Like-minded individuals have congregated online since the World Wide Web’s inception in 1991, first on web forums and bulletin boards, then on blogging sites, and most recently on social media. Sharp-witted marketers began approaching famous bloggers and forum moderators in the early 2000s, asking them to endorse products in exchange for freebies, and eventually for money.
The inception of YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, and Instagram in 2010 (which is currently the platform of choice for most influencers, but we will dwell on that a bit later) accelerated this process. Today, there is an army of influencers: social media users (primarily women) with a large, committed following who provide a carefully crafted version of their lives with their followers. Sponsored content, sometimes known as “sponcon”, has proven to be a powerful technique for marketing items in this genuine context.
On Instagram, there are fashion, lifestyle, and ‘mother’ influencers; on YouTube, there are gamers, beauty vloggers, and ‘toy’ influencers; and on TikTok, there are teens singing to those “lip-synching”. Some of the most well-known come from different fields and are followed by millions and millions: Kim Kardashian, Logan Paul, Zoë Sugg, PewDiePie, Nicki Minaj… The latter wore a pair of bejeweled pink Croc shoes on Instagram where she has 166 million followers – demand for pink Crocs increased by 4,900% in hours.
Marketers categorize influencers as nano (1,000-10,000 followers), micro (10,000-100,000), macro (100,000-one million), and mega (celebrity) influencers (more than 1 million). For instance, most popular gambling influencers on Instagram, some of which are promoting best mobile bookies at Bookmaker-Expert.com, fall into the macro group. What is the size of the influencer industry? It is very large. The influencer marketing sector was valued at $8 billion per year by the end of 2019. According to a recent analysis, it will increase to $15 billion globally by the end of 2022.
Influencer marketing today is not just posing with products, but a much more serious business approach that in many segments coincides with serious business systems. What social media brings more opportunities for influencers to stand out and for marketers to find them?
Instagram as a Top Network for Influencers
Facebook has changed the world, there is absolutely no dilemma about that. Although this social network is still the most popular in the world, the fact is that influencer marketing on this network does not really work for users. Namely, Facebook has somehow become a platform for informing and for the older generation, while the younger generation is looking for entertainment on other networks. Regardless, Facebook made a fantastic move a few years ago when it acquired Instagram, which is today one of the most popular social networks in the world.
According to research, Instagram holds as much as 50% of revenue from influencer marketing, which only adds to the importance of this popular social network. Along with Instagram, YouTube also ranks very well, while Facebook as such holds third place in the world of influencer marketing. Interestingly, today’s ubiquitous TikTok is still not that powerful when it comes to influencer marketing, but maybe the revenue metrics are not as accurate for that network because it is still quite differently modeled compared to other networks.
In fact, we often associate Instagram with the term influencer, and many believe that this social network is responsible for the emergence and popularization of this group of people. The format of the content that is published on Instagram definitely suits influencers because through photo and video content they can creatively express themselves and present the brand they advertise in the best light.
Although many other networks have experienced a great rise in popularity after Instagram, the fact is that Instagram has been and remains a ‘Mecca’ for the influencers. Trends from the US market are reflected in the rest of the world and, given the growing number of attractive features that Instagram offers, it is to be assumed that the popularity of influencers on Instagram will maintain in the coming years.
TikTok Introduces Payment for User Content
Interestingly, in this whole story about influencer marketing, relatively little attention is still paid to TikTok. This social network is definitely among the most popular in the world at the moment and there are almost no Internet users who have not watched at least one TikTok video at least once in the last few years. A platform that promotes fun video content is especially popular among young people, so some new generations of influencers are growing up there to lead the future of influencer marketing.
Although TikTok is one of the most popular social networks, the fact is that TikTok’s revenues are still not significant compared to other networks. This situation should be attributed to the fact that TikTok still does not have a unique monetization system through which it would be easy to monitor in what ways and how much the influencers earn.
There are a lot of influencers on TikTok today, so there is definitely a ‘hunger’ of the owners of that network to take part in the money that is circulating on it. Recently, a new monetization system was introduced, which at first seems fun and a bit frivolous, but on the other hand, it makes a lot of sense for a social network like TikTok. Namely, unique coins have been introduced through which it is possible to reward the best users on TikTok. Although everything looks like a kind of game because you convert coins inthe exchange office, the fact is that you need to pay a certain amount of money to own a coin. Although these are small numbers, when we take into account the number of TikTok users, the earnings from such a way of financing could be huge. The great thing about this whole story is that the users (influencers) themselves get paid for their content, so we could say that this is a relatively fair way of earning money, i.e. distribution of money.
With the introduction of new ways of monetizing, TikTok will definitely ‘produce’ more new influencers in the future, and this scene will bloom to the point that it may one day overthrow Instagram from the throne. It is ungrateful to give any predictions because Instagram currently has a very solid position and probably few people think that some social network can harm it. Learn how to get followers and grow your TikTok account to start making money!
Influencer marketing is getting better every year. Although it still forms only a fraction of the earnings in the vast world of digital advertising, statistics show strong continuous growth. Even last year when the business scene relatively stagnated due to the pandemic, influencer marketing grew by more than 10% over the year before. This year, the growth is around 33%, which are fantastic figures that give a new wind beneath the wings to all current and future influencers.
Although many influencers today are not considered serious businesspersons and employees, the fact is that behind this is hard work that involves much more than taking photos for social networks. Quality influencers have developed entire business models thanks to which they successfully step on the digital scene, which allows them to earn fairly high money figures. Whether it is global influencers or local ones, there are places for new influencers and additional earnings. Quality content, good communication skills, and creativity are great prerequisites for entering the world of influencer marketing. If you are thinking about influencer marketing, maybe now is the right time to take the digital business more seriously. Good luck and enjoy your growth.