We see them everywhere: promoting a product or service, hosting an awards gala, appearing in a movie, parading on red carpets, and collaborating with all kinds of artists, singers, or athletes. Influencers are in our soup. Their legions of followers have put them where they never thought they would be and have increased the zeros in their bank accounts to levels they never imagined.
Brands rely on them as a marketing strategy. In the age of social media, they are the mecca of the entertainment world. Even their activity is becoming institutionalized. Paris, for example, is working on a regulatory model to provide a legal definition of the influencer and their agents, as well as their rights and obligations, and to impose written contracts and obligations between these public figures and the brands or agencies they work with.
Whether they like their content or not, influencers have spread as fast as an oil slick. In Mexico, the marketing of these characters is worth 15 million dollars a year, the third-largest market in Latin America, after Brazil and Argentina.
With 443,000 people, “depending on the platform or topic they specialize in, it is possible to find influencers in almost any segment,” says Hugo Gómez Oliver, CEO in Mexico of Human Connections Media.
According to a Human Connections Media report shared with Forbes Mexico, “Instagram, with more than 21.6 million Mexican users, is one of the favorite social networks for brands to create promotional strategies with influencers. The most famous within this network are Kimberly Loaiza, Luisito Comunica, and Belinda, among others. Other of the most important social networks for influencer marketing is TikTok and YouTube”.
It is estimated that the average salary of an influencer, in January of this year, is 24,246 pesos, but the most famous ones can charge up to 10,000 dollars for each promotional publication. The influencer momentum is far from over (90% of brand marketers want to work with influencers this year), but there will be some nuances within the industry, such as the rise of the so-called micro-influencers.
Human Connections Media refers that nanoinfluencers are those who have from 2,000 to 5,000 followers; micro influencers have from 5,000 to 100,000; macro influencers range from 100,000 to 500,000; fame influencers from 500,000 to 1 million and mega-influencers exceed 1 million followers. But for this year, the focus will be on micro-influencers due to the loyalty of their community, their level of specialization in a certain niche and their high engagement.
“It is increasingly common to see how brands seek success in their campaigns by hiring these influencers who have fewer followers, but more interaction on their social channels. Another of the outstanding characteristics of micro-influencers is that they are authentic, real, and familiar and are the stars of a marketing staple since forever, which is the old word of mouth,” highlights Human Connections.
Their success, the document mentions, resides “in their relevance within their environment of friends, family, etc., and the trust, reach and engagement that they generate naturally. Therefore, their recommendation is perceived as sincere and therefore transformed into quality impacts with its very good ROI.“
So consumers are more likely to trust the recommendations of a computer influencer, for example, than if they are told by someone more top of the line, who appears promoting cookies one day, clothes another, cell phones another, soft drinks another and computers another. “Macro influencers appear making brand-sponsored posts so frequently that they can become counterproductive as they start to be perceived as inauthentic and therefore automatically alienate consumers.”
Some influencer marketing trends detected by Human Connections Media have to do, for example, with investment in the metaverse or gaming (e-sports reached a value of 1.38 billion dollars in 2022). Also, “the boom in video content will continue, which provides a lot of information in a short time and its consumption is on the rise“.
There will be “performance and long-term collaboration contracts with influencers to increase engagement with the brand“, multichannel campaigns will increase, although Instagram and TikTok are positioned as favorites especially among Generation Z, and there will be much more competition from brands on these platforms.
Aspirational content will continue to be very relevant, especially lifestyle-related content. Instagram will continue to be the platform that achieves the most engagement with this type of content. Personalized product collections with influencers will also increase, among other trends.
So yes, we will continue to see influencers everywhere, but Human Connections Media warns that “the audience has a negative view of influencers who incite hyper-consumption. That perception needs to be changed with careful messaging and genuine signals to the contrary.“