The effectiveness of social media's influence with sponsored posts can be traced back to the very first social media message in 1844. Samuel Morse sent what was essentially the first email in his new Morse code from Baltimore to Washington, D. C. It read, “What hath God wrought?”
Now, fast forward to the 1980s. A research facility developed a network to join its four campuses so its researchers could share data, software, and other information. The network was called ARPANET for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, a division of the National Science Foundation.
Social Media By The Numbers
A little under 15 years later, Friendster was the first modern social networking site. It was rapidly followed by MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and all their social networking brethren:
• 72 percent of American adults use social media
• 73 percent of American adults use Snapchat
• 75 percent of American adults use Instagram
• 73 percent of American adults use YouTube
• 69 percent of American adults use Facebook
As the popularity of social media exploded, businesses took note of what was essentially a chatroom in which friends traded news, jokes, and all kinds of information. It began to use banners and buttons and other eye-catching means of getting users’ business. Today, memes are basically billboards for businesses and their products. Sponsored posts complete the picture.
Influencer Marketing By The Numbers
As of 2021, influencer marketing has succeeded with Internet and/or social media users for these products or services:
• 53 percent of beauty and personal care items were affected by influencer marketing
• 45 percent of accessories and clothing were affected by influencer marketing
• 21 percent of both cars and electronics purchases were affected by influencer marketing
• 18 percent of travel and hospitality services were affected by influencer marketing
• 15 percent of media and telecom services were affected by influencer marketing
Influencer Marketing As An Industry
People recognize that they can make money in dozens of ways online. Generally, they push a product or evaluate it. The influencer marketing industry is slated to grow to $16.4 billion in 2022, up from $1.7 billion in 2016. This growth is due to more than just social media. The pandemic forcing people to stay at home has exposed them to more social media sites like TikTok and other video-sharing sites.
Twenty-twenty-two will see the rise of the micro-influencer. These are influencers with a smaller following, but whose followers jump at the sponsored posts of their influencers. The numbers are:
• 65 percent visited the brand’s app or website
• 79 percent researched the brand
• 46 percent bought something from the brand
• 29 percent spread the word about the brand
These numbers are predicted to rise due to the effect of influencers on shoppers. Gone are the days of celebrity-endorsed products. People trust influencers more. Influencers share themselves and their experiences with shoppers, and they come off more like ordinary people than celebrities (who rarely share anything.)
Trends In Influencer Marketing Making A Splash In 2022
The most popular trend today is home renovation. TV shows worldwide detail the most desirable aspects of home renovations, such as hardwood floors, more energy-efficient windows, kitchen and bathroom innovations, as well as primary suites on the main floor of the house. Thus, it is with influencers:
• Transparency is one of the first things shoppers look for in influencers. Honesty and truth in advertising should be apparent, or influencers will lose their followers.
• High tech like AI is being used to spotlight trends and to draw influencers into the relationship. Tech is also used to identify trends in shoppers’ conversations and what drives them to buy.
• The increase in influencers is equal to or more than the decrease in print media advertising. Just consider the number of subscriptions to the New York Times, The Washington Post, as well as The Wall Street Journal. Subscriptions rose as high as eight million for the New York Times and two million for The Wall Street Journal.
If your business is considering using an influencer with sponsored posts, or you’re thinking of becoming one yourself, build your following and pay attention to popular trends, and you’ll be good to go.
[Editor's note: This article is produced by one of our trusted partners.]