Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, has claimed that the influencer market on Instagram is worth approximately $1 billion and there are no signs that it will slow down. By 2019 that figure is expected to double.
“The fastest growing influencer marketing platforms are Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook, and YouTube,” Mediakix’s head of marketing, Jeremy Shih, said recently in an interview with CNBC.
One of the social media influencers who has achieved success is Amanda Oleander who became famous in 2015 after she live streamed herself on Periscope painting. This happened after getting laid off from her job. From the exposure Oleander was able to not only sell her paintings but also bag clients who include the chief executive officer of T-Mobile, John Legere, who bought two paintings from her. The average price of one of her paintings is $5,000. According to Oleander, her followers feel a connection to the pieces which she creates while they are watching and this is what motivates them to buy them.
Anna Rosenblatt, the cultural strategy vice president at Sparks & Honey, pointed out that live streaming was particularly suited for some activities such as gaming and painting. She also pointed out that the best platform for people who have tens of thousands of followers not millions of followers is Instagram. Currently those who are flourishing are these micro-influencers as brands unplug from influencers whose following is much bigger.
This is partly because of a trend whereby some influencers have been buying followers to make their accounts attractive to brands and this has resulted in smaller influencers whose audiences are more targeted to appear more appealing. According to Rosenblatt, the level of engagement that micro-influencers have with their followers is greater and they also come at a lower cost as the average cost of a post by a micro-influencer is under $500.
According to experts, the micro-influencers who enjoy the most success are those whose niche is highly specialized. Some of the strategies Oleander employs to enhance engagement include giveaways, meetups and offering prints that are affordable for her followers.
The chief executive officer of marketing tech platform Crowdtap, Matt Britton, further advises that anyone looking to make money as an influencer should join an influencer network due to the fact that most brands don’t want to partner with individuals directly. It is also important for the values of the influencer to be aligned with those of the brand.