The state of influencer marketing and branded content in 2019

Influencer marketing entered the limelight between 2016 and 2018. It skyrocketed 🚀 in popularity during those times, with countless brands partnering with Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter influencers to promote their products—largely receiving good results.

But times are changing, and with it, so are social media user's perceptions of influencers and the products they promote.

So that begs the question: is influencer marketing and branded content still worth your time in 2019?

Well, we've done our research and combed through stats about influencer marketing in 2019. So in this article, we'll show you our findings and let you know if influencer marketing is still a viable marketing strategy in 2019.

Let's dive in!

Millennials may be trusting influencers less

Alright, let's get the bad news out of the way first: millennials are starting to trust less than they used to—but thankfully, that's no new trend.

Dealspotr surveyed 500 millennial women in late 2017 and found that just 52% of them trusted influencers less than they did in the past. While this is no small number, it also means that nearly half of millennials still trust their influencers.

Or do they?

An updated study has yet to be released, but a lot can happen over the course of a year and a half. During this time, we also saw more restrictions be put on branded content and influencer marketing—so truthfully, the pendulum could move either way.

As we await an updated study, ask yourself: "do I trust influencers?" As a marketer, you may come from a skewed perspective, but remember that everyday consumers know more about these tactics too. Especially when you consider all paid influencers end with #ad.

Brands are putting more resources into nano influencers—and that's good

In 2019, we're also seeing brands put more of their resources into "nano influencers." These are influencers with a relatively small—usually in the thousands—number of followers.

And while this may seem paltry to some brands—but hear us out for a sec. There are actually quite a few reasons why a brand may choose to work with a set of nano influencers instead of one or two large influencers.

Nano influencers are more cost-effective

The first reason is simple: they cost less money. Entrepreneur notes that many Instagram influencers charge $100 per 10,000 followers per post. This means one post on an Instagram account with 100,000 followers could cost $1,000 per post.

However, you could set aside the same amount of money for 10 posts on 10 different accounts with 10,000 followers each. This broadens your reach and ultimately gets your products in front of a more diverse audience.

Smaller influencers have more trust

Second off, nano and micro influencers are generally trusted more by their audience.

Having a smaller number of followers makes their audience feel more connected to the influencer. Additionally, we've found that smaller influencers are more connected to the work they do, especially if its in a smaller niche.

The data backs us up too: micro-influencers are often perceived as more credible (94% vs. 83%) and more knowledgeable (94% vs. 84%) about the product or service they promote, according to Expertvoice.

Instagram is still key to any influencer marketing campaign in 2019

Instagram has long dominated the influencer marketing and branded content space, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

The network added over 200 million monthly active users in 2018, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2019.

Further, the social network has multiple ways for influencers to interact with their audiences (and sell product placements)—think posts, stories, IGTV, and Instagram Live.

So with that in mind: keep focusing your influencer marketing on Instagram. While YouTube and Twitter can be good options for some niches or working with larger influencers, the vast majority will have the best luck on Instagram.

Brands are (finally) joining the fight against fake followers

We'll end this one on a positive note: brands are finally joining the fight against fake followers on Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks.

Follower fraud came to light when Twitter started removing millions of fake accounts from its platform last summer. Now, brands are using software like CreatorIQ to analyze influencers social media followings and weed out fake accounts.

Some brands are going so far as to completely banish anyone that's bought followers in the past from their influencer marketing programs. For example, Unilever won't do business with anyone that's purchased followers in the past.


Bottom line

While influencer marketing may not have the prowess it once did, it's still a valuable marketing medium for many brands. Just make sure you fully vet your influencers before you make a partnership and consider working with the small guys—this will help keep up your reputation and ensure you have a solid influencer marketing campaign.

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