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How marketers are really using influencers

Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. The main differentiator in the case of influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers.

Depending on the size of a brand, it may prefer to collaborate with micro or macro influencers with huge brands collaborating with celebrities-cum-influencers who could be celebrities with huge influence (the Hadids) or influencers who have become so widespread that they are now celebrities (Ricky Thompson or Charli d’Amelio). 

A recent survey conducted by social media management platform Sprout Social has revealed that 40% of marketers plan to invest over half of their social media budgets on partnering with creators in the next six months. The study surveyed 516 U.S. marketers to get a better idea of how brands and agencies are engaging with the growing creator economy.

“Working with creators will only become more important for brands as social media platforms, consumer expectations and marketing strategies continue to evolve and mature,” said Jamie Gilpin, CMO of Sprout Social. “The data is further proof of the power of social—it is more than a tool to drive sales, an effective resource for building authentic communities with greater brand loyalty and affinity.”

The survey also provides a breakdown of where the money from marketers to content creators is going.

In first place is Instagram making up 58%, though Facebook (51%) is close behind with TikTok (50%) a big resource for creator collaborations. YouTube is notably low on the list at 27%.

Interestingly, over a third of marketers (35%) wish they had more creative control when working with external influencers. The No. 1 pain point resulting from the survey was marketers feeling that they require better metrics and formats to gauge the performance of creator content. 

However, once the right influencer is found, brands are in it for the long haul: 60% of marketers are looking for long-term partnerships when working with content creators. 

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