Sam Uwins, Head of StarBox, works with entrepreneurs and start-ups, helping them to grow and scale their businesses. He answers questions on the stratospheric rise of influencers and what that means for businesses.
What are influencers?
Although unheard of only a few years back, influencers are big money now, thanks to the rapid growth of social media. Recent reports show there are 48 million active social media users in the UK – nearly 70% of the population.
That’s where influencers come in. They’re content creators that have built a reputation for their knowledge in a specific niche or area and build followings of enthusiastic people on social media platforms. They earn money in a variety of ways including advertising revenue, sponsored content and paid subscriptions.
How are companies working with influencers today?
Brands and businesses can work collaboratively with influencers to help create trends and encourage their followers to buy from specific companies. Partnerships with well-known creators and influencers can open doors to a highly engaged pool of potential customers; they can use their relationship with their audience to influence purchasing decisions.
And it’s worth big money. In the past 2 years alone, the global influencer market size has more than doubled. It’s currently valued at a record $14billion USD.
What trends do you see for 2022 and going forward?
I think we’re going to continue to see the growth of the creator economy. Better cameras, faster mobile networks and more creator-focused platforms mean it’s easier than ever to become an influencer or content creator, and it shows no signs of stopping.
Influencers are going to look to grow and build their own businesses and IP, with less focus on promoting other brands in exchange for cash. Brands and businesses are going to need to be more creative in how they work with influencers in the future.
One thing is for certain – influencers’ influence on business will continue to dominate in the years to come.