Influencer marketing has become ubiquitous on social media. Whether it’s YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram, influencers have power and ever-expanding follower counts. Today, influencer marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry. And, it’s not just big names who marketers turn to. Niche or “microinfluencers” have become a key means of reaching the masses. 

Explore the following statistics to get a better understanding of the state of the industry.

Influencer Marketing Trends

The influencer industry is growing enormously. The global influencer marketing market value stood at 21.1 billion U.S. dollars as of 2023, having more than tripled since 2019. — Statista 

Influencer marketing budgets remain intact amid COVID. “Sixty-seven percent of marketers said their overall digital marketing budgets have decreased in Q2 [2020] due to the pandemic, but only 41% said the same for their influencer budgets. In fact, almost 60% said their influencer budgets would stay the same or increase.” Research Report: Influencer Marketing During COVID-19, Linqia

Influencers are often more trusted than branded content. A recommendation from a creator that you like goes a long way. 61% of consumers trust the product recommendations they get from influencers. Meanwhile, only 38% trust branded social media content. — Business Wire 

Social media is a powerful tool for influencer marketing. Instagram ranked as the most-used influencer marketing platform used among marketers in the United States in 2021. Nearly 68 percent of marketers adopted Instagram for influencer campaigns. Facebook followed, being used by 52 percent of marketers as an influencer marketing platform, while TikTok came in third with 42 percent. — Statista 

TikTok is the premier choice for social media influencer content. Current data suggest that TikTok has become the primary platform of choice for most brands utilizing influencer marketing, with 55.5% of brands favoring it over other platforms. It is a significant increase considering TikTok took over Instagram, which was the first influencer marketing brand choice until last year. However, this year it came in second place with 50.8%. Facebook and YouTube follow with 42.1% and 38.3%, respectively. — Influencity

Related: Content Marketing Certification with Content Science Academy

Influencer Appeal Trends 

Influencers have varying rates of appeal to different demographics. Age is one of the most impactful factors in who an influencer appeals to, how much, and how long it takes to yield real ROI on the campaign. 

Age often correlates to how likely someone is to follow an influencer. During a survey carried out among consumers in the United States in March 2022, 75 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 24 said they followed at least one virtual influencer, while 67 percent of respondents aged both 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 said they did so as well. An increase in consumer age went hand in hand with a decrease in the share of those following virtual influencers, with only 26 percent of consumers aged 55 and older doing so. — Statista 

Gen Z is most likely to be influenced by influencers. Our consumer trends survey shows that 31% of social media users prefer to discover new products on social media through an influencer they follow over any other social format or channel. This shoots up to 43% for Gen Z – making influencer marketing their preferred product discovery channel. On top of that, 21% of social media users 18-54 have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past 3 months. This also rises to 32% among Gen Z. — Hubspot

Older influencers appeal to multiple demographics. Some influencer marketing shops are already seeing an increase in brand requests for older influencers. “We’ve had this request over the years, yes but there has been an increase in brands that want to leverage older influencers over the last year,” said Vickie Segar, founder of Village Marketing. — Digiday

Women are more likely to be influencers and follow influencers. Approximately 84% of all social media influencers are women, compared to just 16% men. We see a similar pattern among the number of female social media users who buy into influencer campaigns. Amongst Gen Z, one-third of women aged 16 to 24 follow an influencer on social media compared to just 25% of men. — Shopify

Evaluating Influencer Effectiveness 

Evaluating the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign requires time. However, evaluating the ROI of an influencer campaign is key to defining future goals and assessing the effectiveness of current strategies. 

Campaign performance tracking is one of the most crucial elements of launching an influencer campaign. The right tools help you determine if you’re reaching the right audience, generating engagement, and hitting your performance objectives. Moreover, by tracking your campaigns over time, you can identify valuable insights into what content resonates best with your target audience, which influencers are generating the most impressive results (if you are collaborating with multiple influencers), and which strategies you need to adjust in order to improve campaign performance.Influencity

Flesh out your influencer marketing goals before beginning a campaign. A mistake that many marketers tend to do is trying to hit all the goals with one influencer campaign. That can’t be done: if you’re trying to hit all the goals, you won’t hit any. Instead, choose 1-2 KPI-s (key performance indicators) and optimize your whole influencer marketing campaign based on these. — promoty.io 

Evaluate key metrics after enough time has passed. Influencer marketing takes time to marinate with the target audience. Reactions are not as quick as they are in advertising. Influencer campaigns should run for three months, or more. Brands should then measure ROI in the subsequent three months, looking at the only metrics that matter: revenue, orders and new customers. — T. Maxwell, founder of eMaximize

Influencer Marketing Uses and Benefits

Marketers find working with influencers to be very effective. Though tactics have evolved somewhat over time, marketers see influencers as an important way to advertise their brand

Influencer marketing attracts and retains customers. Influencer marketing not only has a positive impact on customer acquisition, but it can also provide numerous benefits for customer retention. By working with influencers who have a strong relationship with their followers, businesses can create long-lasting and meaningful connections with their customers. — AIContentfy

Marketers prefer campaign-based influencer strategies. Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2021 report found that “67% of respondents prefer their influencer marketing to be campaign-based rather than always-on.” Influencer Marketing Hub

Microinfluencers are in. Nine in 10 enterprise marketers want to use micro-influencers, which is up from 80% in 2020. Linqia

Influencer video content is popular with marketers. “Seven out of 10 U.S. agency and marketing professionals advertise in influencer videos.” Content Facts for 2021: What You Need to Know, Content Science Review

Amid COVID, marketers turn to influencers to strengthen brands. “Of the marketers running influencer campaigns now, 63% are using the channel to convey the right message for their brand, while 17% are trying to raise awareness and no marketers said they are leveraging influencers to drive sales.”  Research Report: Influencer Marketing During COVID-19, Linqia

Influencer campaigns can extend the impact of content marketing. To make the most of an influencer campaign follow these three tips: 

  • Follow the rules: In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has clear guidelines for disclosing when an influencer’s posts are sponsored.
  • Let the influencer be creative: The influencer knows his or her audience best and can present you or your content in a compelling way. And all while staying aligned with your brand.
  • Get clear data about the results: About two thirds of marketers have reported experiencing influencer fraud, where an influencer misled or fell very short of the results they promised. A great way to get precise about the impact of your influencer marketing campaign is to give the influencer a link with a special code. That way you know traffic using the code had to come from your campaign.

Content Marketing for Social Media, LinkedIn Learning 

Bottom Line

Influencers are clearly an essential part of many marketing strategies today. However, marketers should be cautious and do their due diligence to be sure they only partner with quality influencers. “The Federal Trade Commission is concerned that ‘fake accounts, fake likes, fake followers, and fake reviews are now polluting the digital economy, making it difficult for families and small businesses looking for truthful information.’” You also want to ensure your organization’s values are aligned with an influencer’s values so you can avoid a potential conflict. But, when marketers find influencers who are the right fit for their brand, there is ample opportunity to increase awareness, gain customers, and drive revenue.

The Author

Content Science partners with the world’s leading organizations to close the content gap in digital business. We bring together the complete capabilities you need to transform or scale your content approach. Through proprietary data, smart strategy, expert consulting, creative production, and one-of-a-kind products like ContentWRX and Content Science Academy, we turn insight into impact. Don’t simply compete on content. Win.

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