Budgets across the board are projected to increase for spending on influencer collaborations, campaigns, tie-ins, and other forms of promotion. Influencer marketing statistics in 2022 indicate on all levels that as a marketer, you have to get moving with influencers.
What is influencer marketing?
Not only do social media influencers work hard to build their audience—they reach niche buyers that would be difficult to connect with otherwise. This increases the likelihood of conversions every time. And when these potential customers trust an influencer as an expert in their field, they are also more likely to buy.
The influencer industry is growing and proving its worth as a marketplace. As this reputation spreads, more clients partner with more influencers. Worth only $1.7 billion in 2016, it’s now expected to exceed 13 billion.
It’s easier to find influencers: A lot of businesses don’t know how to connect with influencers. But organic connection can be difficult due to heavy competition for particular influencers. As a result, 240 new companies (up from 190 in 2015) have formed around helping businesses efficiently connect to influencers. (IMH section: 240 More Platforms and Influencer Marketing Focused Agencies Created Last Year)
Consumers follow influencers because they trust them. A study from Annalect indicates that consumers trust influencers on-par with their friends. 49% said they rely on influencers for recommendations, while 56% said they rely on friends for recommendations. 40% of those who relied on influencers converted into paying customers; about 20% further engaged by sharing influencer content.
66% of marketers included influencer marketing in their plans for 2022 (IMH).
What’s most interesting now is that when survey about influencer marketing, marketers usually have a response. 66% are planning to increase their budgets, 16% are keeping their budgets the same, 13% are unsure of what they’ll do, and 4% plan on decreasing their budgets. When asked what they planned to do with these funds, respondents were nearly equally spoilt across three objectives:
Increase sales: 33.6%
Increase awareness: 33.5%
Create Content: 32.8% (only 24% in the prior year)
51% of marketers believe influencer marketing helps with customer acquisition quality (Smart Insights).
The cost to acquire a customer is only one metric when looking at customer quality. Ultimately you want a customer to be as aligned with your offer as possible. Why get 100 maybe customers when you could land 100 hard yes customers? The method you use for outreach is essential. With an influencer, you're promoting but not promoting strongly, and the soft-sell is the name of the game in marketing today. However, it should be noted that promoted offers are always the lowest-rated posts by influencers. That doesn't mean they have low CTRs though, because many people don't “like” promo accounts for a variety of reasons.
There are a lot of social media accounts with followers that don’t take action. Generally engagement increases as follower count decreases. Nano-influencers have serious niche fans. How serious? Roughly doubly engaged when compared to other types of influencers: micro, mid-tier, macro and mega.
Micro-influencers have the biggest growth (IMH). While nano-influencers have the highest engagement, the micro-influencers market is growing at the fastest rate. Once you exceed 10k followers, you've broken into micro-influencer territory up to 100k users. Micro-influencers come with tons of authority at a low cost. Followers are moving away from mega influencers towards micro-influencers. On Instagram, for example, even in 2019, Instagram engagement for megas was at 0.7% while it was 2.4%.
28% of Gen Z social media users purchase a product because of an influencer (Marketing Charts) As age increases from the Gen Z, influencers have less, well, influence: 23% for Millennials, 16% for Gen X, and 9% for the Boomers. In each age group, however, consumers still purchased more with brands than influencers. Brand numbers for the same groups were: 33%, 36%, 31%, and 22%.
The favorite feature of Instagram for marketers is stories with swipe-up videos. The platform has managed to attract and keep over 2B followers in part due to introducing new features that drive engagement. Toggle off suggested feed posts: Ads and irrelevant posts had Instagram users complaining. The company responded by enabling users to toggle off suggested posts by clicking the Instagram logo and following. This feature does not yet work for Stories.
All videos are Reels: For users who love Reels, this makes things easier. For users who still prefer standard video creation on IG, they can start a carousel with a pic, upload the desired video, then delete the pic. 60-second videos: Stop building your longer Instagram videos from cut clips. Instead of the 15-second time limit, users can record 60 seconds without cutting. (Napoleon Cat) YouTube Shorts videos also allows 60 seconds, so this could be a move to make IG compete for the features of TikTok and Shorts. The company has indicated TikTok is influencing its direction (Social Assurance)
TikTok has risen 325% in popularity among marketers (Linqia) Popularity has risen because marketers proved that influencers are an effective marketing tool. Marketers are aware of TikTok and are increasing their ad spending each year. They don't need to put all their resources into it because other segments exist that need attention in more traditional ways. Once these segments stop buying, reliance on TikTok, and whatever social platform vies for domination in the future, will start to occur.
The early proof of concept stages have faded away. Influencers are here to stay—the only question is, who will adopt early enough to know how to navigate this type of social media marketing when it eventually dominates as gen Z reaches peak buying power? The future of influencer marketing in 2022 truly looks bright.