Influencer marketing has rapidly become one of the most effective ways for brands to sell their products to their audience. Before we delve into various facts and figures surrounding influencer marketing, we need to understand what it is.
Now we all know what traditional marketing/advertising looks like; billboards, posters, adverts, product placement, etc. There are countless ways for a company to hurl their product repeatedly in our face to try and entice us to buy it! Influencer marketing is no different in terms of what a company wants to do, tempting us away from our money; you take an influencer, give them a product and say “Tell your audience how much you like our product”.
So why has influencer marketing become so effective? Well, we are obsessed with celebrities and influencers, we watch them act/sing/make funny videos day in, day out, so naturally, we want to know what ‘stuff’ they use and enjoy. I will watch my favourite fitness influencers and if they were to recommend a certain supplement they used, then yes, I’d look into buying that product because that’s an insight into their lifestyle that’s helped make them look a certain way.
Influencer marketing isn’t new, it goes back hundreds of years, from the queen endorsing pottery she liked to Santa Claus delivering Coca-Cola (well, sort of) but let’s think modern and stick to social media. It’s relatively new as a form of marketing because social media, as we know it, hasn’t been around for a huge amount of time. These days, influencer marketing is everywhere and most brands will be placing a large budget on it.
Now, why is the fitness industry so heavily dependent on influencer marketing? It’s pretty simple, fitness is a lot about what we look like. We may like fitness influencers because they’re in fantastic shape and that means everything is visual, so if a brand is wanting to market a product, they go to Instagram, find who looks great and has a lot of followers and reach out to collaborate.
How well does it work? Let me hit you with 10 influencer marketing stats you need to know and you be the judge!
10 Influencer Marketing Stats You Need To Know
1 – Influencer marketing industry to reach $16.4 billion in 2022
The market was worth $1.7 billion in 2016, as you can see the market is lucrative and ever-growing. The increase was helped by the pandemic, social media became a huge part of a lot of people’s lives, becoming a key way to digest media. TikTok emerged onto the scene during this time and reaffirmed the importance of short-form content and how we’ve preferred that over long-form in recent times, this allows for brands to increase the output of promos through multiple short videos.
2 – Micro-influencers to make a big impact going forward
A micro-influencer tends to be an individual with up to around 10K followers, these creators can charge much less than someone with 500,000, sometimes a micro-influencer may also promote a product for free, in exchange for the product itself! This is obviously great for brands because their cost per action is greatly reduced. Still, actually, a micro-influencers audience may be more engaged because they’re part of a smaller community. So, running a campaign with 10 micro-influencers only costs £2000 as opposed to macro/mega influencers may charge £10,000, yes, they may garner more views but their audience will be less likely to click on the website/view other products.
Micro-influencers are vital in the fitness community, they can be a really tight-knit niche on social media and even in the local gym, people talk and take recommendations from each other. There are hundreds of thousands of fitness creators with 1000 – 10,000 followers on Instagram so imagine a brand paying half of them to promote their new leggings, for example, you’re going to be fed that product over and over again, making you more likely to try!
3 – Instagram is the most popular platform for Influencer marketing campaigns
Instagram is known for being the platform you go to when you want to look at pretty pictures or scenic videos, within the fitness industry this is where we see rippling biceps and bulging glutes, and that’s just on my profile!! Waheeeeyyy had to get that in there somewhere. Sorry, I’ll carry on. The visual nature of Instagram means that of course, brands will favour it over platforms like Facebook, people want to see someone they “know” (even in the loosest sense of the word) try on the new Gymshark release before they purchase it themselves. An Instagram audience tends to be quite well engaged and a bit more personal than other platforms, this means that a brand can leverage this genuine, authentic connection to increase sales.
4 – The lifestyle industry has the greatest distribution of Instagram influencers.
13.8% in 2021, leading the way in front of things like beauty, music, photography, etc. Fitness and Gym only made up 3.3% BUT the lifestyle niche does contain a lot of content based around exercise, healthy eating, yoga, holistic approaches, and much more so you could argue they fall into the same category.
5 – Brand ambassadorships are dominating the market
A brand ambassador is someone who is always promoting a brand, this isn’t your one-off social media post, it’s an “always-on” approach. Wearing/using the product in your normal life, promoting in nearly all social media posts, and almost being a face of the brand. Why would this be more beneficial to brands? Consistency. Persistence. Absolute. As a brand you know you’re getting constant, steady promotion, with it being from one individual makes it more authentic.
6 – Searches for the term “influencer marketing” grows by 5000% each month
Why? Well, it has become an absolute staple in many marketing campaigns, the whole world has been introduced to this relatively ‘new’ way of advertising, consumers and corporate giants alike. Because the demand and interest are so currently so high for influencers…
7 – The number of Influencer marketing agencies grew from around 190 to 1360 in 5 years.
That is an almost 7 times increase. You might think 1360 isn’t that much, bear in mind that was two years ago and that 5 years prior there wasn’t 200! The current number would have almost doubled again I imagine, the reason for this is supply and demand. Brands don’t necessarily want to search through Instagram or TikTok for hours a day to try and find someone worth pitching to, they would rather have a catalogue of people who best fit their product/brand personality and this is where agencies come in. An agency will have a roster of talent they’ve signed, a brand will contact said agency and give them a brief and the type of creator they want, the agency can then list all creators that fit the bill. That will take a quarter of the time it would’ve taken for a brand to find the creators themselves.
The more influencers – the more influencer marketing opportunities – the more agencies.
8 – 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from Youtubers than traditional media personalities.
Those pesky millennials!! They grew up watching Youtube, gone are the days of sitting as a family to watch Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway, and in are the evenings of watching Mr Beast’s new million-pound Youtube video.
Over the years the number of YouTubers has grown greatly, and the fitness industry thrives on them, teenagers are starting to work out and want to pack on muscle but they don’t tend to have the money to hire a personal trainer, and a nutritionist so they turn to YouTube. A free platform that can gift you unbeatable advice. Joe Fazer, a fitness Youtuber, started posting his journey from a skinny 16-year-old to a beefy 19-year-old and teenagers have tried to emulate his success. I’ll say it again, IT’S FREE! So, if Joe tells you to buy the new MyProtein supplement, you’re probably going to do it!
9 – 64% of influencers say they would not accept a huge amount of money if it would cost them followers
This is exactly what the brand and the consumer want to hear, authenticity. Influencers know if they’re promoting products that don’t fit their personality, the audience will know it’s probably just a cash grab. The consumer can know with some comfort that most influencers will only promote things they actually enjoy. Great for the brand too as the relationship between audience and influencer is solid! Particularly important in the fitness industry as influencers aren’t just recommending clothes, they’re recommending supplements that can actually make a big difference in someone’s life.
10 – 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice
An incredible statistic to finish on and one that sums up how powerful the relationship between shopping and social media is. You can chalk some of this up to reviews and asking friends online but a major part of this is, yep you guessed it, influencer marketing. The great thing about the fitness industry is that it’s evolved over recent years, male bodybuilders dominated the market for a long time but now we celebrate women becoming as strong and as healthy as possible, further solidifying the statistic.
You can see by these numbers, that influencer marketing is an absolute staple in today’s society and it is only going to grow as platforms like TikTok firmly place themselves at the top of the market. As you surf through social media today, just have a look around and see what you can spot, hey, you might find something you like!