media update’s Aisling McCarthy takes you through some of the most important statistics to keep in mind when including influencers in your marketing strategy.

Breaking down influencer marketing

Influencer marketing involves a partnership between a brand and a social media user with a large following (aka, an influencer). The brand leverages the influencer's audience to make sales, and the influencer receives free or discounted products from the brand — or they can be paid directly by the brand.

So how do you reach your target audience when they are spread out all over various forms of media? Influencer marketing is a viable solution to this problem because it offers brands a way to advertise directly to their target audience, regardless of the platforms that they use.

Consumers are also becoming increasingly aware — and skeptical — of brands and their marketing tactics, so building trust with consumers is vital to making sales.

Using influencer marketing allows brands to promote their content through someone that a niche community engages with and trusts. So instead of being skeptical of a commercial or social media ad, consumers are trusting that if their influencer of choice loves the product, they will too.

The stats you need to know

According to a recent study done by data-driven marketing platform Humanz, there are 152 791 South African influencers on Instagram and 69 488 on Twitter.

Humanz defines influencers as follows:

  • 1 000 – 4 999 followers = Nano-influencer
  • 5 000 – 49 999 followers = Micro-influencer
  • 50 000 – 249 999 followers = B-lister
  • 250 000 – 1 million followers = A-lister
  • Over a million followers = Superstar

The majority of influencers in South Africa fall into the nano-influencer category. The country plays hosts to a staggering 138 470 nano-influencers on Instagram and 59 107 on Twitter. Superstar influencers are the rarest type of influencer in SA, with only 63 on Instagram and 53 on Twitter.

So for marketers interested in using influencers as part of your strategy, you have many options available in the nano-influencer category.

The most (and least) popular influencer genres

On Instagram, the most popular influencer categories are fitness (with 4 514 Instagram influencers), lifestyle (with 4 208 influencers) and fashion (with 3 811 influencers). On Twitter, however, the most popular categories are music (with 1 040 influencers), fitness (with 642 influencers) and lifestyle (with 448 influencers).

The least popular categories for influencers on Instagram are vegetarian (with 34 influencers), pets (with 157 influencers) and art (with 702 influencers). On Twitter, the least popular categories are vegetarian (with 11 influencers), pets (with 34 influencers) and art (with 93 influencers).

However, when it comes to engagement, the genres that produce the highest percentage of engagement are:

On Instagram:
  • Sports with 6,39% engagement
  • Fitness with 5,98% engagement
  • Vegetarian with 5,85%
On Twitter:
  • Beauty with 2,78% engagement
  • Lifestyle with 1,68% engagement
  • Fashion with 1,57% engagement

What about engagement?

According to the study, a staggering 85% of marketers say that engagement is their primary key performance indicator (KPI) for influencer marketing. This means that when marketers look at potential influencers to include in their strategies, engagement levels are more important than the number of followers they have.

“85% of marketers say engagement is their primary KPI for influencer marketing.”
Interestingly enough, the study indicated that nano-influencers have the highest engagement rates, with engagement rates decreasing proportionately for influencers with a higher number of followers.

Engagement rate percentages for all types of influencers:
  • Nano-influencers: 10,3% on Instagram and 10,5% on Twitter
  • Micro-influencers: 5.18% on Instagram and 2,05% of Twitter
  • B-listers: 2,8% on Instagram and 0,68% on Twitter
  • A-listers: 1,78% on Instagram and 0,1% on Twitter
  • Superstars: 2,07% on Instagram and 0,08% on Twitter

Interestingly enough, Humanz says that the average engagement rate for SA influencers sits at 7,83% on Instagram and 1,48% on Twitter — higher than the global averages.

Possibly one of the most interesting finds in the study was that only one in two followers in SA are likely to turn into an actual impression. So keep that in mind when looking for influencers to include in your marketing strategy — if they have 1 000 followers, that’s only really 500 impressions on average.

While most South African brands have traditionally used celebrities as influencers, this study shows that nano-influencers have higher engagement rate percentages — and are more readily available. And since these nano-influencers have smaller audiences, they are generally seen as more trustworthy by their followers.

Perhaps it’s the dawn of a new age for influencer marketing …

What are your thoughts about brands using influencers as part of their marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you’ve got all the statistics covered, why not check out these Five trends shaping influencer marketing in 2019.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy