and evaluate influencer marketing campaigns with unparalleled precision and customization. Our AI-based approach ensures that each campaign is tailored to the unique needs of our clients, delivering optimal results every time.
Influencer campaigns tools: we take the high Road
We offer a range of tools and services to help brands optimise their digital marketing strategies. We start with our digital strategy audit, which measures brand reputation and compares it to competitors, giving us valuable insights into a brand’s current position and potential opportunities.
This way we can analyse the latest consumer trends and social media content, using social listening to identify the topics that generate the most traction among audiences. Our ShineBuzz AI technology helps us identify the best match among over 120 million Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) for successful social media campaigns.
In addition, we use advanced analytics tools to identify niche influencers and non-influential characters who are driving conversations on social media in specific territories. We also analyse the affinity between influencers and brand profiles to create awareness among target audiences.
Our technology provides optimal benchmark prices for each influencer, taking into account performance KPIs, demographics, platforms, and formats. We also monitor campaign success and analyse KPIs of each publication comparatively, to determine the effectiveness of each influencer and compare strategies with competitors.
With this suite of tools and services, we help brands predict, plan, and report on their influencer marketing campaigns, providing valuable insights into market benchmarks and performance metrics.
Influencer marketing is here to stay as a powerful tool for brands to reach potential customers throughout various stages of their decision-making process. With the help of AI technology, brands can now identify the right influencers to collaborate with more efficiently and, combining the human expertise, develop hyper-personalised campaigns that resonate with their target audience and achieve their business goals of digital strategy, unlocking the full potential of influencers.
Influencer marketing has become an essential tool for brands to connect with their target audience, and that’s already said and set, embraced by companies of all sizes. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial for brands to keep up with the latest trends in influencer marketing to stay ahead of their competitors, and the way to go on this is by understanding the shape of influencer marketing strategy for these upcoming years
“Brands are increasingly recognising influencers as professional publishers with valuable audiences (…) Even behemoth social media companies recognise the pull influencers have in connecting people and keeping them engaged on their platforms—so much so that they’re actually designing some of their new features specifically to support creators’ business efforts ”
Authenticity has become a buzzword in the influencer marketing world. Both brands and consumers are becoming more aware of fake followers and fake stats on social media, and users resent that. They are not looking for perfect idols anymore, but authenticity and realness. Brands that collaborate with influencers need to ensure that the influencers they work with have an actual and genuine connection with their audience, and have a place among them as equals.
In 2023, we can expect to see brands focusing more on authenticity and collaborating with influencers and niche influencers who have an honest connection with their audience, based on interests and talents.
Consumers are more likely to trust an influencer who they perceive as an expert in their field, this means that brands need to work with influencers who have a solid understanding of the industry they are promoting, but also rely on their knowledge and expertise; no one understands the target as they do.
Partnering with influencers who have an intimate knowledge of their niche will enable brands to establish a deeper level of trust with their target audience, thus significantly improving their likelihood of success in influencer marketing campaigns. To achieve this, choosing the right influencer is key.
Exploring the Metaverse
The Metaverse needs no explanation at this point, and it has become an exciting platform for brands to connect with their target audience, offering new spaces, goods, and experiences worldwide – all from the comfort of each individual’s home.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Metaverse is the possibility of having virtual ambassadors, also known as digital influencers. These are characters developed by brands or individuals that can represent them in the virtual world and, getting ahead of the upcoming Fashion Week, beauty and fashion brands are the ones rocking these virtual ambassadors, showing how amazingly effective they can be in promoting products and the brand itself in the Metaverse.The use of virtual ambassadors is just one example of the many opportunities that the Metaverse offers to brands. As more and more people spend time in this virtual world, brands have the chance to engage with their target audience in new and innovative ways. By building a presence in the Metaverse, brands can create a unique experience for users and establish a strong connection with their audience that can translate into increased brand awareness and loyalty.
Live shopping is becoming increasingly popular in the influencer marketing world. It allows consumers to interact with influencers in real-time and purchase products directly from the live stream, a whole entertaining and unique experience.
The game changer here is to build confidence: people want to be sure about what they are buying, as well as excited to see their favourite influencer talk about it.
According to Statista, the primary benefits of livestream shopping globally are the ability to access exclusive discounts and use it as a source of inspiration and ideas. Additionally, 31% of respondents stated that this purchasing channel enabled them to shop smarter and make more informed buying decisions.
Therefore, we can assure that collaborating with influencers to host live shopping events will represent a great strategy in the upcoming years, and it will result in a highly engaging and interactive shopping experience that will significantly increase the possibilities of consumers making a purchase.
As stated in our report “The rise of niche communities”, with this action involved in a strategy brands will have direct access to the target audience, meaning they can talk and communicate with them directly. Not only will they increase loyalty towards the brand, but also will get first-hand insights, challenges, goals and feedback.
Either way, users are extremely jealous and protective with their close spaces, therefore the best way to access to them is through niche influencers; who’s that might not seem as shiny, but have the strongest bond in the community, and understanding why they are there is the base to give proper information that will result into buying decisions for them.
Why are communities looking for decentralised spaces?
Discover new things
Connect with people who have similar interests
Find funny/entertaining content
Keep up with the news/current events
Ask a question to people knowledgeable about a topic
To seek honest advice
Get a recommendation for a product/service to buy
To have a safe space to share ideas, thoughts, etc.
To have genuine conversations with other people
To share advice
As we can see, it’s not only about showing off a product in these spaces, it’s about offering a solution based on the interests of people who belong there. And that’s why we, as brands, need an insider.
Best Platforms to be IN
In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, influencer marketing has become a crucial tool for brands to connect with their target audience. As the popularity of social media continues to grow, so does the number of platforms available for influencer marketing. While Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are currently the most popular platforms for influencer marketing, it is important to note that the best platform for your brand may differ based on your industry and target audience. For instance, a brand that caters to young people may find TikTok to be the best platform, while a brand targeting professionals may find LinkedIn to be more effective.
Looking ahead, we can expect to see more brands explore new and emerging platforms for influencer marketing. Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, has already gained significant traction among certain audiences, and brands are starting to take notice. Similarly, Reddit, Twitch, and Discord are all platforms that have the potential to become popular for influencer marketing in the near future.
By staying informed on the latest trends and platforms, brands can stay ahead of the curve and effectively reach their target audience through influencer marketing.
Down to business: is it worth the Investment?
Influencer marketing has been proven to be a valuable tool for brands to reach their target audience and increase brand awareness. By connecting with their audience in a more authentic and personal way, brands can increase sales and revenue. As such, we can expect to see more brands investing in influencer marketing, since 8 out of 10 marketers intended to dedicate from 10% to 20% of the marketing budget to Influencer Marketing in 2022, given the potential for high returns on investment.
However, influencer marketing is an ever-evolving industry, and brands need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends to stay ahead of competitors. It’s, indeed, a huge effort and strategy that needs to guarantee that this ally will retrieve the investment in terms of growth and driving sales, and understanding the needs of brands and considering the over 90.000 content creators that signed up for TikTok only in 2022, we saw the need of developing specialised high-tech tools to assure effective influencer marketing campaigns.
What are the differences between an advocate and an influencer? Can they complement each other? Can someone be both?
The best way to define the difference between advocate and influencer is to understand that an influencer can be an advocate but an advocate is not exclusively an influencer.
A brand advocate is a person, customer, employee or organisation that shares a quote, comment or review about a company through their networks (social media, word of mouth, email) with no other incentive than their love for the brand.
What value can each of these advocates bring to your brand?
A brand advocate or “brand ambassador” represents your brand, shows their support and can even influence the purchasing decisions of their “followers”. Everyone has the ability to recommend your brand. They all generate new business.
Happy customers are great advocates and brand ambassadors
The customer is the most important advocate to consider, as they can be your biggest supporter or your biggest fan. The real value provided by the visibility a customer gives you in networks is essential to generate brand advocacy.
If they choose your product or services and love your company, they will go beyond all expectations when it comes to recommending the brand to family, friends, acquaintances and followers.
Happy employees are essential brand ambassadors
It is essential for a brand to work on the wellbeing of its employees and to make them proud to be part of it, as the way a company treats its employees is a reflection of the company and has a real impact on its audience.
Happy employees are the best ambassadors, they are passionate about where they work and show genuine love for the brand.
Influencers as brand advocates
If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve already seen a product on an influencer’s social network. Influencers can be, on the one hand, famous people with many followers on different social media platforms. On the other hand, niche influencers have fewer followers but have a big impact on their communities.
If you want to know about the different types of influencers, just take a look at our article about it: Types of Influencers. Learn about all of them. Each influencer is different and, depending on what we are looking for for our product, one or another profile is recommended.
As I mentioned before, influencers can be brand ambassadors, not only through influencer marketing, but also through their organic reviews. An influencer is like any other consumer, but with an exponentially larger audience, which presents an advantage when it comes to giving visibility to a brand.
An influencer does not only generate an advertisement, but also when content is perceived as such it can have a negative impact on consumers.
As consumers evolve, connecting with them through influencers requires a constant evolution and requires a more personal and creative approach to give meaning to the message you want to convey.
Want to know more about the Advocacy Marketing?
At Samy, our alliance of agencies to which SamyRoad belongs, we are specialists in Brand Advocacy Marketing and influencer marketing. If you want to know more about it and how we can help your brand, do not hesitate to contact us.
Influencer marketing is a digital marketing strategy that consists of taking advantage of a public profile and, through collaborations, getting the brand’s message or commercial proposal across.
Although it may seem simple at first glance, influencer marketing involves a difficulty that arises, firstly, when choosing the profiles that best suit your brand and, secondly, the creation of appropriate content according to the social platform used.
The value of influencer marketing has been more than backed up by its results and the interest it generates among brands.
According to BusinessInsider, investment in influencer marketing will reach $15 billion by 2022. In 2020, 47% of brands were already planning to increase their budget for influencer campaigns.
Moreover, this type of strategy generates up to eleven times more ROI than traditional marketing.
But, what’s an influencer?
Social networks are the cause of this type of marketing, as they are where the emergence of the well-known influencers has been generated, a figure that nevertheless already existed before in the concept of celebrities.
An influencer is a person who, thanks to their profile, their way of communicating and the content they generate, has created a loyal audience base.
The strength of influencers lies not only in their charisma but also in generating closeness and a bond with the public that brands cannot achieve through traditional marketing. People see themselves reflected in the profiles they follow, whether by tastes, lifestyle or values.
61% of consumers trust social media networks as their main source of information regarding the quality of a product or service. In fact, according to BrandManic, up to 92% of people are willing to trust opinions about brands even without knowing the person making the recommendation.
In other words, the influence, hence the name, generated by this type of profile is much greater than that generated by a brand profile. Moreover, the public is increasingly demanding more reality, naturalness and content generated by others as opposed to a standard advertisement.
How to choose the perfect influencer for your marketing campaign?
67% of brands believe that an influencer marketing campaign reaches much more specific target audiences. In addition, 94% of those who have used influencers for campaigns consider this method to be an effective strategy.
However, not any influencer will do.
Brands must take into account a series of essential values to choose the right profiles when carrying out an effective strategy, given that these profiles are the ones that will ensure the success or failure of the strategy.
The influencer must share the values of the brand they are going to represent.
As has been proven with other types of marketing strategies, it is essential to have the ability to quantitatively measure the content and success of the campaign, as well as to know how to judge both quantitatively and qualitatively the different potential profiles from which to choose the perfect match.
How can we help you?
At Samyroad we are experts in influencer marketing.
We have our own tool that allows us to analytically choose the perfect influencer profiles for your brand and measure the campaign to know its reach and success.