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Instagram Is The Leading Platform For Influencer Marketing Globally

Almost 90 percent of influencers worldwide are using the platform for more influencer campaigns than they did a year ago. Here's what marketers need to know.

Approximately 89 percent of influencers worldwide are using Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns more often than they did a year ago — and Instagram has now become the primary platform for a majority of influencer-based campaigns on a global level, according to research cited in a report from eMarketer.

Credit this trend to the rapid rise of the “Instagram influencer” since the social media platform’s (comparatively recent) launch in 2011 — or call it a result of the way the 2016 debut of Instagram Stories moved users away from Snapchat and essentially forced a repositioning of Snap’s offerings. In any case, influencer marketing on Instagram is growing rapidly and poised to continue — and marketers should be paying attention.

Why is influencer marketing seen as a smart bet by many brands?

“Influencer marketing is a form of promotion where an entity partners with outspoken market leaders who have curated their own audience to augment your brand’s message,” explained David “Rev” Ciancio, director for Partner Marketing at Yext (full disclosure: Yext owns GeoMarketing. More details on that relationship here). “Some modern marketers see it as a form of ‘growth hacking,’ where the leverage these market leaders give you allows your brand awareness to grow exponentially faster and gain more trust than you would by more traditional advertising or paid media.”

The other part of the tactic’s appeal is it’s flexibility. For example, SMBs with smaller budgets have the option to work with micro-influencers who have fewer followers but high community engagement — and command much lower fees. For example, a local restaurant could team up with a micro-influencer and potentially exchange a free meal for a series of posts, getting the social media message out without having to dedicate a significant portion of an ad budget.

But Instagram Isn’t The Only Platform…

That said, eMarketer’s report is quick to point out that while Instagram might be the most popular influencer platform, it’s far from the only one — and brands need to ensure that they’re active in the best place for them when it comes to reaching global audiences

For example, according to a March 2018 survey by M Science for Wavemaker, social media users in Germany were just as likely to follow an influencer on YouTube as they were Instagram, with each cited by 73 percent of respondents. And plenty of additional research suggests that marketers should pursue influencer marketing on YouTube — and especially for brands who are looking to reach DIY enthusiasts.

“Instagram’s rising popularity for influencer campaigns goes hand in hand with the platform’s strong user growth, as marketers tend to go where their customers are,” eMarketer’s report concludes. But while Instagram is the primary platform for many influencer-brand campaigns, it’s hardly the only one: “Take China, for example. Most of the major international social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, are banned by the government. That means that the country’s influencers hold court on local services, of which Weibo and WeChat are the most popular.”

So marketers, go forth and partner with Instagram influencers — but don’t ignore the other platforms that have taken hold, especially outside of the United States.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.