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Influencer Marketing Is Growing Faster Than Digital Advertising

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Advertising may predate the web, but there’s no denying the Internet transformed advertising as we know it. We’ve seen data-driven paid ads, SEO-focused blogs, and the latest explosion — influencer marketing.

93% of digital marketers use influencer marketing. One survey found that it's the fastest-growing customer acquisition channel, and the industry is expected to reach $16.4 billion by year-end, 2022.

Influencer marketing helps businesses expand their reach, acquire new customers, and shape their public image. But, how does this differ from traditional paid advertising? According to the influencer marketing agency MODERNSPEAK, most often, the return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing exceeds the ROI from the other channels.

Influencer marketing in its current form is still new and growing, but in the broader sense, has been around for centuries (surprise - The Queen of England endorsed art in the 1700s!).

Modern influencer marketing started taking shape in the 1930s and has evolved into what we know today. A quick recap on the evolution:

  • Phase 1: Santa Claus becomes the face of Coca-Cola in 1932, conveying cheer and joy during the Great Depression.

  • Phase 2: Celebrity endorsements explode in the 80s and 90s but slowly lose effectiveness as people can’t relate to the larger-than-life superstars.

  • Phase 3: Reality TV transforms celebs’ images and makes them more “real.” Most notably, Keeping Up With the Kardashians builds a bridge between unrelatable fame and viewing celebs as real people.

  • Phase 4: Influencer marketing as we know it started taking shape as social media grabbed the world’s attention. Several Kardashians use their reality TV fame to start promoting brands.

  • Phase 5: Anyone can become an influencer. Bloggers, social media personalities, podcasters, and vloggers are all using their platforms to promote products to their communities.

Ultimately, the success of influencer marketing comes down to trust; consumers want to trust the businesses they buy from.

Trust is the reason why influencer content isn’t just another generic ad. They’re real people who have built communities by creating content that showcases their authenticity. So, followers are more likely to trust when they post about a product they like. And while Instagram made influencer marketing what it is today, now nearly every marketing channel can be leveraged via influencers.

Influencer marketing is a focused approach targeting specific, or niche communities. You can work with different influencers to reach your target audience through preferred channels. The influencer lends their trust and credibility to your product or service and, as a result, brand awareness and affinity are achieved faster than traditional advertising.

Marketing your brand through influencers takes a human-centric marketing approach and strives to build connections. The influencer’s face and voice are associated with your brand, building a real human connection that boosts brand awareness, and trust, and ultimately leads to conversions.

Quick sidebar - influencer vs content creator. The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference.

  • A content creator focuses on creating high-quality authentic content, such as art, photography, writing, or podcasts

  • An influencer focuses more on building community and achieving high engagement metrics

Content creators can also be influencers. However, since they have a different focus, they often have smaller followings. This creates an opportunity for smaller brands with more restrictive budgets.

Another lower-budget option is micro-influencers. Although it can vary by channel, they typically have under 100k followers. A micro-influencer will charge less but still create a trustworthy human connection between your brand and their community. It’s a great way for growing brands to leverage the power of influencer marketing without breaking the bank.

Influencer marketing strategies have become the new norm. It’s already proven its effectiveness, but many brands have yet to embrace it. Are you ready for the next big digital growth strategy? Working with an influencer marketing agency can help you find authoritative and engaging influencers to help your brand reach new heights.

Written by: Marc Webster of MODERNSPEAK

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