Influencer marketing continues to stimulate vibrant debate. Some naysayers claim it’s on its way out, however, a recent survey by Influencer Marketing Hub proves quite the opposite. Here are some of the key takeaways from the survey.

Kayla Itsines – Fitness Influencer

1) Instagram is the powerhouse for Influencers

Influencer Marketing appears to be thriving on Instagram for B2C marketing. Instagram is the fastest growing social network and in mid-2018 they had reached 1 billion monthly active users. While it’s older sibling, Facebook may still have the largest user base, the younger demographic seems to be migrating from Facebook to Instagram. Facebook is now perceived to be for parents.

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Instagram Growth
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Instagram users post 95 million photos and videos per day, along with uploading 400 million Instagram Stories daily. Instagram users “like” an incredible 4.2 billion posts every day.

Instagram is now indisputably the powerhouse platform, particularly amongst younger social networkers and influencers. 79% of survey respondents consider Instagram important for their influencer marketing campaigns.

2) More influencer agencies and apps

With the maturation of influencer marketing more agencies and apps have entered the market aiming to streamline the process for both influencers and brands. Just in the past 12 months, 320 influencer marketing focussed platforms and agencies emerged. By way of comparison, in 2015 there were only 190 influencer platforms and agencies in existence.

3) High average earned media achieved

Earned media is defined as the publicity generated from promotional efforts other than paid advertising. Companies leveraging influencer marketing are yielding impressive returns of between $5.20 – $18 in earned media value for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing.

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Earned value through Influencer Marketing
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On the flip side, some 25% of businesses can either lose their investment or simply break even. This is as a result of selecting the wrong influencers for their brand. The trick is to select influencers who have a proven following that is closely aligned to your primary target market.

4) Google searches for Influencer Marketing spike

According to comparative studies undertaken by the survey, Google searches for “influencer marketing” rose from 3,900 searchers in 2015 to 61,000 in 2018. This is a phenomenal 1500% increase in searches for this topic.

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Influencer marketing google searches popularity
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5) The largest majority focus on B2C marketing

Of the 830 marketing professionals who participated in the perception survey, 69% of them focus on the B2C sector. The remaining 31% indicated they run campaigns targeted at the B2B sector. This is supported by the predominant use of Instagram as the platform for leveraging influencers. According to statistics reported by Blue Corona, Facebook (89%), LinkedIn (81%), and Twitter (75%) are the three most used social media channels by B2B marketers, and only 33% of B2B businesses use Instagram.

6) Dedicated budgets for Influencer Marketing

Overall the survey results indicate positive sentiment to the effectiveness of using influencers with 92% believing it is an effective form of marketing.  With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that 86% of respondents intend to dedicate a portion of their budget to influencer marketing this year.  This form of marketing has become a great delivery mechanism for content marketing. The two go hand in hand and with the phenomenal rise in influencer marketing, 77% of our survey respondents stated that they had increased their content output over the past 2 yrs.

Common Challenges

  • Fraud was a concern to 64% of survey respondents, with 2/3 having already experienced this type of fraud. Hopefully, with greater publicity regarding influencer fraud, and more robust fake influencer tools now available, fewer brands will have the first-hand experience of influencer fraud in the future.
  • Initially, the challenge of finding the right influencer was a common conundrum. The survey noted that this challenge was only experienced by 19% of respondents in the latest study. This can be attributed to the explosion of agencies and apps that now exist in the market to make it easier for brands to align with the most appropriate influencers.

Influencers in South Africa

South Africa has a very large micro-influencer community, says Cornel de Jager, group head of digital at M&C Saatchi Abel. “It basically means that there are lots of influencers with small to medium followings who are highly engaged,” De Jager told Business insider South Africa.

The use of social media personalities to sell products – reached an estimated $2 billion in 2017. By 2022, influencer ad spend is expected to hit between $5 and $10 billion.

Calvyn Justus SA swimmer (Instagram)

Here are the top Instagram influencers in South Africa.  For more mind-blowing stats check them out here.

Do you use Influencer Marketing for your brand?

We’d love to hear your experience?  Creative Imagineering is well equipped to source and manage your influencer marketing on your behalf. Email us to find out more.

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