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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

Influencer Marketing is Now a $21.1 Billion Industry and Here's Why

Looking back at your childhood, it would be easy to disregard your high school experience as simply three or four years of your life spent in school that you had to undergo on your way to adulthood. But viewing your high school experience from that perspective would be a mistake.

That’s because studies show that one's high school experience often has an enormous effect on their adulthood. High school is where many people find their sense of self, their tribe, as well as interests and hobbies that they’ll carry with them throughout their entire lifetime. 

Think about it, people cherish their high school years so much, many still get dressed up to go to their high school class reunion—some twenty years after they actually graduated—just to reminisce on old times with their former classmates (and let’s be honest, many go to their high school class reunions just to see their old crushes). 

I often use high school analogies because it helps people resonate with the information that I seek to convey. And whether you were popular as a high school student or not, if you could understand the dynamics of how important popularity was back in your high school days, you most certainly could understand why the global influencer marketing is now over a $21.1 billion industry—and growing by the day. 

The impact influencers have on today’s marketing industry 

Throughout his impressive career as one of the greatest MCs in hip-hop history, Jay-Z has delivered many classic lines that have been revered by hip-hop fans around the world. But one of the most profound and celebrated lines that Jay delivered didn’t come from one of his more popular songs. 

The line actually came from a song called, Reminder, off the album, The Blueprint 3. In which Jay famously said, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” 

These are a few honest numbers regarding influencer marketing that should be of interest to your brand:

  • According to a Pew Research Center study, 54% of 18- to 29-year-old social media users say influencers impact their purchasing decisions a lot or a little.

  • Hypeauditor estimates that retailers will get $4.12 of earned media value for every dollar that they spend towards influencer marketing on Instagram.

  • In a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, 85.6% of respondents indicated that they would be dedicating a budget to influencer marketing in 2024. 

These numbers confirm what has been apparent to many marketing professionals who were once considered crazy by some of their… let’s just say uninformed colleagues; which is influencer marketing has now become a mainstay for brand growth.

Why has influencer marketing gotten so big?

Ever since the inception of print and television advertising, advertising executives have utilized ideal-similarity. Ideal-similarity is a term used in the advertising industry which refers to a tactic utilized whenever brands use presenters in ads for their products or

services whose usage is socially conspicuous. 

When brands utilize ideal-similarity, they typically position a presenter who has an expert-user hook whose appearance reflects how the brand’s target audience view themselves—in hopes of persuading that audience to purchase its products or services (e.g. Sydney Sweeney in an ad for a swimsuit brand).

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like an influencer to me. 

The truth of the matter is that influencers have always helped bring awareness—as well as sales to brands. The prevalence of social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have simply provided a platform for those who aren't traditional celebrities—to become internet celebrities and monetize their huge followings—as well as their popularity—to persuade others who admire them. Sort of like high school. 

Take a minute and think back to your high school days. Who were your most popular classmates? How did they dress? Which clothing brands did they often wear to school? I’d be willing to wager that whichever clothing brands they wore—the majority of your fellow classmates also wore them as well. Or at least they aspired to. 

Much like those most popular students in your high school, influencer marketing is now over a $21.1 billion industry because humans have always been innately persuaded by people who are popular. Especially those who they most identify with or aspire to become more like. 

Social media has simply provided a platform for brands, popular people, and their followers to intermingle for the benefit of all parties involved. Once again, much like high school. 

Need help finding the ideal influencer for your brand?  

There’s no doubt about it, the right influencer could definitely bring more attention towards your brand—while also having a positive impact on the way your target audience will perceive your brand.

Our objective at Decryption is to utilize all necessary marketing tactics that would best help our clients’ startup brands advance—including influencer marketing.

If you’re having trouble identifying or securing the ideal influencer to partner with for your brand, contact us to discuss how your brand could become the next Decryption client and we’ll help you identify and align your brand with the perfect influencer that'll help take your startup to the next level.  


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