In the realm of product promotion, few categories are as well-suited for influencer marketing as creative software. This is primarily because influencers themselves heavily rely on creative software to create and disseminate their content on social media platforms. Consequently, there could be no more compelling endorsement for a product than a prominent influencer using it to edit their content.

The creative software space is dominated by Adobe and, to a smaller extent, Canva. However, for every high-quality graphic design tool such as Photoshop or video editing software such as Final Cut Pro, there are 100 software riddled with bugs, ads, or subpar features. Therefore, it is crucial for smaller brands with quality products to cut through the noise. By partnering with influencers who have built a strong following and credibility in the creative software realm, brands can boost their visibility and respective profiles.

At a Glance

89% of marketers say that brand awareness is their top priority, and it is clear why. Brand awareness plays a pivotal role in shaping customer perceptions within any industry and creative software is no exception. It is the starting point of the customer buying journey which eventually leads to recommendations and endorsements for the brand. In our experience, awareness is largely tied to brand reputation in the creative software industry, as the brand with the highest level of awareness is also the most frequently used. Generally, 77% of consumers make purchasing decisions because of the brand name.

Influencer marketing has seen significant growth over the years, and its profitability is well-documented. The industry, valued at $1.7 billion in 2016, soared to $16.4 billion in 2022. This growth trend is expected to continue, with the industry projected to reach approximately $21.1 billion in 2023.

Both Adobe and Canva have extensive Affiliate Programs, underscoring the importance of influencer and affiliate marketing for these companies. As of 2023, Adobe has 187 influencers associated with its brand.

Why It's Important

Influencer marketing plays a pivotal role in fostering trust and enhancing brand awareness within the creative software industry. The endorsements from influencers carry a level of credibility that surpasses what is typically achieved through traditional advertising. Audiences, who are often intrigued by the process behind the high-quality videos produced by influencers, view the use of endorsed products by these personalities as a significant endorsement for the brand.

Furthermore, influencer marketing amplifies product visibility, a benefit that is particularly advantageous for lesser-known brands. The endorsements from influencers not only inspire action but also lead to an uptick in user acquisition and sales. Influencers can craft authentic content that effectively showcases the product's features and benefits within a real-world context. Lastly, influencers operating within the creative field ensure that the product is promoted to an audience that is highly relevant, thereby maximizing the impact of the marketing effort.

Canva's Experience

Canva was founded in 2012 and grew to become a $26 billion dollar company in eight years. Canva started significantly taking off in 2020. The founder, Melanie Perkins, saw a gap in the market: there was no easy-to-use product and Photoshop required training.

Canva’s success can largely be attributed to its marketing, of which influencers were a significant portion. In the early stages, Perkins reached out to bloggers and social media marketers via cold emails, offering them a chance to try the platform for free. Since these individuals utilized digital designs regularly in their work, providing a complimentary trial product was a simple and effective way to gain exposure.

Around 2014, Canva enlisted Guy Kawasaki as its Chief Evangelist. Kawasaki, renowned for his previous role as Chief Evangelist for Apple, where he marketed the Macintosh computer line in 1984, played a significant role in Canva's success. He famously stated, "Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce. In the same way, Canva democratizes design." Notably, within two months of Kawasaki joining Canva, the number of users tripled, highlighting his impact on the company's growth.

Future Prospects

Influencer marketing in the creative software industry is set to grow in significance. Emerging trends like the rise of micro-influencers and the use of artificial intelligence in influencer marketing will further shape the industry. Micro-influencers offer brands the chance to reach niche markets, while artificial intelligence can optimize campaigns and measure their impact more accurately.

As the creative software industry evolves, influencers will have more opportunities to showcase these tools in innovative ways, from virtual reality applications to societal impact projects.

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