Influencers can amplify the power of content marketing campaigns and 84% of brands are now running at least one campaign involving endorsements from celebrities, experts and other high-profile people on social media, according to a new report published by AspireIQ.
The study, titled ‘The State of Influencer Marketing 2019: An Analysis of the Social Media Ecosystem’ brings to light the pervasive use of influencers and their evolution from being a nice-to-have to an essential part of campaigns throughout the year.
More than three quarters are now planning to or are already managing ‘always-on’ influencer campaigns due to the wide-ranging benefits, which include increased awareness, reach, impressions and engagement.
Almost nine in 10 are running multiple campaigns a year, and over 50% say that they manage five or more.
The non-negotiable tactic has been driven in part by the sheer scale of audiences that influencers can tap into, which now numbers more than two billion across social media platforms.
Complementing high-quality content marketing with influencer-generated content (IGC) on social via emails and ads has also become a popular practice, as the latter gives influencers the freedom to use their unique voices to create more authentic content, which can engage with an already established audience.
Two-thirds of brands are now using IGC in some form and 21% have set their sights on leveraging it during the next 12 months.
A wide range of content is being produced, and output has evolved from the static images and photos that were once the staple for influencers.
Eight in 10 expect to invest in video content in late 2019 and into 2020, while 55% will tap into the current trend of storytelling to move and engage audiences.
Written content is also hugely popular, with 42% planning to focus their spending in this area.
The types of influencers that brands are looking to work with is also changing as the move away from high-profile celebrities to micro-influencers with smaller followings continues.
Research shows that smaller channels and influencers have 42% higher engagement rates than their larger, macro-based counterparts.
AspireIQ’s founder and president Anand Kishore said in a statement that we are now in an era when influencer marketing is about more than just promoting a brand on social – influencers now power content engines to assist brands with telling a consistent story on all of the channels in which their users are active.
Kishore added that brands and influencers are going to work even closer in the future to build communities that have a shared passion for what the brands make.
The age of influencers is also trending lower due to the rise of TikTok, with data showing that 70% on the platform are now teenagers between 14 and 19.
Meanwhile, brands are spending $10k on average on campaigns on TikTok.
Influencer costs are rising though and the average price now stands at $0.26 per post, while cost per engagement has also risen sharply since last year and is expected to increase further next year.
Fortunately, return on investment (ROI) is high at 423% from the $6,249.91 per campaign budget.