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In today’s content-saturated digital landscape, new brands and companies are increasingly relying on partnerships with social media influencers to capture the attention of social media-savvy audiences and immediately engage with thousands or millions of attentive consumers by leveraging the unique relationships that social media stars have with followers. According to a survey of businesses outlined in Adweek, 84% of brands will invest in at least one influencer marketing partnership in the next 12 months, validating the claim that influencer marketing is now one of the most effective ways for businesses—especially new brands needing to be especially efficient and achieve high-levels of ROI on their campaign spend—to target customers through creative sponsored and/or branded content.
As consumers spend more time on social media platforms (1.7 hours per day in the U.S., according to We Are Social) and less time watching television or reading magazines, new brands looking to make an immediate impact in the marketplace are eschewing traditional advertising or celebrity endorsements in favor of collaborations with today’s top YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, Snapchatters, and bloggers. For both startups and established brands looking to connect with consumers across social, marketing directly to the engaged followers of today’s most influential social media stars makes sense from a fiscal standpoint and can help companies gain immediate traction in ultra-competitive markets like beauty, fashion, food, hospitality, entertainment, and others.
See why Millennials trust reviews from YouTubers more than from celebrities here.
Graph courtesy of We Are Social
For brands wanting to kickstart their success by partnering with a social media influencer, the process of creating and launching a successful influencer marketing campaign involves identifying specific campaign goals, choosing the right influencer, and working closely with the digital star to develop, implement, promote, and assess the success of each campaign. While some brands may consider influencer marketing platforms, tools, and/or software, these influencer “marketplaces” can oftentimes be expensive and offer little to no direction on how to develop, execute, optimize, and manage an effective campaign. Enlisting the services of an influencer marketing agency or YouTube influencer agency, on the other hand, may yield better results, especially for brands and advertisers who are not familiar with influencer marketing.
Social media influencers can also help boost existing brands by delivering exposure to new, hard-to-reach, or untapped audiences. Quick service restaurant chain Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, partnered with Viner Logan Paul to create a hilarious sponsored video that has now been looped over 5 million times. Retailer Aeropostale frequently aligns themselves with popular social media influencers to promote brand events and launches, such as when the brand partnered with YouTube fashionista Bethany Mota to promote the clothing company’s new line of summer wear to Mota’s nearly 10 million YouTube subscribers.
Because many social media influencers have spent years developing trust with their followers, advice, recommendations, and product endorsements from digital stars can go a long way toward establishing a new brand quickly and creating new brand advocates within an influencer’s circle of followers and fans. The following are just a few examples of how social media influencers help new brands gain exposure to large audiences and achieve immediate success:
Food app Dysh recently partnered with four of YouTuber’s biggest social media influencers—Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, and Ingrid Nilsen—to promote the restaurant rating application and, according to Variety, help shape the app’s features by identifying key social features.
Disney-owned Maker Studios tapped their own network’s top YouTuber PewDiePie as the creative director of the MCN’s newest venture, Revelmode (essentially an MCN within an MCN). In a recent article, we described how the new network’s all-star cast (who have a combined reach of nearly 80 million subscribers and include PewDiePie, Mariplier, Kwebbelkop, PressHeartToContinue, and others) will translate into instant success for the upstart brand.
Last year, the beauty subscription box startup Ipsy reached over one million subscribers thanks, in no small part, to the promotion of top beauty vlogger Michelle Phan. Though Ipsy is Phan’s brand, the company’s success (which includes raising over $100 million in venture capital) precisely illustrates how today’s most popular social media influencers can help give a brand instant credibility and lead to breakneck growth. Read more about Phan’s and Ipsy here.