Content Creators/Influencers Research
- Influencers and content creators using social media platforms are some of the most significant drivers of traffic to websites.
- The growth of platforms such as TikTok and the vast volumes of viewers and users globally make them an important to marketers looking for increased exposure and visibility.
- Some shortcomings of influencer marketing include a lack of trust in influencers, after some reports of dishonest behavior and practices.
- Research looks at influencers and content creators and their ability to driver website traffic.
- Data availability issues meant that there was not significant amounts of quantifiable statistics which could be used regarding driving traffic specifically through media websites. Therefore, this analysis considers driving traffic to websites more generally.
Arguments For Content Creators and Influencers
- Social media platforms, including those such as Instagram and YouTube were found to be responsible for 31% of all referral traffic. Marketers leverage the benefits of content and influencers on these platforms in order to run structured and innovative campaigns in order to drive traffic through their websites and increase their profile and visibility.
- TikTok is the fourth most used social media app, and has already proved to be an effective tool for driving traffic to various different websites/blogs etc. The app has been downloaded over 200 times and is the seventh most used social media network, available in over 200 countries globally. One of the key benefits, are TikTok's ability to keep an audience engaged, with users spending an average of 52 minutes on the app, and this is crucial and this is crucial for content makers.
- TikTok have recently added new features aimed at helping brands drive traffic through the app. The ability to add a clicked link into a bio, previously a limited and exclusive feature, has been made available to all business accounts, providing further opportunities for influencer led marketing campaigns.
- The sheer volume of users and viewers of created content on social media sites provides a huge global touchpoint for marketers seeking to drive traffic, increase brand exposure and inevitably add value or drive sales. YouTube's Shorts receive an estimated 3.5 billion views a day, and TikTok has 100 million active monthly users in the U.S. alone, with 89% of Americans said to be familiar with the platform.
- Instagram Posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram Videos and YouTube Videos are the four most effective content formats for influencer marketing. These formats have features such as the ability to attach links directly into bios or comments, and have proved so popular that in 2020, 80% of brands used Instagram for influencer led marketing campaigns.
- All most nine out of ten (87%) marketers quizzed in a study by industry experts the Social Media Examiner claimed increasing website traffic is one of the main benefits of social media and influencer led marketing. It was the second most popular benefit, after brand exposure, and well ahead of lead generation.
- Consumers increasingly prefer social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others for customer service and care. Customers trust influencer content and recommendations ahead of a brand, and the ability engage and directly interact with influencers is a powerful tool which can be used by marketers for brand exposure and to drive web traffic and sales.
Arguments Against Content Creators and Influencers
- Recent research has uncovered the fact that search engine Google drives 8 times more website traffic than all social media networks combined, including those popular with content creators and influencers, such as YouTube and Instagram. Analysis performed in 2020, which studied 3.25 billion website visits to discover which were the main traffic websites, and how different industries relied on them found that google drove overwhelmingly more traffic through websites. The results were somewhat nuanced, with different industries relying more heavily on google than others. Over 90% of all searches happen on Google and special features such as Adwords play a crucial and significant role in maintaining Google's position and driving traffic to all websites.
- Influencer marketing is more commonly used as a sales/conversion tool, and in fact this is the most common measure for success. Lots of influencer campaign analysis metrics are less about traffic volume, and more about qualified traffic to obtain sales. A recent study on the state of influencer marketing found that 67% of consumers preferred influencer marketing to be campaign based, were therefore more likely to respond if it is presented in this way. Consumers inevitably tire of seeing influencers if they are faced with too much exposure to them.
- There has been some negative stories and sentiment attached to influencer marketing recently and there are fears by some for the future of the industry. There have been reports of influencers lying and making incorrect claims about products they are promoting, and some reports have stated that trust in influencers has dropped from 70% in 2017 to just an estimated 4%.
- Content creators, influencers and social media are some of the most used channels by marketers for driving traffic to websites in general. The growth of these platforms, their exposure and significant visibility, as well as advanced features such as clickable links which make for a simplified customer experience mean they are powerful tools which provide significant benefits.
- It is also worth mentioning however, that there are some shortcomings in influencer led marketing. Google and other search engines are far more popular and effective tools for driving traffic through websites, and therefore a multi-channel marketing approach may be the best option depending on industry.