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Are Influencers the Future of Marketing?

Influencer Marketing
Are Influencers the Future of Marketing?

Marketing is one industry that’s always changing and adapting. The state of marketing today in 2022 is very different from marketing in 1990, 2000, or even 2015. A big part of that change is the shift toward influencer marketing. 

Online influencer marketing has been around for over a decade, but the growth of influencer marketing in recent years has been explosive. Between 2016 and 2022, the market size of the influencer marketing industry grew 46.9% annually on average. That growth just goes to show how much marketers are increasingly turning to influencer marketing to promote products and services. 

It begs the question — are influencers the future of marketing? To answer that, it’s important to first understand exactly what influencer marketing is and how brands use it. 

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that uses social media influencers to advertise products and services for brands. There are several forms of influencer marketing, but they all involve a brand partnering with one or more social media influencers to promote the brand to their audiences. 

Social media influencers are people who post on social media platforms and gain audiences who are interested in what they have to say. Because their audiences engage with their content and trust their recommendations, influencers can affect consumer behavior. Brands use influencer marketing to tap into that ability.

What Is the Future of Influencer Marketing?

Despite the influencer marketing growth recently, many people are still curious whether influencer marketing will remain an effective marketing strategy going forward. Common questions include, “are influencers going to last?” and “what is the future for influencers?”

It’s impossible to see into the future, but marketers at least are very optimistic about the future of influencer marketing. The majority of marketers in 2022 planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets. Total brand spending on influencer marketing in 2023 is projected to reach nearly $5 billion, up from $4.25 billion in 2022.

In other words, influencer marketing probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  

How to Utilize Social Media Marketing

If you’re wondering “does influencer marketing still work?” the answer is yes, as long as you follow the right steps. 

Step 1) Define Your Goals for the Campaign

When you want to utilize social media influencer marketing for your brand, you should start by defining your goals. Ask yourself:

  • Are you simply trying to build general brand awareness?
  • Is your goal to directly generate sales?
  • Do you want to attract a new target market?
  • Are you interested in changing or strengthening your brand image?
  • Do you want to increase social media followers on your brand pages?

Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign will help guide your strategy. 

2) Determine Your Audience

As with any other marketing campaign, you need to know who the target audience is for your influencer marketing campaign to be effective. 

You might be trying to reach more people in your current audience. Maybe you’re trying to tap into a new audience. There’s no wrong answer — it’s just important to understand who you want to influence with your influencer marketing campaign. 

Once you know who your audience is, you can start developing a successful influencer marketing strategy. Understanding your target audience will especially help you find influencers with the right influencer audience.  

3) Understand the Different Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Sponsored posts are the most common type of influencer marketing campaign, but there are several other types, too. Consider these different types of influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Brand product placement
  • Discounts and affiliate marketing
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Brand ambassadors
  • Video reviews

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If it makes sense for your brand, you can always run multiple different types of influencer marketing campaigns. Social media trends in 2023 will be different, for example, so you could run a new campaign based on those trends. 

How to Pick the Right Influencers to Work With

Arguably the most important step in running an influencer marketing campaign is choosing the top social media influencers to work with. 

Ever wondered “how many influencers are there?” Well, there are millions and millions of social media influencers, so choosing the best ones for your campaign can be a challenge. Picking the right influencers is all about weighing key criteria like the quality of their content, their engagement rate, and their authenticity.  

Cost is another factor to consider, since micro influencers in 2022 generally charge much lower fees than influencers with larger followings. An Instagram influencer might also charge different rates than a TikTok influencer, for example. 

How Lionize Simplifies Working with Social Influencers

If considering all those different factors sounds like a nightmare, don’t worry. Influencer marketing software from Lionize can help. Lionize’s influencer marketing software helps you with every step of the process, from finding the right influencers to work with to tracking the success of your campaigns. Book a Discovery Call to learn more about how we can help your company tackle influencer marketing.