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What is Influencer Marketing?

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

In recent years, influencer marketing has really been on the rise. What was a $1.7 billion industry in 2016 has since grown to become a $9.7 billion industry in 2020. In just 2021, it grew to $13.8 billion and is projected to expand to $15 billion in 2022


What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of collaboration. A business collaborates with an influential person to promote something. It could be a product, service, or campaign.

Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing. But in today’s digital world, social content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to brands. These people have dedicated and engaged groups of followers on social media. They are known simply as “social media influencers.”

In North America alone, more than two-thirds of retailers use some form of influencer marketing. And almost half of US and UK digital marketers spend at least 15% of their marketing communication budget on influencer marketing.


That spending is set to increase in 2020. Nearly two-thirds of marketers will increase their influencer marketing budgets this year.

Not convinced influencer marketing can lead to real business results? A survey found that 34% of daily U.S. Instagram users bought something because a blogger or influencer recommended it.

Instagram is the platform of choice for social influencers. 89% of marketers identify it as one of the most important channels for influencer marketing.

About a third of the influencer content on Instagram appears in Stories. This number will likely grow this year. The swipe-up feature to link out from Instagram Stories is now available to accounts with just 10,000 followers. This makes Stories a great place to share and link to brand content.


What is a social media influencer?

Quite simply, an influencer is someone who can influence others.

A social media influencer is someone who wields that influence through social media. The form of influence can vary and no two influencers are the same.

The right influencer can reach your target audience, build trust, and drive engagement. They create original, engaging content. They won’t be keen to follow a template advertising style provided by your brand. So, it’s critical to work only with social media influencers whose vision aligns with your own.

There are more than 500,000 active influencers on Instagram alone. That means you have many potential opportunities for influencer collaboration. It also means you have to put in the work to find the right influencer. (we can help!)


Marketers’ confidence in their ability to find the right influencer varies widely by country. In China, 81% of marketing professionals are confident they can find impactful influencers. In the United States, 59% of marketers feel the same way, while in Europe, only 39% trust the process.


We provide consulting in how to find the right influencer for your business in 8 easy steps.

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