As influencer marketing industry grows, agencies seek a more cohesive strategy for advertisers

Influencer marketing

With over 600m global users on Instagram (80% of whom come from outside of the US and over 400m of whom check Instagram every day), Instagram is fast becoming a key player in the nascent influencer marketing industry with a quickly developing segment of that market.

According to a recent study, micro influencers range from those making $50 per post to Instagram superstars like Ariana Grande who command half a million dollars per post. The Instagram influencer market runs the gamut in terms of following, audience, and engagement. Increasingly, the biggest brands buying in include Target, H&M, Adidas, Samsung, American Express, Toyota, Fairmont, Microsoft, and many more brands are finding ways to partner with Instagram influencers to reach audiences.

To estimate how much money advertisers spend on influencer marketing on Instagram, a recent infographic tracked the number of sponsored Instagram posts over a year. Lack of transparency and reported metrics with regards to advertiser spend means that there’s no official tally on the size of the Instagram influencer market, which is fragmented and does not always serve the holistic needs of brand marketers. The options available to brands are limited in scope and many marketers rely on manual management of campaigns, which leaves them poring over pages of confusing information, unable to properly access the best partner for their campaign and efficiently track returns.

Further, the Federal Trade Commission is becoming more stringent on influencers being more visible about product endorsement, so marketers have an even greater need to match influencers to advertisers’ needs - factoring in variables like budget, vertical, post frequency, endorsements and more. Marketers need more technology in place to browse targeted lists of influencers, making it easier for brands to authentically connect through discovery, creative management, invitation, campaign verification, and payment.

Digital advertising agencies are responding and for the first time an advertising platform for Instagram, called Iconic Reach, launched by digital advertising agency Engage:BDR, will match influencers to advertisers’ needs - enabling marketers to browse targeted lists or the platform’s influencers.

Formerly at MySpace, Engage:BDR’s CEO, Ted Dhanik, has worked on key social and marketing campaigns, including the explosive growth of Myspace Music, where he leveraged the power of loyal music fans and followers to drive growth of the brand.

“We are excited about the launch of IconicReach and to provide this new channel to our customers. The new platform will enable them to expand their marketing efforts across new channels on a much larger scale than ever before, and all in one central location,” said Dhanik. “Through extensive research, testing, and customer feedback, we knew that our customers sought a central platform to connect authentically with social influencers, and we seized the opportunity. We feel this is going to be instrumental in helping our clients leverage influencers and brands to quickly scale their reach in effective ways.”

The goal is to yield high engagement and authenticity, and for influencers to seamlessly connect to numerous potential partners in one place.

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

All by Laurie