New York based discovery platform Bloglovin' has released research showing that it is micro-influencers that are changing the industry. It has noticed a critical shift in what it terms the "next generation" of influencers.
The survey was conducted in June 2016 through online polling of 2,500 micro-influencers that utilize its platform. It found that almost half of influencers join new platforms to expand their audience or express themselves creatively.
The research found that 34 percent of influencers state that brands are unaware of the true costs of influencer marketing programs. It says that there are misconceptions around the influencer marketing industry, one of which is that the big social celebrities are the only ones that are impactful.
The company took an in-depth look into best practices that brands can utilize to make influencer marketing work for them.
The study surveyed a set of of micro-influencers, those not in the top 10 percent of mega-bloggers, to identify trends on the state of the influencer marketing industry so that brands can develop influencer marketing strategies.
The rise of micro-influencers has been slow but steady. Micro-influencers have mid-sized audiences with dedicated, highly engaged followers. These influencers use a variety of social platforms to engage.
As far as engagement goes, Instagram is king for influencer marketing. 59 percent of influencers feel that Instagram is the most effective platform when engaging their target audience -- especially across fashion, beauty, and food.
Blogs are popular too. 54 percent of influencers have worked with brands on sponsored blog posts, making blogging the most popular method of influencer marketing.
42 percent work with Instagram collaborations, 32 percent with Facebook promotions, and 29 percent with Twitter promotions.
Facebook is still relevant with 18 percent of influencers, despite the platform's maturity.
Although half of influencers note Snapchat is their new favourite social media platform, only one percent of influencers find it is the most effective in engaging their audience.
The report shows that influencers are not in it for the money. Rather, they focus on gaining recognition through earned, not paid, social media posts.
53 percent of influencers have never promoted a post on social platforms.
34 percent of influencers state that brands don't have a realistic understanding about how much influencer marketing costs. 84 percent of influencers tend to charge under $250 for one branded Instagram post and 97 percent charge less than $500 per post.
87 percent of influencers charge under $500 per branded blog post, whilst 83 percent of influencers charge less than $150 for a branded Tweet.
New platforms seem to be gaining popularity with influencers. Facebook Live is the biggest new social trend among influencers (33 percent) followed by Instagram's Boomerang (27 percent).
Rohit Vashisht, president of Activate by Bloglovin' said. "While the influencer industry is exploding, a lot of brands are unaware what the best practices are.
By surveying our micro-influencers, we're able to share primary insights that marketers really need to pay attention to in order to put together impactful campaigns."