Marketers aiming to break sales records this year may wish to look even harder at influencers for assistance. Between 2014 and 2019, spending for print ads declined at the same rate as the rate of increase in influencer marketing. The study and information was provided by Google Trends and all indications seem to point to more growth ahead.
The challenge, however, is that more than six out of ten marketers report having difficulty in finding the right influencers for their brand. 61% reported that issue in a recent survey by influencer marketing agency Mediakix.
The result seems counterintuitive in light of the results of other surveys of influencers. More than half – 57.5% – told a joint study by Tapinfluence and Altimeter that they chose to become influencers so they could effect change. But an even larger number, 69.4%, admitted to becoming influencers so they could earn money.
So, with so many marketers seeking the right influencers and the majority of influencers looking to make money and make a difference, what’s the problem?
Narrow the Search
Marketers seeking the right influencers need to do a better job identifying influencers that not only fit their niche but who also engage their followers. The latter attribute has become increasingly valuable in establishing trust and credibility as more and more consumers are becoming wary of ads. What’s also important for marketers is deciding which opportunities are most pertinent to their target audiences.
As critical as engagement is, so too is verification of web traffic. A study commissioned for communications and PR software product Augure reported that 75% of marketers surveyed cited follower verification as the most important standard.
Crowdtap, an internet marketing service company, interviewed more than 50 content creators and learned that more than half expect to be respected by the brands they represent. The study for Augere also reported that 54% of influencers said they earned their influence and that they would not tolerate being walked over by brand executives.
Influencers know their followers and marketers would be wise to collaborate with them. 67% of marketers and influencers already partner on content promotion.
Instagram remains the most popular platform for influencers, according to 79% of respondents to the recent 2019 State of Influencer Marketing survey. Facebook came in second at 46%, followed by YouTube at 36%. The product can also make a difference, too. To micro influencers, Instagram is the favored site for 77% engaged in fashion, compared to just 31% of those in entertainment/pop culture, based on a study for Locowise, a social media analytics firm.
The numbers don’t necessarily mean that all influencer marketing should be done on LinkedIn. It still depends on who the target audience is. For B2B, LinkedIn is still the preferred platform and for gamers, YouTube is still favored along with streamers on Twitch or Mixer.
When Chris Evert said, “You’re always striving to play that perfect match,” the former female professional was referring to tennis. Her quote seems equally appropriate for marketers seeing good influencers who can help build and promote their brand.