Influencers Continue to Earn Their Marketing Chops Among Brands and Consumers

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Influencer marketing continues to make good on last year’s predictions of continued growth from a diverse array of brands. Led by fashion and beauty aids, eMarketer’s 2019 Report indicated that 48 percent of brands used or planned to use influencer marketing in 2019. As many as 88 percent of fashion and beauty brands dabbled in the medium. While most large brands favor celebrity influencers, the rise of smaller, micro-influencers are gaining attention. Instagram continues to out-perform Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter according to the report.

A plethora of new podcasts are entering the influencer marketplace, each attempting to build interest, credibility and trusted relationships with their respective audiences. With the decision of the NCAA to allow athletes to retain ownership of their names and likenesses, more college athletes are moving to secure their position as influencers. Some are predicting that influencer marketing spend could exceed $15 billion by 2022.

Such bold predictions are premised on the marketplace standardizing and professionalizing practices between the platforms, regulators and agencies. Influencer marketers in the coming year will have to provide verifiable campaign metrics in order to receive continued brand support. Typical social metrics like follower counts, likes and engagement rates will no longer be enough to garner support among the major players who are looking for true conversion rates, sales reports and creative analysis in order to compare influencer marketing to other media choices.

Once thought to be a quizzical phenomenon, influencer marketing is now deeply entrenched in the marketing strategies of both large and small brands. The landscape will continue to be dynamic as the formulas for successful influencer campaigns are tested and proven, but consumers of all demographics are showing favor to influencers when making their purchasing decisions.

Influencers are not only generating impact on brands but are also taking huge payments to the bank.  Influencers have been able to charge pretty much whatever they want based upon their number of followers, engagement rates and the total number of social channels they employ. Today’s top twenty-five influencers are deployed across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and the strategy is paying-off big for many who have not yet reached the ripe age of 25. With 119.8 million followers, a relatively unknown Swedish social media influencer, Felix Kjellberg (better known as PewDiePie) has become the most followed YouTuber of all time with 80.6 million subscribers and is reported to earn more than $12 million dollars a year.

Huda Kattan has 31.8 million followers and has combined her entrepreneurial background with a lifelong passion for makeup to create her own beauty business. Huda Beauty has become one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the world. Huda uses all platforms of social media to promote the latest beauty industry news, beauty tips, ideas, and tutorials.

Kattan’s success, while impressive, pales in comparison to the leading celebrity influencer, Kylie Jenner, who began her entrepreneurial beauty career in 2015 and recently became the youngest billionaire at age 21.  According to reports, Jenner is paid $1.2 million for a single post on Instagram, earning her the spot of the highest-earning Instagram influencer in 2019.  Jenner’s ability to communicate with her 157 million followers with the push of a button holds a lot of power for brands, and also fueled the successful launch of her own cosmetics line.

Credibility, authenticity and transparency are the major factors that determine the continued viability of influencers’ future impact on consumers. Long term relationships with brands, the influencers and their audiences will only be achieved when confidence in these principles among all participants is achieved. Consumers are catching on to how some practitioners took advantage of promoting multiple brands to enrich themselves. The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) has developed a new set of guidelines to help creators navigate the process and to disclose when an ad, is an ad. Consumers will no longer blindly accept the legitimacy of online advertisements.

Videos’ reign will continue in the coming year as consumers continue to favor the medium. HubSpot research has shown that 72% of consumers prefer learning about a product in a video rather than text content. Purpose-driven campaigns that address common social and environmental issues while effectively promoting a brand’s value will be among the leading social media campaigns going forward. Large brands will generate the best results when campaigning in both micro and macro environments. Micro influencer models will produce better results when tightly focused on unique market segments while macro environments will generate recognition in broader markets.

In general, the tweaking and perfecting of this important marketing approach will yield benefits to brands, influencers and consumers alike and will deliver solutions to consumers more effectively and efficiently. To learn more about how you can reap the advantages of influencer marketing call Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) today at 678-686-1125.