Influencer Marketing's Rise and What It Means for Your Business

The market for influencer marketing has more than doubled since 2019. If your business is still wondering whether this is just a passing phase or perhaps something more, read on to determine if this approach is right for you and which future trends are on the horizon.

Influencer Marketing's Rise and What It Means for Your Business
Katie Metz // Adriana Lacy Consulting

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, some trends are too big to ignore. Although influencer marketing has been around since the early 2000’s, it has only been the last few years that it has made its mark. According to Statista, the market size of influencer marketing more than doubled from 2019 to 2023 and is estimated at 21.1 billion U.S. dollars for 2023. 

Yet many marketing executives are still hesitant to embrace this avenue. Some reasons for this are lack of available research and knowledge on the subject, or red tape constricting its effectiveness. Think of a bunch of executives telling their social media team that they must first submit their ideas for approval. This could take months. By the time approval is reached, the content is no longer relevant. 

Another hurdle to cross is the public’s diminishing trust in the advertising sector. A Gallup survey shows that only 11% of respondents had either high or very high trust in advertising practitioners. In a 2022 trust report, Adobe found that when a consumer’s trust is broken, more than half said they will never purchase from them again. 72% of respondents said that lack of personalization contributed to eroding their trust in the brand. These responses highlight the importance of authenticity and trust in marketing. Influencers are just the answer to earn back trust through their authentic messages. 

Here are a few ways influencer marketing has the power to build trust in your brand and how to harness that power. Plus, a few trends to watch out for. 

Authenticity equals loyalty

Followers trust the advice of influencers. The public is tired of unrelatable flawless faces. They want to hear an authentic voice they can connect with. Influencers provide their audience with a sense of community which builds trust and results in loyalty. With 93% of marketers collaborating with influencers in 2020, 70% of teens trusting influencers more than celebrities, and 86% of women using social media for advice before purchasing a product, these numbers are too big to ignore. 

Think small

Influencers are categorized by the size of their audience. Nano-influencers, with an audience of less than 1,000, might seem like an insignificant amount. However, these followers are fiercely loyal and the most engaged, equating to a more effective reach to your target audience.  In addition, they are often more likely to respond to a collaboration request. 

Micro-influencers, touting 1,000 to 100,000 followers, are another affordable option with a sizable and loyal following. In fact, both Adobe and Squarespace use micro-influencers with their marketing campaigns. 

Another reason to think small is cost. A top-paid mega-influencer with a million or more followers might charge as much as a billion dollars for one post! 

Then, think big

The platforms with the largest reach are Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. After researching your influencer using hashtags or keywords related to your business, send an email or direct message with your request for a collaboration. However, there is another option. Consider using Clever, Shopify, Impact, or YouTube BrandConnect. These are partnership managed platforms that simplify the process and offer additional benefits. 

For example, BrandConnect not only offers help connecting your brand with influencers, but you can also monitor performance with connection to Google measurements tools. Shopify collaborations are free to those with an existing account and offer a custom application page including managing payouts. 

Video content once again emerges as a key player. The focus is on user-generated content. Include short videos containing recommendations and product highlights.  Remember, on average, 17 hours of video is watched online every week. 

E-commerce integration provides users with the ease-of-access they are looking for. If you have yet to provide customers with this service, consider that social commerce market size is valued at over $700 billion in 2022, according to Grandview Research. By linking your products with influencers’ stories, users can satisfy their shopping impulses. 

Social messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp can offer more than just messaging. These apps are emerging as influencer marketing partners. With $2 billion users, WhatsApp is using conversational marketing to engage their audience. Check out a few campaigns here that have taken advantage of this emerging trend. 

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