Influencer Marketing: Is It for You?

Angela Chaney
Angela Chaney

How many of us will admit that Wheaties© Cereal became a whole lot tastier when Michael Jordan made his first of nineteen appearances on the box, endorsing the “Breakfast of Champions”? As aspiring basketball players, we believed we could run faster, dribble better, and improve our hang time if we could just eat what Air Jordan© ate every morning.

Celebrity endorsements aren’t new, and their pervasive presence, from breakfast cereals to heartburn medications to every other conceivable product under the sun, attests to the credence we give to those whose careers have made them household names.

With the rise of social media in recent years, most companies are choosing to invest in a new type of endorsement called influencer marketing which operates on the same premise as celebrity endorsements—even though many of the influencers are only celebrities on social media.

At Pixel Fire Marketing, we want to demystify the influencer marketing trend and help you answer the question: is it right for you?

What is Influencer Marketing?

While the term is still cementing its place in our vernacular, influencer marketing was born out of an idea that manufacturers have long known to be true. If a well-known public personality endorses their product, their profits increase. Take the endorsement concept and add modern online content-making strategies for graphics, video content, and branding. Then, put the face and voice of a niche expert together with the technical know-how of content creation, and voila! You have influencer marketing.

As the Influencer Marketing Hub defines the role, an influencer has “the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with her audience.” Unlike traditional celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, categorized based on the size of the influencer’s following and reach.

Nano-Influencers– 1,000- 10,000 followers
Micro-Influencers– 10,000- 50,000 followers
Mid-Influencers– 50,000- 500,000 followers
Macro-Influencers– 500,000- 1 million followers
Mega-Influencers– 1 million or more followers

Every industry touts its experts or people of influence within their niche which become the “go-tos” the rest of us lean on for information. A good influencer has a significant following online and on social media within his or her specialized field, but this doesn’t always translate into multiple millions of followers, especially in technical or highly specialized areas.

Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Due to the virtual means by which we have shifted our consumer habits and learned to interact with one another, influencer marketing has exploded in popularity. Consider the numbers:

  • The estimated value of influencer marketing in 2023 was $21.1 billion. This is an increase of 29% from 2022.
  • 83% of marketers believe this strategy garners the results they want.
  • 67% of brands expanded their investment in influencer marketing last year.
  • Businesses receive, on average, a 5x return on their investment.
  • Instagram is the social media platform of choice for influencer marketing.
  • The global demand for influencer marketing is expected to quadruple over the next four years.

Great influencers have gradually built a following as they spent years becoming experts in their field, cementing their reputation with the people who follow them. Likewise, quality influencer marketing is a slow growth process, just like any other social media marketing. It’s based on building connections and trust over time.

Influencer Marketing

Choosing the Best Marketing Approach for You

True influencer marketing is never about just a quick cash exchange for a product endorsement. As is true with any marketing campaign, success depends on a clear vision, a target audience, and measurable goals. If you’re thinking about employing influencer marketing, don’t invest until you’ve talked through these questions with your marketing team.

  • Are your customers and potential customers on social media? Which platforms?
  • What kinds of content appeals to your ideal customers?
  • What brand-building strategies work best for your preferred platforms?
  • Where does the influencer you want to hire shine? Does he or she get results on the same platforms you want to use?
  • Have you analyzed potential influencers for their previous work? What impact has their previous work had?
  • What types of content do you want from the influencer: product seeding, sponsored content, shoutouts, brand ambassadorship, or something else?

Advantages of Influencer Marketing

There are plenty of reasons businesses are eagerly investing in influencer marketing. When it’s done well, you’ll gain:

  • A tailored audience with a vested interest in your product or field of expertise
  • A targeted approach that taps into a ready-made audience instead of having to build one from scratch
  • Credibility for your brand with a trusted personality’s endorsement
  • Expanded reach to new potential customers
  • Outstanding engagement rates if you work with nano and micro-influencers
  • Broad exposure with mega-influencers

Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing

While this trendy approach to business growth can look like the answer to all your expansion dreams for your company, influencer marketing is not without risks. You need to know:

  • Followers are loyal to the influencer, not your company, so their support of your business depends wholly on prioritizing the influencer as your target audience.
  • The results of influencer marketing are difficult to measure.
  • The wrong influencer can cause more harm than good, and even a good match can represent values and priorities that are not in alignment with your company.
  • Affordable influencers have limited reach.
  • The best influencers’ content feeds are quickly becoming saturated, and analysts predict that followers will eventually grow weary of endless promotional content and disengage.
  • High-profile influencers have limited engagement with their audience, depriving followers of the personalized, relational experience they seek.
  • You don’t hold the reins in an influencer campaign, so prepare to give room for expression and style that may not align with your vision.

What Works for Our Clients

At Pixel Fire Marketing, we continuously sift the evolving trends in marketing with our clients in mind. Because we build and promote local businesses, we are relationship-driven and use strategies with proven success. Content marketing is a dependable and well-established approach to business growth, with 79% of marketers utilizing a portion of their budget for it.

As you look to grow your business in 2024, we’d love to come alongside you, share your goals, and help you find creative and lasting ways to achieve them. Give us a call, and we’ll welcome you into our office for a consultation. We’ll help you find the best strategy for your business, making this year your best one yet.

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