There are six billion people in the world who have a smartphone. And a billion of them are active users on Instagram. It’s no wonder social media has grown to be such a hotspot for culture and connection.
And now, it’s a hotspot for influencer marketing. It’s one of the latest and most effective digital marketing trends. And even though brands across the world are using it, it’s still an enigma for others. So we’ve put together this guide to demystify influencer marketing. It’s complete with real data, accurate statistics, and engaging visuals. Here’s what we’ll unpack:
Influencer marketing is like celebrity endorsement, but with a couple of twists. First of all, influencer marketing is all on social media. Usually, it’s Instagram, but it can be Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, or any other social platform.
Second, brands partner with influencers. An influencer is anyone on social media with a strong following — and it’s not limited to celebrity status. In fact, some influencers only have a couple of thousand followers. And it’s not about how many followers an influencer has. It’s about the influence they have and the connection they’ve built with their followers.
Next, influencer ads have to seem natural. This is what makes influencer marketing so powerful. It blurs the line between sponsored content and organic content. So when an influencer endorses a product, it feels more like a genuine suggestion than a scripted ad. And if you do it right, the results are astounding.
Influencer marketing yields incredibly high returns. Not to mention it’s one of the latest digital marketing trends. But how do you know if it’s right for your marketing strategy?
Let’s jump into some influencer marketing stats and find out. We’ll cover marketing trends over the last couple of years. We’ll discuss industry changes. And we’ll even show you what other marketers are doing with their budget.
Marketing is all about the cold, hard results. So it’s only fair we start with some cold, hard facts. Let’s get started by jumping into some influencer marketing statistics.
Marketers who use influencer marketing
More and more marketing pros discover influencer marketing every day. So much so that more than 90% of all marketers use influencer marketing as a part of their strategy.
Influencer marketing budget allocations
The amount you spend on influencer marketing depends on your entire marketing budget. It’ll also depend on the type of product or service you provide. But on average, 49% of marketers reserve at least 10% of their budget for influencer marketing. That’s actually down from 52% in 2019.
How often marketers use influencer marketing
Close to 75% of marketers say they’ve used influencer marketing at least once as a part of their strategy. More than a third (36%) use influencer marketing regularly. That’s down by almost 20% compared to 2019’s data. And 37% use influencer marketing for special occasions like product launches.
Influencer marketing effectiveness
The majority (89%) of marketing pros believe influencer marketing is an effective strategy. This is a 4% increase compared to 2019. And in general, the more you invest in an influencer marketing campaign, the more successful it’ll be. But keep in mind that “investing” isn’t limited to money. It includes:
- Allocating enough budget
- Giving the team enough time to create quality content
- Using an accurate campaign tracking tool
- Tracking sales and other KPIs
Influencer marketing advantages
When it comes to influencer marketing, natural and personal advertising is at the top. Marketers believe influencers make for better brand ambassadors. And they trust in the quality of the influencers they partner with.
This is why it’s critical for brands to pay close attention to who they collaborate with. So take the time to vet your influencers and research relevant niches. And choose partnerships that’ll nurture long-term growth.
Influencer marketing ROI vs. other channels
Compared to other channels, 42% of marketers yield stronger ROIs from influencer marketing. And compared to a couple of years ago, we’re seeing less faith in SEO and SEM across the board. More marketers put their faith in influencer marketing, social ads, and email marketing.
Most marketers use influencer marketing for content promotion, product launches, and brand awareness. They also reach for it when giveaways and product promotions are on the table.
Why marketers launch influencer marketing campaigns
Nearly 60% of marketers launch influencer marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness. Launches also generate engagement, reach new audiences, and (in fourth place) increase sales. Back in 2019, the stats were about the same. Except sales were even lower on the priority list.
The biggest challenges of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing isn’t without its challenges. And the challenges marketers rank at the top include:
- Measuring ROI
- Finding compatible influencers
- Negotiating compensation
But above all, most marketers believe it’s getting an accurate read on follower counts. It was second on the list in 2019 and has since climbed to the top. After all, influencer fraud is a huge issue for marketers. It wastes millions each year and it’s tough to navigate.
Top audience to reach with the help of influencers
Millennials are our most tech-friendly generation. They’re all over social media. And they have more money to spend than Gen Z’ers. It’s no surprise then that 53% of marketers target Millennials with influencer marketing.
How marketers choose influencers to partner with
The way marketers rank what they value in influencers hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years. When it’s time to choose between influencers, 32% of marketers say they vet based on quality of content. Marketers also look for engagement rate and reach. And only 7% rank follower counts at the top of their list.
After marketers find influencers they’re interested in, it’s time to make contact. And what was true in 2019 is still true today. Most marketers (54%) choose to outsource influencer outreach. It’s usually to outside agencies or specialized platforms.
If you’re ready to start messaging influencers, reach for Humanz AI. It’s a smart platform designed for smart marketers. And it streamlines influencer outreach. Discover the difference Humanz can make and schedule a demo.
Most advanced influencer marketing industries
According to marketers back in 2019, the most advanced industries were:
Marketers feel the same way today, and those feelings are stronger than ever.
Underdeveloped influencer marketing industries
The industries with the least influencer marketing infrastructure are:
- Economy and finance
This is an interesting pivot from 2018 and even 2019. Back then most marketers thought these industries had room for more development:
- Science and environment
- Education and coaching
Top social media platforms for influencer marketing
Instagram still dominates other social media platforms when it comes to influencer marketing. And marketers now prefer it 35% more than they did back in 2018.
- On a global scale, the influencer marketing industry is worth $13B+ in USD. That’s more than twice what it was in 2019
- Instagram is the #1 social media platform for influencer marketing in the world
- The majority of all IG influencers use fraud to boost engagement rates and followers
- 63% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget next year
- Most marketers (19%) spend between $1k – $10k USD per year on influencer marketing
- 89% of marketers say that the ROI from influencer marketing is the same or better than other channels
Final thoughts on influencer marketing stats in 2021
Influencer marketing is here to stay and it’s only getting bigger every year. The industry has more than doubled since 2019. And more brands are taking advantage of it than ever before.
- No matter how big, small, old, or new your brand is, it’s time to invest in influencer marketing. Here’s a recap of why you should:
- The majority of marketers use influencer marketing. And most find it more effective than other channels
- Most brands invest at least 10% of their marketing budget in influencer marketing
- Platforms like Humanz AI can help you track and analyze campaign performance
For more info about influencer marketing, check out our resources. It’s the best spot to pick up expert tips, insider info, and more. You can also give Humanz a try today or contact us for a full demo.