Influencer marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world.
It is now one of the fastest growing marketing channels – and it shows no sign of slowing down just yet.
But many marketers are struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth and changing the playing field of influencer marketing. If you’re one of them, you probably have some questions.
Questions like: Which platforms should you currently be focusing your efforts on? What kind of ROIs should you expect? And how much of your budget should you be devoting to influencer marketing?
We believe the best way to shed some light on questions like these is to look at the data.
In this post, you will find the latest influencer marketing statistics, facts, and trends to in form your strategy.
Let’s get started!
Influencer marketing statistics – Editor’s picks
- Brands utilize micro-influencers 10x more than mega influencers. (Influencer Marketing Hub & CreatorIQ)
- 17% of companies will devote more than half of their annual marketing budget to influencer marketing campaigns. (BigCommerce)
- 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from YouTube influencers than traditional media personalities. (Variety)
What is influencer marketing?
Just in case you’re not familiar with the term, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing in which brands work with creators who have a dedicated social following and/or are seen as experts in a given niche.
These creators offer endorsements or product mentions in the form of branded content and sponsored posts, usually in exchange for payment.
The reason it works so well is that influencers command much more trust than faceless brands. They’ve already taken the time to build up trust with their supporters, so their recommendations hold more sway.
Influencer endorsements are a powerful form of social proof that you can use to raise awareness for your brand and reach new potential customers.
Key influencer marketing statistics & trends
Let’s start by looking at the most important shifts we’re seeing in 2020. The statistics below highlight how influencer marketing has evolved over the last year, per the latest reports.
1. Brands utilize micro-influencers 10x more than mega influencers
Micro-influencers are influencers that have less than 100,000 followers on their social accounts; mega-influencers are those with over 1 million followers. In 2019, brands used micro-influencers 10 times more often than mega-influencers, compared to only 3 times as often in 2016.
This is evidence of a clear new trend in influencer marketing – the shift in focus from mega-influencers to micro-influencers. Brands are seeing greater benefits from spreading their budget across working with several smaller influencer partners, compared to dropping huge chunks of cash on expensive mega influencers and celebrities.
The reason micro-influencers seem to be delivering better returns for brands is that they’re more frequently seen as subject experts, with laser-targeted followers in any given niche who are very interested in their views. This is very different from mega-influencers, who most people follow only because of their big-name appeal, rather than a specific interest in their views or content.
If you want to make the most of your influencer marketing budget, you might want to focus on micro-influencers.
2. Instagram is more popular than ever for influencer campaigns
It’s no secret that Instagram is the influencer marketer’s favorite platform. Year on year, it’s been the most frequently used distribution platform for influencer campaigns. However, it’s now more popular than ever. In 2020, nearly all (>90%) influencer campaigns target Instagram in their marketing mix.
There’s a reason why influencer marketing has continued to thrive on Instagram, while other platforms like Facebook have fallen out of favor. The visual nature of Instagram posts is ideal for advertisers, and the connection between creators and their audience is highly personal. Marketers can leverage this genuine, authentic connection to drive higher ROIs.
Whether you’re working with influencers or developing your own Instagram strategy, be sure to post when your audience is most active.
3. The influencer marketing industry was forecast to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021
This is according to the latest Influencer marketing benchmark report from Influencer Marketing Hub. That’s up from just $4.1 billion since last year. The market size has grown steadily year on year, but this year is the biggest jump.
If you thought influencer marketing was a passing fad, think again. In 2021, influencer marketing is still a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it looks like it’s here to stay. These figures show how the global spend on influencer marketing isn’t slowing down. If anything, quite the opposite is happening – it’s getting bigger and bigger.
Influencer marketing growth statistics
Below are some important statistics that highlight the growth of influencer marketing in recent years.
4. 17% of companies will devote more than half of their annual marketing budget to influencer marketing campaigns
According to a study by MediaKix, 17% of companies devoted more than half of their marketing budget to influencer marketing in 2019. The study showed that 18% of companies will spend between $100,000 and $500,000 per year solely on influencer campaigns. (Source: BigCommerce)
5. According to Google Trends, searches for the term “influencer marketing” grows by 5000% each month
With the popularity of influencer marketing growing, marketers are nipping at the bud to keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends and research.
6. There were 1360 influencer marketing agencies as of 2020
Influencer marketing agencies have been quick to capitalize on the rapidly growing demand for influencer-brand partnerships. 240 new platforms entered the market in the 12 months between 2019 and 2020. These agencies simplify the process of influencer marketing for brands by helping them to identify suitable influencers and connect with them.
Take advantage of the extensive choice on offer and shop around to make sure you find the right fit for you. The best agencies will be those that carefully vet the influencers in their books to make sure they’re generating the right levels of engagement.
Influencer marketing challenges statistics
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Brands still face some hurdles when it comes to influencer marketing. Here are a handful of statistics that show some of the biggest challenges they need to overcome.
7. 10%~ of Instagram accounts are bots (fake accounts)
Many of these bot accounts follow creator accounts, making it seem that they have more ‘real’ followers than they do. Some influencers even buy fake followers from shady websites to inauthentically increase their follower count.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to avoid working with these influencer imposters, as bot accounts aren’t going to convert to sales. The challenge for marketers is spotting these fake followers and inauthentic engagement.
The best way to do so is to carefully vet any influencer you want to work with. Do they seem to have grown their followers organically? What kind of content do they publish? And do their followers seem to be engaging with their posts as expected? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking.
8. 22% of brands struggle to find appropriate influencers
As the influencer marketing space has grown more competitive, brands are struggling to find suitable influencer partners to work with. 22% of participants in the latest Influencer Benchmark Report survey said that they found this task ‘difficult’, and 56% rated it as ‘medium difficulty’. Only 22% thought it was ‘easy’.
Finding an influencer that’s a good match for your brand is going to be tough for your in-house team to do alone, so it might be worth outsourcing the job to influencer agencies. These agencies can streamline the process for you and assist you in finding the best creators for the job.
9. 78% of marketers rate ROI as the number 1 challenge
Many marketers still struggle to effectively measure the ROI of influencer campaigns, according to a study from Mediakix. Most now consider Earned Media Value to be the best measure of success, but accurately calculating EMV can be a complicated affair.
10. 18% of marketers find following FTC guidelines challenging
Compliance with FTC transparency guidelines around ad transparency is another top challenge. (Source: Mediakix)
Influencer marketing engagement statistics
Here are some engagement statistics that offer useful insight for your influencer campaigns.
11. 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from YouTube influencers than traditional media personalities
Per a study from Defy Media, 6/10 millennials say they would be more likely to make a purchase decision based on recommendations from their favorite YouTube personality over TV/movie stars. (Source: Variety)
Related Reading: 24 Top YouTube Statistics: Usage, Demographics, Trends.
12. 86% of women turn to social media for buying advice
The consumer journey for women seems to be heavily influenced by social media. 86% look for advice and recommendations on social media to help them with their purchasing decisions. (Source: a.list)
13. 130 million Instagram users click shopping posts to find product information each month
Social shopping is taking off. Consider activating the shop tab on your social business profiles to make shoppable photos and stories of your products. (Source: Facebook for Business)
14. 80% of consumers have purchased something via an influencer recommendation
Influencer marketing isn’t just about brand recognition, it can lead directly to sales. If the product is right, consumers are willing to click through the links on posts and make a purchase. (Source: Rakuten)
15. 41% of customers discover new products through influencers weekly
… and 24% do so daily! This presents brands with plenty of opportunities to reach new customers via influencer campaigns. (Source: Rakuten)
16. Around 3 in 4 consumers would spend up to $629 on influencer-inspired purchases
According to a 2019 influencer marketing global survey, 74% would spend between $1-$629 on purchases recommended by influencers. Of those, 42$ would spend less than $100. (Source: Rakuten)
17. The same number make purchase decisions based on social media
74% of consumers would also buy something based on the influence of social media. (Source: Social Media Week)
18. Almost 40% of users on Twitter made a purchase based on an influencer Tweet
Twitter might not be the most popular platform for influencer marketing, but as this statistic shows, users on the platform are still receptive to it. (Source: Twitter)
19. Almost half of Twitter survey respondents rely on influencers for recommendations
The same survey from Twitter found 49% of respondents said they rely on influencers for recommendations. This is only slightly less than those that rely on tweets from friends for recommendations (56%).
20. 22% of large purchase decisions by 18-34-year-olds are influenced by influencer endorsements
Showing how influencer marketing is great for brands trying to tap into the younger demographic market. (Source: ClickZ)
Influencer marketing ROI statistics
ROI is often the biggest measure of the success of an influencer campaign. If you’re wondering what kind of returns you should be expecting to see, take a look at these statistics.
21.89% say influencer marketing ROI is at least as good as other channels
Of that 89%, 48% say it’s better than other channels and 41% say it’s equal to other channels. (Source: Mediakix)
22. 71% of marketers think the quality of influencer marketing traffic is better than other sources
53% agree and 18% strongly agree with the above statement, per a survey from Mediakix.
23. 92% of consumers trust online word-of-mouth recommendations
That’s compared to just 33% that trust banner ads. It reflects a wider shift in consumer trust away from traditional advertisements. (Source: Nielsen)
24. Influencer marketing ROI is 11x greater than banner ads
This is based on one study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions. It’s also left other marketing methods like print marketing in the dust. (Source: Convince&Convert)
Influencer marketing platform statistics
The statistics below shed some interesting insight into the best social platforms to partner with influencers on.
25. 78% of marketers think Influencer Posts are the most effective content format for influencer marketing
This is followed closely by Instagram Stories (73%), YouTube Video (56%), and Instagram Videos (54%).
26. … And that Twitch live streams are the least effective format
Despite being the most popular live streaming platform, influencer marketers don’t seem to be impressed by Twitch. Only 5% consider Twitch live streams to be the most effective content format, compared to 14% and 10% respectively for rivals Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Want to learn more? Check out our post on live streaming statistics.
27. Almost 68% of survey marketers said Instagram was important for their influencer campaigns
According to the 2021 state of influencer marketing survey from Influencer Marketing Hub. As expected, this was far more than any other platform. Facebook came in second with a comparatively measly 43%.
28. 4-in-10 Snapchat users make purchases based on influencer recommendations
Snapchat users are surprisingly receptive to influencer marketing, making this a potentially great platform for brands to consider – especially if you’re targeting a younger audience. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
Check out our roundup of Snapchat statistics if you’d like to learn more.
29. TikTok was the most-downloaded Apple app in Q1 2019
With more than 33 million downloads, it ranked as the most downloaded app in the Apple app store in the first quarter of 2019. With such rapidly growing popularity, TikTok may be the hot new influencer marketing platform for brands to watch this year. (Source: Digital Information World)
Want to learn more about this popular social media platform? Check out our roundup of TikTok statistics.
Wrapping it up
That concludes our roundup of the top chatbot statistics, facts, and trends you need to know.
Want to dig into more marketing statistics? Check out these articles:
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