Micro-influencers continue to dominate social media networks, according to new research from Meltwater, a global media intelligence firm. It found that even large companies increasingly resort to paid cooperation to advertise their products or create brand awareness.
Meltwater reports significant growth in influencer marketing, noting a 26.7% increase in sponsored posts. According to the most recent report, influencers have shared 3 798 505 sponsored posts and a 33% increase in sponsored stories, with an average of 16 stories per week.
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All the latest results point to the rise of micro-influencers and the overall growth of the social media industry.
The analysis reveals that brands prioritise digital strategies and adjust budgets due to changing consumer habits, with influencers playing an essential role in business planning. In particular, working with micro-influencers has been identified as a critical way for brands to authentically communicate with customers, with over 91% of sponsored posts coming from this user segment.
Micro-influencers are the most popular choice for collaborating with brands due to their large following (5 000 to 30 000 followers) and reach of 5 000 to 500 000. Their smaller but focused audience ensures a high willingness to buy and increases brand awareness, often yielding the best ROI for brands.
According to Meltwater, this has also led to increased engagement on social media platforms as Instagram has become the number one platform for influencer campaigns. More than 1 800 campaigns were reportedly launched recently, with 94% of drives containing Instagram content, while only 10% of campaigns had content for YouTube or other platforms.
According to trends and best practices, 42% of campaigns choose the strategy of one to four feed posts, and 20% of campaigns use one to four stories. The results also suggest that influencer campaigns primarily focus on Instagram, while platforms like TikTok are more experimental.
TikTok in the fast lane of influencer success
Meanwhile, fast-growing TikTok is more successful in influencer campaigns than YouTube. Likewise, reports suggest that brands favour TikTok over YouTube regarding sponsored collaborations, with TikTok accounting for 13 percent of all influencer campaigns.
In comparison, the latter accounts for just 10%. TikTok is still an emerging platform, and while it’s not as well known as Instagram, more and more brands are incorporating the social media channel into their marketing plans. Further evidence of this is the emergence of “FinTok,” a new genre of video content where experts share financial tips in short but engaging TikTok videos that have already been viewed over 1.8 billion times on the platform.
Consequently, the data has shown that TikTok has overtaken YouTube regarding influencer campaign popularity, even as brands continue to identify their strategy and areas for success on the platform.
As one of the first SaaS companies to offer software for managing social influencer campaigns, Meltwater says it has seen the influencer marketing segment grow over the past few years. After initially starting with “experimental,” often manually monitored (screenshot) campaigns, influencer marketing now occupies an essential place at the digital marketing table.
Initially, the biggest challenge was monitoring and accurately measuring influencer campaigns’ ROI. But with the new technological possibilities, influencer marketing is now a highly scientific and data-driven discipline.