In the spirit of transparency and authenticity, brands have turned to influencers and content creators for their marketing efforts. Consumers look for authentic voices and trendy creative on social media platforms. Influencers and creators have grown to fill this demand. Many brands are tapping into influencer marketing for brand awareness and sales. As this influencer market grows, brands and their marketing teams want to know if their investments are worth it and what the future of influencer marketing holds. Moe Assist, a startup created by an influencer for influencers, provides digital tools and resources to help influencers manage their business. Moe Assist recently unveiled their findings of a March 2020 survey sent out to 446 influencers and creators. Here is what the survey found with insights into what this could mean for the future of influencer marketing and what is missing for it to grow.
Who are they?
The 446 survey participants live in 46 countries. Influencers have a worldwide presence. The top 5 countries for influencers were the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and the U.K. Creators connect with their audiences through a variety of platforms, with over 9 different ones listed in the survey. The top channels for their business continue to be Instagram and Blogs. In addition, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok are also popular platforms. TikTok has experienced huge growth as a platform with a visible rise in influencers in 2020.
Nano- and Micro-Influencers
30% of responders have between 10K-50K followers, labeled as Micro-Influencers in the industry. Nano-Influencers have 1K-10K followers and Mid-tier influencers have 50K – 500K followers. Followers see Nano- and Micro-influencers as relatable. They have smaller followings, yet they usually receive higher engagement, have deeper relationships, and have greater trust from their audience. Brands can benefit from collaborations with Nano- and Micro-influencers at a lower cost or in exchange for free products.
Influencers and creators usually focus on a specific category. The most popular categories from the survey were style & fashion, beauty, travel, and health & fitness. More niche categories included food, personal development, home and interiors, lifestyle, LGBTQ, and more. Nano- and Micro-influencers usually operate in niche categories, allowing brands to zone-in on their markets through partnerships.
Side Hustle v. Big Operation
Influencers and creators come from all different backgrounds and most start as a side-hustle in addition to their full-time job. Creators usually photograph, copyedit, and create all their own content. Only 26% of influencers survey see themselves as business owners or digital entrepreneurs. Almost 80% of influencers work on their own, without an intern or other employee. More than half wished they had an agent to manage their partnerships and projects.
How much is a post?
The million-dollar question everyone wants to know is how much should a post cost. The survey responders of majority micro-influencers charge $50 – $150 per post. The report states that very established influencers with high engagement rates may charge upwards of $10,000 for one post. Brands offer partnerships to micro-influencers without compensation or in exchange for free products.
Still, Micro-influencers are struggling to get paid and do not send formal invoices to brands. The survey found that the influencer industry needs project management and accounting tools to legitimize and monetize the influencer industry.
How do brand partnerships come to fruition? Do the brands reach out to influencers or do influencers reach out to brands? The survey says it’s about 40%/40% with about 20% using agencies or agents. A majority of creators are actively seeking partnerships and pitching to brands.
The top goal for over 90% of influencers is to increase followers and grow their audience, followed by 85% wanting to find new brand partnerships. Moreover, these influencers also want to secure long-term partnerships. Some other business goals include getting organized, expanding their team, and branching into new mediums.
Influencers are choosing to partner with brands that align with their message and relate to their niche audience. Their followers value authenticity and transparency from influencers to feel like they can relate to them. Creators are now posting long-form captions, using a no-filter look, and engaging their followers in conversations. As the influencer industry grows, brands are allocating more of their marketing budgets to digital marketing and especially influencers as a result. 62% of influencers and creators stated their business goal for 2020 is to secure more long-term partnerships with brands they work with.
Long-term partnerships are beneficial to building a close relationship. Influencers are motivated to create high-quality content for the brand when they have greater investment and they enjoy the stability of the income. Long-term relationships can even lead to product lines for some mega-influencers.
To expand and diversify their business, influencers and creators are branching into new mediums such as podcasts. Podcasts are another way to create deeper connections with their audience as a form of blogging through audio. Brands benefit from podcasts through ads as almost 70% of podcast listeners agree that podcast ads make them aware of new products and services.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
While influencer and creator businesses grow, influencers still seek recognition for their industry and adequate payment for their work. Representation from agents, growing teams, registering as a business, and using the right business tools can help expand the industry. The survey indicated that 95% of influencers and creators expressed a need for a community. Moe Assist responded to this need by creating the Global Creators Community with a diverse, growing board of 13 of the industry’s most prominent influencers. Their mission is to “inspire, connect, and support creators around the world, by providing resources and access to an inclusive global community, in an effort to make a greater impact on the industry.” The influencer and creator marketing industry is poised for growth to become a more defined industry as brands and creators come together to build authentic relationships for their common audience.
Sources: MOE 2020 Creator Survey Report https://report.moeassist.com/2020_creator_survey