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As more brands incorporate influencer marketing campaigns into their overall marketing strategies, studies confirm that collaborating with social media influencers to produce, distribute, and promote sponsored content is now one of the most powerful ways for brands to reach consumers. Influencer marketing addresses today’s disruptive advertising trends including declining television viewership, growing social media audiences, and increasing usage of ad-blocking technology.
To help brands and marketers make informed decisions about how to allocate valuable advertising resources, we’ve compiled the most significant trends, insights, and statistics for influencer marketing in 2016.
For a visual representation of some of the top influencer, digital, and social media statistics, please reference our infographic “The Biggest Influencer Marketing Statistics” below. In addition to the following influencer marketing statistics, we have also developed a category page here for additional marketing statistics and trends, including the latest published figures in our weekly round-up.
At the start of 2013, Google’s Keyword Tool measured search for “influencer marketing” at less than 50 average monthly searches. Now, influencer marketing is searched well over 4,400 times on average each month. Additionally, Google Trends also charts the immense rise in popularity for influencer marketing as a search topic.
Interest in influencer marketing has been fueled by success from well-recognized brands (including LG, Samsung, Coachella, Mercedes, Target, Colgate, and many more) as well as top social media influencers who have helped brands successfully promote products and services to millions of engaged audiences who spend hours each day on popular social media channels and networks.
Earned media value (EMV), a measurement of the dollar spend necessary to achieve equivalent (paid media) KPIs on earned media campaigns, was markedly higher for U.S. influencer marketing campaigns in 2015 than 2014 (as reported by eMarketer).
This data supports increased effectiveness in influencer marketing campaigns and tactics year-on-year, where the highest earned media values for influencer marketing initiatives were in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) food industry ($14.29 for every $1 spent), tourist destinations and travel ($12.54 per $1), and bath, body, skin and beauty ($12.21 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing). CPG also held the highest social engagement rate out of all advertiser categories, followed by home & garden and beauty.
Demonstrating the widespread adoption of influencer marketing among marketers, a study published in eMarketer showed that nearly 85% of “marketing and communications professional worldwide expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months.” The most popular influencer tactics included content promotion, product launches, and content creation.
In the aforementioned study, eMarketer also discovered that over 80% of marketers who had launched marketing campaigns involving social media influencers found them to be effective for driving both engagement and awareness. According to EConsultancy, 43% of companies say social media stars are more relevant to their advertising strategies, followed by singers (38%), models (28%), TV actors (25%), and sports personalities (22%).
As ad spending for brands and advertisers continues to shift from TV to digital and social media, over half (60%) of marketers say they plan on increasing influencer marketing budgets in 2016. Influencer marketing, which leverages the reach, engagement, and endorsement of top social media stars for brand marketing campaigns, presents advertisers with a targeted way to reach millions of fans, followers, and audiences across digital and social media.
A survey conducted by Variety showed that social media influencers’ appeal, trustworthiness, and relevance resonated most with teens and younger demographics. Newer findings from Defy Media now confirm that millennial consumers are influenced by social media stars’ opinions.
For teens and Millennials, “YouTubers” (or top influencers on YouTube) are much more relatable than traditional, household-name celebrities. According to a Google case study, 40% of millennial subscribers on YouTube state that their favorite YouTuber “understands them better than their friends” and 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTubers more than to traditional celebrities.
Related Post: The 10 Biggest YouTube Video Statistics To Know For 2016
As reported by The Telegraph, the average person now maintains at least 5 social media accounts and spends about 20 minutes on each app. Moreover, time spent on social media networks, channels, and apps consumes more than 25% of total time spent online, a trend that may be attributed to increased access following the rise of mobile.
Furthermore, Global Web Index’s new quarterly report (which is the largest study of digital consumers surveying more than 47,000 online users) discloses Facebook’s dominance as the largest social media network; YouTube, however, is still considered “the coolest social network” by teens.
Digital ad spending was $60 billion in 2015, a 20% increase from 2014 and enough to capture one-third of total ad spending across all categories. At an average annual growth rate of 15% each year, digital ad spending will reach $100 billion by the year 2020 (Pew).
In 2017, the internet will overtake television to be the dominant advertising medium, earning 36% of total ad spend compared to TV’s 35%. Over the last decade, internet advertising has risen from 6% of total global spend in 2005 to 30% in 2015, a 400% increase (Digiday).
In 2016, 70 million Americans will use an ad blocker, a jump of 34% over last year’s figures. Next year, eMarketer estimates that 86.6 million people will use ad blocking software/programs, an increase of 24%. For advertisers, the increase in ad blocking means that digital ads will be less visible and therefore less likely to reach intended audiences. According to Digiday, ad blocking is forecast to cost advertisers $35 billion by 2020.
Millennials, a particularly hard-to-reach demographic for marketers, are staunch adopters of ad blocking. With nearly three-quarters of Millennials consuming digital and social content with ad blocking enabled, billions of dollars are lost on many popular forms of digital and social ads.
After YouTube launched their ad-free monthly subscription service, top YouTuber Pewdiepie and KickThePJ polled their Twitter audiences on whether they’d be willing to spend money for an ad-free experience. Over 90% replied “no” with 40% already utilizing ad block technology for an ad-free digital and social experience.
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