There is no doubt that influencer marketing is “having a moment.” According to a study by Tomoson, 60% of marketers said they would be increasing their influencer marketing budgets in 2016.
Influencers and their large audiences, coupled with the advent of ad blocking and decrease in more traditional digital media effectiveness has helped perpetuate the rise of influencer marketing.
That’s why a new study, the 2016 Women's Influencer Industry and Business Survey from iBlog Magazine that surveyed over 3,000 influencers about working with brands and business of influencer marketing provides such welcome insights.
I had the opportunity to preview the study before its release and a few of the key findings were of particular interest and relevance for influencers and the brands they work with:
1. Which social platforms are most important to influencer’s? Facebook rules for business importance and driving traffic, Pinterest is a close second.
Facebook rules as the #1 most important platform for influencer’s businesses with almost 30% of influencers saying that this platform is most important to them. Surprisingly, this is second to their own blog (24%). Then Pinterest comes in third at 17%.
Pinterest however is gaining ground as a significant driver of traffic to influencer’s blogs with close to 35% saying this platform is the best for driving traffic. This is second only to Facebook as a traffic driver with just under 40% giving Facebook the #1 spot.
2. Which social platform will influencers focus on in the future?Influencers are increasing their use of Instagram & Pinterest in 2016 over blogs and Facebook.
Influencers report that they will increase usage of Instagram (#1) and Pinterest (#2). Not surprisingly then, Instagram is also the #1 platform that influencers want to learn more about. This is ahead of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogging.
Given the explosion of brand sponsored influencer posts on Instagram, it’s not surprising that influencers are looking to beef up their presence on this platform. Consider the success of a recent post from Instagram influencer, Tanesha Awasthi. Awasthi was engaged by Kmart to help build awareness for their clothing line amongst her over 200K millennial followers on Instagram. The Chambray Peplum shirt that Awashti featured in her post, which generated close to 4,500 likes and more than 100 comments, included specific instructions for where and how to find the shirt on kmart.com. Within 24 hours, the shirt was sold out on Kmart.com.
3) Influencers Crave Brand Feedback!Brands need to invest more in influencers' success.
Eighty-three percent of influencers feel feedback is important to their success on a sponsored campaign, yet 84% of influencers report that brands provide feedback on influencer sponsored content and posts less than 20% of the time. Seventy-three percent of influencers surveyed chose feedback as the #1 area for improvement for brands on sponsored campaigns.
These are just three key findings from the iBlog study which is chock full of data. According to Matt Cherry, CEO and founder of iBlog Magazine, “There are many opportunities for influencers to convert their online passions into successful businesses if they take the time to understand what brands and their online communities need from them. Once they develop those relationships and invest in their businesses online and off, they will be able to provide a much higher return on the brands’ investment and develop long-term business relationships that will lead to greater success.”
What’s clear is that the influencer marketing space is evolving quickly with new platforms increasing in importance and demanding focus from influencers and brands. Also, of note, brands and influencers are still working through the kinks of working successfully together.