Navigating the Influencer Social Stratosphere

The most successful forms of advertising are those tailored to meet their audience’s interests; and while advertising professionals work to customize all their ad placements, influencer marketing offers a unique sense of connection that is out of reach for other types of ads.

“Influencer Marketing is one of the few advertising mediums that unlock and add a personal touch to an advertising mix,” said Hailey Walstad, Sales Manager. “Once this is realized, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to set aside ad dollars for it.”

Noting the success of influencer marketing, brands increased their ad spend in this area by 33.6% over the past year, and an anticipated 72.5% of US marketers intend to utilize influencer marketing in 2022. 1

This expansion in the influencer marketing space has been seen across various platforms, with the two most popular and effective being Instagram and TikTok.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Remains on Top

Known as the hub for influencer marketing, Instagram has yet to fall from top place since content creators entered the social media scene.

Instagram’s high ranking was further solidified after being bought out by Facebook almost a decade ago. The two platforms remain the primary socials utilized by marketers worldwide, as 93% of global marketers used Facebook and 78% used Instagram in 2021.2

The two platforms’ features were expanded to allow marketers to utilize a cross-platform approach and increase their content’s reach.

“Instagram and Facebook offer paid social amplification which allows us to target and tap into a specific audience beyond the influencer’s organic following,” said Shelby Mustain, Influencer Marketing Account Manager. “When running paid amplification with an Instagram and Facebook campaign, the content will not only reach the influencer’s audience but can also target the client’s requested audience demographics.”

Similar to other social platforms, Instagram has shifted its algorithm to increase the visibility of short-form content through its Stories and Reels, and advertisers have picked up on these modern consumption preferences.

According to a 2021 survey regarding social media planning, 83% of US marketers intended on incorporating Instagram Stories into their influencer marketing plan, and senior marketers expected a 54% increase in their Story ad budget for the year.3

These platform updates are a direct response to Instagram’s biggest competitor: TikTok. This video-based social platform has taken and transformed consumers’ short-form preferences into an entirely separate social platform.

“TikTok is the culmination of the direction consumer preferences have been headed in regard to media consumption over the last decade,” said Brad Stewart, Director of Influencer Marketing. “The platform provides short form, UGC video content that is hyper-tailored to each person’s unique tastes, making it extremely entertaining and easy to digest video after video.”

TikTok Influencer Marketing is Climbing the Social Ladder

TikTok joined the US social media industry in 2016 and has continued to gain popularity ever since.

The social media platform saw a 158% increase in brand value from 2020 to 2021, with a total value upwards of $44.52 billion. 2 With over 65 million U.S. users and an average engagement rate of 17.99%, many U.S. marketers are adding TikTok to their 2022 influencer marketing plans.3

Brands typically utilize TikTok to target GenZ users – a generation known to be challenging for marketers since they are not as responsive to traditional forms of advertising.

“If a brand wants to reach a GenZ audience, TikTok is the place to do it,” said Stewart. “TikTok offers a way for brands to quickly produce high-quality video content, tailored for each unique section of their consumer base, by a member of that community, and all at a fraction of the cost it would take to produce in a studio.”

To compete with Instagram and Facebook’s paid amplification features, TikTok recently released their version of paid boosting, known as Spark Ads. This new feature allows brands to allocate ad dollars to boost organic content after the short videos have already been published to ensure influencer content reaches its full potential.4

TikTok content further engages users with the popularity of user-driven hashtag challenges that do not require paid amplification. As one challenge begins, thousands of other users join in to create their own version of the challenge’s content template.

“People love watching the content, and they love creating it,” said Stewart. “Throw in the trends which people love to participate in, and it’s clear why TikTok is the fastest-growing major social platform right now.”

Taking a Cross-Platform Approach

Each social media channel has its benefits and limitations, all of which must be considered when creating an influencer marketing plan for the upcoming year. By understanding what each platform has to offer, one can build a cross-platform strategy to accomplish all of their influencer marketing objectives.

“At the end of the day, tapping into influencer marketing is a win-win,” said Walstad. “The creator chooses to promote your brand because they believe in the product/service, and the brand gains instant reach and loyalty among thousands overnight.”

See our Influencer Marketing One Sheeter to learn more about our offering and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends! Contact the Division-D sales team to learn more about Influencer Marketing and how we can support your campaigns.

  1. Insider Intelligence, New forecast: US influencer marketing is now a $3 billion-plus industry
  2. Statista, TikTok marketing
  3. Insider Intelligence, Marketing with Stories 2021: They’re evolving on Instagram (but disappearing from Twitter)
  4. TikTok for Business, Introducing Spark Ads: An authentic way for brands to elevate native, popular content

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