This has meant changes in the digital climate that no one could’ve predicted. Though the world of online marketing has been evolving and reactive throughout its existence, this is a completely new scale. As such, data released even 3 months ago could be viewed as inaccurate. Reports and research to the current state of influencer marketing on a wide scale are yet to be released, presumably because many communities have higher priorities right now. We can confidently say mobile internet usage will have increased over this time and extreme spikes will have been recorded in social media usage.
The currently available influencer marketing stats show this method of digital marketing not only fits these criteria, but outshines many other methods in terms of ROI. Not all businesses have a huge marketing budget and yet for digital marketers these days, it’s not just about the size of the purse, but what you do with it. Finding methods that have the potential to create outstanding results, without breaking the bank, is key to marketing success.
Why influencer marketing works
Though not new, the growth of influencer marketing is linked to the growth of social media, which has opened up new advertising channels to all types of businesses. With millions of people using the many social media platforms on offer, the potential audience is becoming one of the largest pools of lead generation.
Influencers have built up strong followings on digital platforms, and are considered more instrumental and easy to relate to than the celebrities who endorse products across traditional media sources such as TV, radio and magazines. Comparably, influencers are normal people who’ve built their businesses or social media presence by providing interesting and engaging content. As social media has developed, companies have been utilising the influencer marketing model more to promote their own brands.
The proof of just how powerful influencer marketing has become is demonstrated by some compelling statistics and facts that are becoming more commonplace.
1. Millennials trust social influencers more than celebrities
Young people have always listened to their peers and consider influencers to be a part of their peer group. Although they may idolise sporting and TV celebrities from afar and may aspire to be like them, they regard them as unattainable fantasy figures.
However, the way they perceive influencers is different. They connect and engage with influencers on social media as if they were friends, particularly those who come from similar backgrounds to them. Influencers talk about subjects close to their hearts and teens can identify with them directly, in a way they cannot with celebrities. They also may be able to communicate with them directly on occasion, further strengthening their personal bond.
Millennials feel they know the influencers and because of this, they trust them and their opinions. When an influencer gives them advice they follow it. Considering 70% of YouTube subscribers feel they are more in tune with influencers than celebrities, and 40% go as far as to say that their favourite YouTube creators ‘understand them better than their friends,’ you can start to appreciate this digital bond. One of the findings from the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review was 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family.
This comes down to the strong ties the influencers forge with their fan base compared to the relationship these same viewers have with celebrities. Influencer videos are watched more and get twice as much direct action (be it interaction, or product purchases etc.) as a result of the video than those of traditional celebrities. 60% of subscribers said they would happily act on the advice of these trendsetters rather than the advice of TV or film celebrities.
These are powerful statistics demonstrating the strength of influencer marketing, particularly when considering the impact on the current and upcoming generations of online shoppers.
2. Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a business
In the same BrightLocal study, 86% of consumers said they seek out and read online reviews of businesses, this number increased to 95% when only looking at people aged 18 to 34. They also claimed it took reading an average of 10 online reviews before they felt they could trust a local business.
Encouraging existing customers to leave a positive review is an easy way to increase your affiliate marketing efforts for free. With 50% of consumers saying they will take some action after reading a positive review, keeping reviews current and relevant should be considered very important to marketers.
This works particularly well if your target market is an older demographic, as 69% of 55+ year olds are likely to go to a company’s website after a good review, with this decreasing for younger age brackets (47% of 35-54 year-olds and 35% of 18-34 year-olds).
3. Influencer marketing is more profitable than print marketing
Newspapers and magazines are now widely available online and are read more frequently on tablets and phones than ever before. This, in turn, has led to the slow decline of print marketing over the last few years. Marketers have naturally looked to other forms of promotion, in particular focusing on different methods of advertising online. However, the internet is a crowded marketplace and in order to be seen, brands have, by necessity, narrowed their target audience down in order to reach out and connect with better, more qualified potential leads.
This has led them to approach influencers who are already in front of their target audience, which resulted in influencer marketing overtaking print marketing for the first time in 2016, as seen on Google Trends. As mentioned, consumers have gradually changed their own methods of purchasing and now seek out recommendations and reviews, trusting those from family, friends and social media influencers over traditional print ads. Purchasers are no longer simply convinced by companies extolling the virtues of their products; instead, they want social proof from people they have relationships with, including the authorities they follow online.
4. Businesses make a 600% return for every £1 spent on influencer marketing
A 2019 survey by The Influencer Marketing Hub (partnered with Viral Nation and NeoReach) showed the ROI for influencer marketing is estimated at £6 for every £1 spent, and in some cases, it has been reported to be as high as £20 or more.
Not only is the return high, but over 50% of marketers feel customers gained through influencer marketing are better for their long-term business. They spend more money, leading to higher average order values (AOV), and are happy to share their experiences about the product or service as well, leading to additional customers gained indirectly as a result of the initial marketing campaign.
With influencer marketing perceived as the fastest-growing method of obtaining new customers, the same Influencer Marketing Hub survey showed that 63% of businesses who do budget for influencer marketing intend to increase their spending over the next 12 months.
It now beats paid search, email marketing and organic search, and is considered the most cost-effective method of marketing by 35% of marketers for acquiring new customers.
When looking at the most successful platform to use for influencer marketing, blogs take the lead, with 37% leveraging this method for promotional means. Consumers like to read content about a subject before committing to the purchase, so will turn to blogs and articles to help them get a better understanding first. Regarding social media, Linqia’s recent survey said 68% of marketers preferred Instagram, outstripping the collective preference for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other networks. The Influencer Marketing Hub echoed this study with their own showing 79% of influencers preferred to use Instagram.
In MediaKix’s 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey 89% of people surveyed said ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. 48% of these believed the ROI from influencer marketing was better than other marketing channels, with 41% believing the number was equal.
5. The influencer marketing industry was predicted to be worth £7.5billion in 2020
Although influencer marketing has been around for several years now, it’s only experienced a major growth spurt in the last couple of years. Thanks to the popularity of social media, influencers have a greater reach and their voice is heard more. Established companies and newcomers are looking to leverage the power of the social media reach through various platforms and devices; compare the search term volumes for influencer marketing today to three years ago and you will discover a three-fold increase, while the end of 2017 to 2018 saw a five-fold growth rate.
With such a strong growth rate, it’s no wonder the industry was long predicted to be worth £7,5billion in 2020. So, 2020 is here and with spikes in internet usage globally we’re waiting to see the accurate stats on influencer marketing. What we do know is at the end of 2019 Business Insider Intelligence Reports stated the industry was worth approximately £6,5billion.
Ad-blocking technology is increasingly becoming an issue for pop-up ads and traditional display advertising. A large percentage of the population is spending more time scrolling social media on mobile devices rather than watching TV or reading magazines, meaning companies are continually looking for new advertising channels to explore.
6. 86% Of Women Use Social Media For Purchasing Advice
According to research, women like to find out more about potential purchases by speaking to others regarding their experiences first. Many turn to friends and family for their advice and a massive 86% use social media to help them with their decisions.
However, the women surveyed commented they also have confidence in their own ability to make decisions and the majority said they felt they were able to determine which information they read was trustworthy or not. So, although they use social networks widely for social proof, they need to feel trust in the authority they are responding to. Instead of being susceptible to opinions from unknown people, they are more likely to listen to influencers they have built relationships with.
Although not restricted to the female audience, the fashion and beauty industry is a niche sector relying deeply on influencer marketing, with 57% of companies using it as part of their marketing strategy. Traditionally, it’s an area frequented by women looking for tips and advice. Instead of asking for a friend’s recommendation, women are now seeking help from their favourite influencers online to discover the perfect product for them.
7. Micro-influencers have a 41.7% higher engagement rate
Markerly’s analysis of over 800,000 Instagram influencer accounts showed on average the higher the follower count of an Instagram influencer, the lower the rate of engagement. This data, of course, does not assess the act of influence beyond a posts engagement rate.
The numbers vary, but most believe micro-influencers to be those with followings between 10,000 and 100,000, with a nano influencer having a following of 1,000 to 10,000. These smaller, more niche accounts are where marketers are now focusing their energy.
Results from a Bloglovin’ survey on How Micro-Influencers Really Want to Work With Brands showed 53% of micro-influencers have never been paid to promote a post. This demonstrates the authenticity of these influencers, creating status and rapport without receiving payment for promotion.
A Final Word
The growth of the internet has led to brands seeking new ways to promote their products or services, leading to adaptations across their advertising campaigns. Consumers have become more aware of the sales process, as well as having more choice. As a result, businesses have had to work hard to build relationships with potential consumers through content marketing, email marketing and by developing an influencer marketing strategy.
If you are still considering your options regarding working with influencers, get in touch with our Publisher Team and dedicated Influencer Partnerships Manager. As a form of digital marketing, influencer marketing builds consumers trust better than any other method. Incorporating it as part of your marketing strategy can aid your lead generating techniques, exposing you to a brand new group of potential customers.