Social media exploded into life as a platform for contacting and keeping in touch with friends and family, but it quickly evolved into much more versatile networks. Today, social media apps and sites provide an incredible opportunity for businesses and individual influencers to build their brand, engage with customers, and drive sales. With Web3 in the works content creators who develop influencer marketing strategies have even more opportunities to monetize, get paid immediately and own the rights to their own content.
The Future Belongs to Influencers and Content Creators
Almost 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company or venture they follow on social media. Just a few years ago, you had to be famous to become a social media influencer, but times have sure changed.
Today, a growing number of brands and businesses work with content creators and influencers, and more and more people are choosing to establish a career based on their social media presence.
If you’re interested in social media and authentic influencer marketing strategies, here’s some informative tips to get you started.
Let’s begin with the most fundamental part of this discussion: content creation for influencer marketing.
The metaverse will make extended reality (XR) experiences more accessible and prominent. XR combines virtual, augmented and mixed reality; digital worlds will soon evolve beyond simple games and marketing campaigns into entire worlds with personal avatars, digital goods and complete experiences.
We’re already seeing a massive demand for digital goods via the NFT boom.
In December 2021, Nike bought RTFKT, a company that makes “virtual sneakers” and NFTs. Expect more acquisitions this decade, as brands turn to future-looking startups and creatives to be pioneers in the metaverse. Digital shopping malls, hangouts, real estate, travel experiences, game parks, parties and entertainment are all part of this brave new world.
Not only will there be new avenues for content creation for influencer marketing, but the creative process itself will also profoundly change.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will help creators find images, videos, text and audio more quickly; they could also allow NFT creators to augment and personalize interactive NFTs based on the owner’s usage patterns.
Creators and influencers could benefit from content-management systems that are more secure and intuitive than what’s currently on the market, and also leverage real-time rendering and transcoding on a distributed network to speed up their workflows.
All these developments trend in one direction: easier content creation, smarter tools and new opportunities to publish creator’s work.
A brief introduction to influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is an increasingly effective ploy for businesses looking to use social media to interact with customers, build a following, enhance their brand reputation, and most importantly, increase sales.
To a degree, social media influencers have replaced celebrity endorsements in the modern world, and they tend to achieve results based on the fact that they’re authentic, and their posts are believable.
Many social media users view influencers as peers, and this helps to form relationships and establish a connection between brands and their target customers.
If you looked at an account run by an influencer a few years ago, it would probably be very different to one that receives millions of likes today.
While original images that broke the mold made a splash in the early days of influencing, there has been a shift towards a more natural and genuine approach to capturing and sharing photographs.
The vast majority of people now post photos directly from their phone, rather than staging a shoot with a tripod and a DSLR camera, and buyers are looking for products they could actually wear or use themselves.
Fashion and beauty are focal points for influencers, and more relaxed images tend to be more popular than overly staged, professional, catwalk-style shots.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing hub predicts that the value of social media influencing is set to increase to $16.4 Billion in 2022.
Although Instagram is the leading name in this industry, there are several other platforms to consider if you are thinking about becoming an authentic social media influencer. Snapchat, YouTube, and Tiktok are all popular alternatives.
Almost 90% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is as valuable as other types of techniques, and it achieves an 11% higher ROI than digital media.
Notable Highlights for influencer marketing
- Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $16.4 Billion in 2022
- Influencer Marketing focused platforms raised more than $800M in funding in 2021 alone, an indication of the significant growth of the industry
- The global number of Influencer Marketing related service offerings grew by 26% in 2021 alone, to reach a staggering 18,900 firms offering or specializing in Influencer Marketing services
- Instagram influencer fraud has declined over the last few years, still 49% of Instagram Influencer accounts were impacted by fraud in 2021
- More than 75% of brand marketers intend to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2022
- Growth of the Influencer Marketing Industry strongly impacted by an estimated 9% YoY increase in usage of ad blocking tools, with the average global desktop ad blocking rate sitting above 43%
- 54% of the firms working with influencers operate eCommerce stores
- 2021 saw a notable increase in brands paying money to influencers. There is now an equal split between monetary payment and influencers receiving free products
- Zara, the most mentioned brand on Instagram, has an estimated reach of 2,074,000,000
- Netflix Was the Most Followed Brand on TikTok in 2021
- 68% of our marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing spend in 2022
- Instagram was used by nearly 80% of the brands that engage in influencer marketing
Successful Instagram influencer marketing examples
Instagram provided a platform for the earliest influencers to establish a following and forge a career, and often, it’s useful to see how bloggers and aspiring entrepreneurs used the app to put their name up in lights.
Here are some of the most successful examples of Instagram influencers:
Candice Kumai: a well-known author, Candice Kumai increased her following by sharing posts on a number of subjects that appealed to both her and her virtual friends.
Rather than focusing solely on the subject of her book, wellness, Kumai shared posts on topics ranging from plant-based cooking and healthy eating to entrepreneurialism, family, and travel.
The key message here is to be diverse and use your own stories, background, and experiences to give your feed a unique identity.
From an entrepreneurial perspective, Kumai has succeeded due to her engagement with fans, her promotion of other content she has created and shared on other platforms and channels, and her professional production and presentation.
Angi Greene: Angi Greene gained popularity through her storytelling posts, which captured her life as a mom, a daughter, and a trainer. Her photos, which are often raw, are accompanied by tales or inspirational quotes and mantras, and she uses a mixture of text and images to create a compelling feed.
REI: REI is a great example of how a brand can capitalise on the impact of influencer marketing. REI features real-life customers, sharing versions of original user posts, and it also shares useful, informative, purposeful content.
This kind of feed is attractive to buyers and followers because it has value and it provides benefits for the reader.
Social media influencing is like any other form of marketing in that it requires careful planning.
If you run a business, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience a sudden influx of orders by sending out a few free samples and asking friends to share posts about them on Instagram.
To make influencer marketing work for your business, you have to create a strategy, and this involves the following steps:
Research your market:
Consider your target market very carefully before you decide which platform to focus on. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to concentrate on a single app to begin with.
Choose a platform that is most popular with your ideal customer and think about the type of products you’re talking about and promoting. Instagram, for example, is a brilliant choice for fashion and beauty.
Research influencers, and explore your options. Are you hoping to work with celebrities who have millions of followers, or is a micro influencer with around 2,500-5,000 followers more realistic?
Make choices based on your budget and remember that you’ll need to factor in the compensation cost.
Different people will charge varied rates. Gather as much information as you can before you make any decisions.
Establish your budget: once you’ve completed your research, and you’ve got data in front of you, figure out how much you want to spend on influencer marketing. This will help you narrow down your options.
Make your objectives clear: you should always plan a strategy based on your goals and targets.
Every brand wants to utilize social influencer marketing to promote their business and increase sales, but it’s wise to break these objectives down.
Maybe your initial aim is to expand your client base within a specific demographic or create a buzz around a new product, for example.
Making contact with influencers: before you agree to anything, look at the work of influencers on your short-list, make sure they are legitimate, and ensure they will appeal to your ideal buyer. When you’ve made a decision, you can contact influencers through social media, or via their agent if they don’t work independently.
This post contains a link with well-known agencies for businesses and influencers to connect:
Adapt and update your strategy: times change, and new trends emerge. This means that it’s crucial to monitor the success of your influencer marketing campaigns and be prepared to modify and adjust the strategy to ensure it remains relevant.
Social media influencers play an increasingly visible role in promoting businesses and raising brand awareness. If you’re keen to tap into this growing trend, hopefully, these tips will hopefully get you off to a flying start.
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