By Barry Eitel
Since the first posts on social media a decade ago, influencer marketing has grown into a full-fledged industry in its own right, and experts believe it is only going to become more important for advertisers as we head into the next decade.
Ad agency Mediakix predicted earlier this year that influencer marketing would be a $10 billion market by 2020. Advertisers will spend an estimated $1.6 billion on influencer marketing via Instagram alone this year.
Influencer marketing is now a massive part of the advertising ecosystem, so it is a great time to either adapt influencer strategies as an ad firm or to build a personal brand and start leveraging the brand to market products yourself.
A study on Instagram’s top influencers by HopperHQ found that Kylie Jenner pulls in $1.3 million per post. In just two years, she has built a cosmetics empire worth some $800 million, according to Forbes.
While Jenner and her Kardashian family are undoubtedly some of the highest-priced influencers in the world, the field is an entire ecosystem.
In fact, one of the hottest trends in influencer marketing right now is micro-influencers, social media accounts with modest followings that are able to provide an authentic experience to their followers and brands.
“The best types of influencers are those who are already fans of your brand,” claims advertising expert Sidney Pierucci. “When they promote products or services from your brand, it’s more trustworthy because their followers know that the influencer already loves your products. The best part is that you won’t have to put in too much effort to convince them to become your brand advocates.”
At the LeadsCon Connect to Convert conference this October in Boston, the continued growth of influencer marketing will be a top topic of conversation. One session, “Finding Value in the Power of Influence and Influencers,” is specifically geared toward the future of influencer marketing.
The panel discussion will be key for two types of attendees – marketers looking to utilize influencer marketing for a client and people trying to build up a personal brand.
The session will be led by Kenneth Kinney, host of marketing podcast A Shark’s Perspective, and Kim Brown, founder of ad agency Centrally Human.
“Consumers have less patience and attention to be inundated with semi-relevant marketing, but more importantly, companies and brands have growing expectations for marketing to deliver results,” Brown believes. “That pressure to deliver ROI to the bottom line with drive increased scrutiny, data-driven marketing, and precision decision-making will be necessary in the coming years.”
While the ROI of influencer marketing continues to be difficult to quantify for many marketers, many ad agencies are seeing that it works. Influencer marketing can have an impressive impact on engagement, clicks, and conversions, according to agencies surveyed by Linqia.
“However, advanced marketers are starting to look at the full consumer journey, holding inﬂuencer marketing accountable for driving lower funnel metrics in addition to awareness and engagement,” the researchers said in their report.