It’s become one of marketing’s most recognizable buzzwords, the influencer. What started out as something of a niche marketing technique has spawned itself into an industry worth upwards of $10 billion[mfn][/mfn]. Today, brands of all sizes are utilizing this symbiotic method of marketing to better reach consumers all while increasing their return on investment in the process. For today’s blog entry, let’s dive in for a deeper look at how these promoted partnerships are changing the advertising landscape and how your brand or business can hop on the trend train. 


Marketing is an ever-shifting field influenced by new technologies, trends and consumer behaviors. In 2018, for example, only 39% of marketers were planning on increasing their influencer marketing budget from the year prior. A year later in 2019, 65% of marketers stated they were planning on devoting more of their resources towards the use of influencers[mfn][/mfn]. That’s a pretty dramatic increase in just a year’s time. In fact, 7% of companies stated they planned to spend in excess of $1 million dollars on influencer marketing in the year 2019 alone. When you look at the return on investment these brands are seeing, it’s easy to understand why.

Today, a company can expect to make around $2 for every $1 spent on Google AdWords marketing[mfn][/mfn]. That’s not a horrible return on their investment by any means, still influencer marketing blows that figure out of the proverbial water. For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, a company or brand sees $11.69 returned back to them. I’m no math major, but 11 seems like a lot more than 2. Now that we’ve established the financial benefits influencer marketing offers, let’s delve deeper into how it really works and how your brand or business can take advantage of this latest marketing trend.

Do It For the Gram

There’s one platform that’s become synonymous with influencer marketing, Instagram. When asked which channel they would be devoting the most resources to, marketers overwhelmingly chose The Gram as their number one choice (69%)[mfn][/mfn]. Coming in second was YouTube at a not-quite-there 11%[mfn][/mfn]. YouTube, in fact, isn’t even truly their number two choice. When those same marketers were asked which content channels they found most effective when using influencers, YouTube was their number three choice (56%) behind Instagram posts (78%) and Instagram Stories (73%)[mfn][/mfn]. With the user’s ability to create quick, attention-grabbing content that’s easily consumed in a matter of milliseconds, it’s easy to understand why this platform has risen to the top of the influencer summit. 


While many of us hear the term “influencer” and end up with images of Jenners and Grandes floating through our head, a new segment of the Instagram user base is being targeted by marketers to help deliver their messaging and product lines to consumers, the microinfluencer. Microinfluencers are Instagram users that got trapped in that Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie and are now 1/500th the size that they used to be. Just kidding, no they’re not. Microinfluencers are those users with a follower base topping out at around 10,000 people. These users typically have a closer relationship with their users than mainstream celebrities whose follower bases typically stretch into the millions. These pages are also more likely to be dedicated to niche fields, like travel, for example, where marketers can hyper-target an audience that’s more likely to be receptive to their offerings. 

Let’s look at our own Digital Media Strategist Allison’s Instagram account as an example. In her spare time away from the exhilarating world of conversions and cost-per-clicks, Allison teaches yoga and runs an Instagram account dedicated to self-development and the yoga techniques she passes on to others in her classes. Her follower base sits north of 5,000 people, and over the years she’s been contacted by a multitude of companies to form partnerships to promote their brands or goods. She’s received free yoga mats, yoga cushions and clothing items with the only caveat being that if she likes what she receives, she’ll in turn post about them on her feed. She’s even been given promo codes to propagate to her followers with each one used resulting in her racking up rewards in the process. While her Instagram account isn’t going to result in her retiring early anytime soon, it’s a good example of how content providers with smaller yet still significant follower counts are being targeted by marketers to better reach the end consumer.  


Make sure to check back next week, where we’ll cover some of the mistakes brands can make when utilizing influencer marketing. I’m looking at you, Billy McFarland.