What is influencer marketing? An influencer is someone who can influence others. In influencer marketing, an influential person collaborates with a brand to promote something. Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing and this has changed over time to include social content creators with niche audiences that can often offer more value to the brand. These people have dedicated and engaged groups of followers on social media. Creators with more niche audiences can range in follower size, including:
- Nano-influencers: 10,000 followers or fewer, like mommy blogger Lindsay Gallimore (8.3K followers)
- Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers, like lifestyle blogger Sharon Mendelaoui (13.5K followers)
- Macro-influencers: 100,000 to 1 million followers, like food and travel creator Jean Lee (115K followers)
- Mega-influencers: 1 million+ followers, like TikTok star Savannah LaBrant (28.3M followers)
What is Influencer Marketing?
Ultimately, a social media influencer is someone who wields their influence through social media. When you hire an influencer to promote your products or services, that’s influencer marketing.
More than two-thirds (67.9%) of U.S marketers will use some form of influencer marketing this year. That’s expected to increase to 72.5% in 2022. Civic Science found that 14% of 18-to-24-year-olds and 11% of millennials had bought something within the last six months because a blogger or influencer recommended it.
Instagram remains the platform of choice for social influencers. 93% of U.S. marketers plan to use Instagram for their influencer campaigns. While only 16% of U.S. marketers planned to use TikTok for influencer campaigns in 2019, 68% expected to in 2020, and that focus has continued to rise. So expect TikTok to be on par with Facebook as an influencer marketing platform in 2022.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making this strategy work, but with the right planning and research, just about every business can benefit. Let’s look at how to make a social media influencer program work for you.
How much does influencer marketing cost?
Influencers with extensive reach rightly expect to be paid for their work. Free products might work with nano-influencers, but a larger influencer campaign requires a budget. For large brands working with celebrity influencers, that budget may be quite large. U.S. spending on influencer marketing is set to surpass $3 billion for the first time in 2021, and to top $4 billion in 2022.
Think about what kind of payment structure makes the most sense for your goals. But be willing to consider the influencer’s needs, too. For example, an affiliate or commission structure might be an option instead of a flat fee or reducing the flat fee. In fact, 9.3% of U.S. influencers said affiliate marketing (through affiliate links and promo codes) was their top source of income.
That said, the most common baseline pricing formula for influencers’ Instagram posts is: $100 x 10,000 followers + extras = total rate
Remember that micro-influencers and nano-influencers will have more flexible payment terms.
How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Create your influencer strategy
What are your goals? How can influencers help you achieve your brand goals? Some brands use influencers for increasing app downloads and IAP, others for their brand awareness, driving website traffic and sales. Influencers can also help you generate engagement around your brand, create a community, and serve as a customer support channel for your customers.
Check Out Our Blockbuster Creative!
Develop ad creative that stands out
For your influencer marketing campaigns, you’ll need creative, lots of it. You’ll want to continually generate, test, and optimize your campaign creatives. Learn how to use creative testing best practices to drive performance. Audiences require a cadence of fresh content and creative, otherwise, they get ‘creative fatigue’ and will begin to ignore your campaigns. If you can’t test creative ads quickly and affordably, your campaign’s financial performance is likely to suffer from a lot of non-converting spend.
See which video ad formats are performing best across TikTok, Snap, and Reels here.
But testing alone isn’t enough. You also must generate enough original creative concepts to fuel testing and uncover winners. Over the years, we’ve found that 19 out of 20 ads fail (5% success rate), you don’t just need one new creative: You need 20 new original ideas or more to sustain performance and scale! Check out our article on how to make creative that stands out.
Leverage measurement tools
Along the way, whether you are running paid campaigns, publishing content, or engaging with influencers, you will want to know how your influencer marketing is performing. Are you reaching more people than last month? How many positive mentions do you get a month? How many people used your brand’s hashtag on their influencer posts?
Influencer marketing is always evolving and you’ll need support to stay on top of the latest trends in influencer marketing creative strategies. We want to help you stay up-to-date with all the latest changes and strategies to succeed with influencer marketing. Here are a few resources to get you started:
Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.