While influencer marketing isn’t exactly a modern invention, it has certainly reached new heights over the past decade. Back in the day, movie stars, athletes, and musicians could earn a pretty penny by promoting products and services. At the time, this was the most effective way to reach and influence a broad audience. But not anymore. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to “normal people” with whom the audience can relate. Influencer marketing statistics show us exactly how much this trend affects our society and what we can expect in the future.
It might not surprise you to hear that influencer recommendations today mean a lot more to young people than celebrity blogs and endorsements. While celebrities often appear fake, influencers come across as more relatable, honest, and authentic. Because of that, many younger internet users rely on these individuals to help them decide what’s cool, what’s reliable, and what’s worth buying.
Influencer Marketing Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2018, companies who used influencer marketing got a 520% return on investment.
- 49% of users rely on influencer recommendations for their purchases.
- In June 2018, Instagram reached one billion active users.
- Micro-influencers with fewer than 100k followers are responsible for the majority of posts on the platform.
- 66% of influencers on the web focus on fashion, beauty, or lifestyle.
- The primary concern for 42% of marketers is dealing with fake followers (bots).
Marketer and Influencer Stats
1. 34.7% of marketers feel influencer marketing is most effective in building brand credibility and effectively reaching the target audience.
Over a third of marketers use influencer marketing to establish their brand on the market and reach their audience more effectively. According to SocialPubli’s influencer marketing stats, 14.3% believe the main benefit is content engagement, 10.2% use it to boost the brand’s reputation, while 6.1% believe it drives sales.
2. When they pick influencers, 29.2% of marketers look at the engagement rate as the main factor.
Other figures show that 23% of marketers look at content quality, 21.2 focus on reach, while only 14.2% consider audience size. If we’re to trust these influencer marketing statistics, only 12.4% worry about how much the influencer costs. This suggests that the ROI is so good that most marketers don’t even think about the price.
3. 35% of marketers believe micro-influencers will play a large part in the future of digital marketing.
Considering that the majority of posts on Instagram are created by micro-influencers, it makes sense that these people will play an important role in the future. Based on some influencer marketing facts, marketers predict that AI and live video will also be significant trends in the future.
4. In 2018, companies who used influencer marketing got a 520% return on investment.
The study used data from 2000 companies to come up with this figure, which perfectly illustrates the importance of influencer marketing today. That said, a Tomoson poll from 2015 found that companies got a 650% ROI, which suggests a slight drop in return over recent years.
5. Marketers spent over $5 billion worldwide on Instagram influencer marketing in 2018.
If you consider the amount of money and effort marketers put into influencer campaigns, it’s safe to say that this is already one of the most popular marketing industry trends. This data shows the trend is not just specific to the U.S.A. or other English-speaking countries; it’s a worldwide phenomenon.
6. In 2017, 39% of marketers said that they would increase their influencer marketing budget in the following year.
Most experienced marketers know these ad campaigns work and are willing to invest more and more in them every year. Even though influencer marketing ROI is lower now than it was a few years ago, we can expect things to pick up again.
7. According to Linqia, 90% of influencer marketers use site-engagement stats to check their performance.
Although there is no doubt that these campaigns work, sometimes it can be difficult to assess just how well they’ve performed with precise figures. The huge majority of marketers use site engagement as the main metric because it’s easier to visualize results numerically and apply changes to future influencer marketing campaigns.
8. 71% of marketers keep up with the latest FTC regulations and know how to implement them.
FTC guidelines are there to protect consumers and sanction influencers who don’t follow the rules. That’s why it’s important that marketers familiarize themselves with all the latest changes and modifications. All these regulations are clearly defined for each social platform, so there is zero room for error or misunderstanding.
9. The primary concern for 42% of marketers is dealing with bots who might follow the brand influencer.
There are two main problems with an influencer having too many fake followers or bots. First off, having too many of these automatic fans might result in problems with the FTC, which could lead to account suspension. In addition, from a marketer’s point of view, there’s no point in paying for a campaign that mainly reaches fake users.
Social Influencer Marketing
10. Hashoff’s report from the fall of 2017 says authenticity and creative freedom are the most important elements of successful influencer campaigns.
This fits with the whole principle of online influencers. People on the web turn to them because they don’t want to hear actors or musicians pretending to like a product. Instead, they want to see the product genuinely, through the eyes of someone they can relate to. In order to be as authentic as possible, the influencer needs to have a lot of creative freedom over his or her posts.
11. 64% of influencers say they would never accept a huge amount of money if it would cost them their followers.
This data shows most digital influencers nowadays value their fanbase more than money. The respect they get from their followers seems to be invaluable. That, in turn, makes them more desirable on their chosen platforms.
12. 45% of influencers are contacted at least four times a month with campaign proposals.
It’s interesting to note that while almost half of the influencers get at least four offers a month, there’s a good chance those offers won’t be accepted. In fact, 44% of influencers say they only accept one in four offers they receive. This suggests that demand for marketing influencers actually outweighs supply right now.
13. 49% of influencers are paid a flat fee per picture, while 11% are paid based on performance.
Almost half of all influencers are paid per picture, which means that they don’t have to worry about audience engagement or any other metrics. Their only job is to post the picture and carry on with their normal work. It’s understandable why that business model is a lot more attractive to influencers than other alternatives, which could prove far less reliable.
14. 66% of influencer networks focus on fashion, beauty, or lifestyle.
This information suggests beauty and image trump all other concerns online. Naturally, influencers are ready to help us ease our insecurities. The 66% share shows what kinds of products and service people are most likely to shop for online.
15. 12% of influencers say that most of the time they have no control over the copy used in their promotions.
Among these influencer marketing statistics, one worrying snippet shows that 12% of influencers don’t even write their own posts or decide what goes in them. This flies in the face of the authenticity and honesty influencers are supposed to represent.
16. For 63% of campaigns, influencers don’t even use contracts.
Despite the fact that marketers spend billions of dollars on influencer campaigns, 63% of influencers still don’t use contracts to protect themselves or their work. This is a poor practice that looks set to change as regulations get more and more rigid.
Instagram Influencers Marketing
17. In June 2018, Instagram reached one billion active users.
The fact that there are over a billion active users on this social platform today says a lot about its popularity and potential for marketing. Back in February 2013, Instagram had only 100 million active users according to Statista. So, this represents a whopping 1000% increase in just over five years.
18. In 2017, female influencers produced 83.9% of sponsored posts on Instagram.
Considering how popular beauty and fashion is in the influencer marketing sphere, it makes sense that many of the most popular influencers on the platform are women.
19. Data from a February 2018 survey shows that 88.9% of influencers use Instagram more than they did the year before.
These Instagram influencer marketing statistics highlight the platform’s popularity and the fact that it is dominating the industry right now. Based on these trends, it’s highly unlikely Instagram will stop growing anytime soon.
20. Hashoff’s State of the Union report from Fall 2017 found that 96% of influencers chose Instagram as their most important online platform.
In the same study done just six months before, 92.9% of influencers said Instagram was their favorite. Because this social media influencer platform has such huge potential, it’s no surprise that these figures changed so drastically in less than a year.
21. A study from April 2018 found out that more than half of influencers use Instagram Stories as their preferred outreach method.
Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 and gave users a chance to create posts that only last for 24 hours. It is a great customer acquisition method because it allows influencers to reach people who don’t already follow them.
22. 25% of all sponsored posts on Instagram are fashion-related, while food takes second place on the list. (Source)
We’ve already mentioned how the influencer marketing industry revolves around beauty tips and lifestyle instructions, so it makes sense that fashion represents a quarter of all Instagram sponsored posts.
23. Micro-influencers with fewer than 100k followers are responsible for the majority of posts on the platform.
Nearly a third of all profiles on Instagram belong to so-called micro-influencers, who can have anywhere from 2k to 100k followers. The interesting thing about the influencer culture is the fact that there’s room for everyone. In fact, top Instagram influencers with over give million followers only make up 1% of all accounts on the platform.
YouTube Influencer Stats
24. The top 10 YouTube stars earned 42% more money in 2018 than they did in 2017.
YouTube has changed quite a bit over the years. Unfortunately, these changes mostly work against small creators who are just starting out now. Established stars, on the other hand, are earning more and more every year. Hopefully, this situation will balance itself out in the future.
25. Data from 2016 shows four in 10 millennial consumers feel that their favorite YouTube influencer understands them better than friends or family.
While these statistics might appear worrying, they certainly fit with the whole concept of influencers. Marketing to teens nowadays boils down to promoting normal, down-to-earth, relatable figures who understand what young people are interested in. That’s why millennial influencers are so effective. Because of that, teens, millennials, and other younger demographics feel a strong connection to them.
26. Half of YouTube’s top 10 earning stars are gamers.
Industry statistics reveal that some of the most influential YouTubers on the platform are gamers. This reflects the continuous growth of the gaming industry, which is expanding rapidly. In an effort to compete with websites like Twitch, YouTube has also introduced streaming, which has further helped gaming channels gain prominence.
27. The 10 most successful YouTube influencers combined to earn $180.5 million in 2018.
The top 10 channels on the world’s biggest video content-sharing platform earned just $20 million shy of the $200 million mark in 2018. Top YouTube influencers including Logan Paul, PewDiePie, and Markiplier showed that this network has huge potential as a marketing tool, now and into the future.
28. 18% of users are influenced by YouTube when it comes to their purchases.
YouTube is one of the biggest and most popular online platforms for product reviews. There are thousands of channels which specialize in unboxing videos and hands-on reviews, all of which give potential customers a better feel for the product than written reviews. Influencers who create reviews often make deals with YouTube influencer marketing, in which they get free products, or even cash, in exchange for their reviews.
User Statistics You Should Know
29. 49% of users rely on influencer recommendations for their purchases.
Online bloggers are so influential that almost half of users on the web rely on their recommendations when deciding to make a purchase. This shows that influencers are at least as important as all those hard-working marketers out there.
30. Influencer marketing statistics show that young people (18-34) are more likely to buy a product endorsed by an influencer than one endorsed by a celebrity.
About 10 years ago, the go-to stars for product promotion were actors, musicians, sportspeople, and other celebrities. Nowadays, it’s all about influencers who seem a lot more trustworthy and relatable. Indeed, 22% of young people trust influencers’ choices, compared to just 9% who trust celebrities.
31. 94% of users think authenticity and transparency are essential.
Authenticity and transparency are two of the most important traits in celebrity influencers. If they want to keep their followers, these social gurus need to be original, cultivate their own voice, and make sure that their behavior is completely transparent. This is the best way to earn their audience’s trust and respect.
32. 19% of consumers rely on Facebook influencers when they purchase products.
Statistics show that 19% of users turn to Facebook influencers for advice regarding product purchases. Although the platform is now less popular than its sister network, Instagram, it is still the preferred platform for thousands of influencer marketing companies.
What About Twitter?
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve mentioned pretty much every major social media platform except for Twitter. So, who are the biggest influencers on there? What are some of the most interesting Twitter followers statistics?
Unfortunately, a lot of Twitter statistics revolve around the company’s own reports and estimates. Twitter seems to be desperately looking for a way into the world of real influencer marketing, even though the platform is inherently restricted by its 280-character limit for tweets.
FAQ and Marketing Tips
What are influencers?
Influencers are individuals who function as self-proclaimed authorities in their respective fields. They create content about anything from fashion and food to technology and art. Although they build up their reputation by offering authentic, unbiased opinions, many still team up with marketers to raise brand awareness, improve customer engagement, or simply explain the benefits of a product.
What is a social influencer?
Most of the time when people talk about influencers, they mean social influencers. That’s because social networks are the main platforms for reaching out to audiences and promoting posts. Currently, the most popular social network for influencers is Instagram, with over a billion active users.
How much do Instagram influencers make?
According to Ashley Hajjar, the director of influencer marketing at Rakuten, a single sponsored post can cost anywhere from $50 to $50,000 depending mainly on the popularity of the influencer. In general, the more followers the influencer has, the more money he or she can make from the campaign. Some experts estimate earning power at one cent per follower.
How to reach more people on Instagram?
According to influencer marketing statistics, the best way to reach new audiences on Instagram is through interesting Instagram Stories and posts that use new, relevant hashtags. The most important thing, however, is that you offer original, engaging content that people enjoy.