[Free Takeaway Inside – Instagram Macro Influencers in the United States]

It’s a sad fact that ads today have become intrusive to such an extent that more and more users have started installing ad blockers to stay away from them.

Ad blocking is most common among internet users between 16 and 24 years old. Among this demographic, 46.2% of users worldwide admit to using ad blockers. Besides, mobile ad blocking is also on the rise.

So, what does this mean for marketers? The bad news is that ad blockers can potentially impact the effectiveness of PPC and display ads.

But the good news is that the growth of ad blockers present new opportunities for Native Advertising. And a form of native advertising that has shaken up a number of industries is that of Influencer Marketing.

According to the State of the Influencer Marketing 2021 Benchmark Report, an increasing majority of marketers (59%) have a standalone budget for content marketing and 75% of them now intend to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2021.

The Rise of Influencer Marketing in a Social-Media Driven World

We have always been used to the idea of celebrity endorsements in TV ads and traditional marketing campaigns. But over the years, the concept has evolved and given rise to influencer marketing paving the way for micro and even nano influencers who have a small but loyal fan base.

Social Media has fundamentally changed the dynamics between customers and brands with peer recommendations becoming a driving force in purchase decisions.

According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Given the importance of peer recommendations and their expansion through social media, influencer marketing has become mainstream.

In the past, you may have needed a Kim Kardashian or a Kendall Jenner to help you shoot up your sales through Influencer Marketing, but today there is a new wave of macro-influencers that can have just as large as an impact.

Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

Influencer marketing has become a key part of the marketing mix for brands that seek to cut through the ad adversity and thereby reach audiences with certainty.

Almost half (44%) of Generation Z has made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer, compared with 26% of the general population, researcher Kantar found in a study.

However, with the proliferation of Influencers, marketers need to be wary of influencer fraud, including the deliberate purchasing of followers and engagement activity that paint a false picture of the influencer’s reach.

Social media tracking firm Sylo last month published a study that determined 30% of influencers engaged in fraudulent activity to boost their results.

Besides, it can be risky when at times the influencers’ views or comments create a sudden or unforeseen controversy. You don’t want to risk your brand’s reputation just because one of the influencers you are working with was not very nice on social media.

So, remember to do your research and choose an influencer that echoes your brand vision. It’s best to put your eggs in multiple baskets and collaborate with multiple influencers to maximize your reach, engagement and conversion than getting attached to any one of them.

Here’s a free download of a list of Instagram macro-influencers in the United States.

Setting the Stage of Influencer Marketing For Success

Here are some vital steps you need to take to leverage the reach of influencers for your brand:

1. Set Goals

As with any marketing plan, start with outlining the goals and marketing actions you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign. Some goals you may want to consider are brand awareness, lead generation, sales, loyalty, etc.

2. Find the Right Influencers and Craft a Win-Win Agreement

With your goals clearly defined, find the right influencers that share your audience. Classify them into mega, macro, micro and nano influencers. Remember that both the size of the audience and the reach and authority that the influencer has over the audience matter.

3. Build Content and Share with Influencers

Now, it’s time to start building the content for your influencer marketing campaign. Team up with the influencers to build relevant content and start rolling out your campaigns in the relevant social channels. Give the creative freedom for influencers to come up with touching stories, but make it a point to review so that it aligns with your brand values. 

4. Track and Analyze Results

Track the response of each of your influencer marketing campaigns to look back and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Use the data to guide your selection of influencers and fine-tune your strategy.

As Seth Godin, the famous American author and entrepreneur once said “ People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” Influencer marketing combines the threefold power of relations, stories and magic that can be weaved together in a compelling campaign to maximize reach and response.

We don’t know what kind of disruptions will emerge in the digital marketing landscape over the next decade. But as for now, Influencer marketing is gaining momentum and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Have you found success using influencers in your digital marketing strategy? Drop your comments below or write to us at marketingfolks@xerago.com.