Influencer Marketing Moves into the Mainstream

Influencer marketing is working its way into the toolboxes of major corporations, and I’m not just talking about Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s meme squad. Household brands including McDonald’s, Walmart, and Anheuser-Busch have turned to Linqia to test the practice.

A new study from the influencer marketing company shows those marquee brands are far from the only ones capitalizing on influencers. In fact, of 192 marketing and agency professionals surveyed by Linqia in December, 40% had run six or more influencer campaigns in 2019. Fifty-seven percent said they planned to bump up influencer spending this year, and 23% even said influencer marketing accounts for more than a quarter of their digital marketing spend.

All that money is not flowing directly into the bank accounts of Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner. Seventy-seven percent of marketers want to work with micro-influencers in 2020. That means collaborating with nascent social stars who command follower bases of between 5,000 and 100,000. Even nano-influencers, those with fewer than 5,000 followers, are generating sizable interest; 26% of respondents want to work with small-ball IG personalities.

Indeed, it’s Facebook’s photo-app-turned-social-juggernaut that attracts the most attention from influencer marketers. Ninety-seven percent of companies planning to spend on influencers said they would turn to Instagram; 83% will use Stories. Next up were Facebook (79%), YouTube (44%), and Twitter (35%).

Part of influencer marketing’s appeal appears to be the versatility of the content it produces. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they would repurpose influencer content for other marketing channels, including paid social, email, and display ads.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.