Influencer marketing happiness abounds in 2019. At the close of 2018, we took the temperature of the influencer marketing industry across a community of marketers in our 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey. The results? Let’s just say influencer marketing is still hot and has hit a teenage growth spurt. This spells out a bright future for influencer marketing strategies heading into 2019 and beyond.
Below are key influencer marketing statistics that help point to how well influencer marketing works:
Brands of all sorts are generating positive returns with influencer marketing. We’ve performed tons of case studies on influencer marketing campaigns that prove their value on a surface level, but what about beyond that?
Measuring ROI is often the guiding light to determining influencer marketing effectiveness, and according to our survey, a large portion (80%) of marketers find influencer marketing effective. Over a third (35%) of marketers find influencer marketing very effective—a testament to the strength of the budding marketing strategy. Only a slim 5% reported influencer marketing to be ineffective and 0% of marketers said that influencer marketing was “very ineffective.”
This standalone result substantiates the success marketers experience with influencer marketing campaigns. But to better discern the exact reasons why marketers find influencer marketing effective, it’s important to consider the variety of factors that come into play when measuring influencer marketing effectiveness.
That means understanding the goal of the campaign, which is generally broken down into two main categories—brand awareness and direct response. Campaign KPIs include:
Taking each KPI into consideration, a large majority (80%) of marketers find influencer marketing effective in achieving brand awareness and direct response goals. This perhaps doesn’t come as a surprise, as numerous industry reports showcase similar results.
While influencer marketing effectiveness isn’t quite up for debate, it wouldn’t be fair to leave it at that. To better put this figure into context, we asked marketers how influencer marketing measures up to other marketing channels. Again, the results speak volumes about influencer marketing as a highly effective strategy.
Without comparing influencer marketing to other traditional marketing sources, we don’t get the whole picture. When we asked survey respondents to rate their stance on whether the quality of customer and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other marketing sources, 18% strongly agreed while 53% agreed. That amounts to 71% of marketers who rate customers and site traffic as better qualified than those coming from other marketing sources, such as email, social media, SEO, PR, and paid search.
About 23% of marketers expressed neutral feelings towards influencer marketing customer and traffic quality, while 6% disagreed that influencer marketing provided better quality customers and traffic.
We also asked marketers to evaluate the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing compared to other paid media sources (i.e., paid social advertising and pay-per-click). In total, 60% of marketers agree that influencer marketing produces better quality customers and site visitors than other paid channels.
Paid media allows brands to position their brand in an optimal position within search results (whether in search engines, digital and traditional publications, or social media feeds). On average, brands earn an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google AdWords.
While this form of marketing pays off big for many brands, influencer marketing has been shown to deliver ROI 11X higher than all other digital media channels. Further still, influencer marketing has reportedly generated $11.69 in earned media value (EMV) per $1 spent.
As brands play the field of owned, earned, and paid media, it’s encouraging to find influencer marketing as a leader of the pack.
Influencer marketing effectiveness is also determined by how well it reaches target audiences. One of influencer marketing’s main benefits is the ability for brands to target both broad and niche audiences and demographics.
By working with influencers who specialize in a specific category of content, like gaming, fashion, tech, or fitness, brands can derive rich audience insights about their social media and online buying behaviors. Not to mention, brands gain direct access to an already well-established and trusting base of consumers.
It’s no wonder that more than 70% of marketers find that influencer marketing puts their brand in front of better-qualified customers. Through both wide-reaching and hyper-targeted influencer marketing campaigns, brands will be exposed to more valuable online consumers.
In turn, brands build trust with consumers and leverage trendsetters’ influence on their buying decisions. That’s so long as brands do adequate research to find the right influencers and ensure authentic influencer endorsements.
From there, businesses can ask influencers to share detailed information on their follower or subscriber demographics. With these insights, brands can further optimize future campaigns to reach even more targeted and high-quality audiences, ultimately fueling influencer marketing effectiveness.
As mentioned, ROI serves as the conventional rule when determining whether or not influencer marketing is worth the investment. While measuring ROI still poses an industry-wide challenge, more marketers are solidifying the science of measuring ROI, so much so that nearly half of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels. And an overwhelming 89% say returns are at least equal with other marketing sources.
Naturally, nearly two-thirds of marketers plan to up their influencer marketing budgets in 2019. As more marketers reach better quality customers and generate strong returns with influencer marketing, decision-makers are more willing to up their ante. With a third of marketers planning to maintain their influencer marketing spend, the playing field appears to be ripe with opportunity.
Another impressive finding is that 17% of marketers have allotted more than half their digital marketing budgets to influencer marketing. While this percentage is relatively small, the amount of spend apportioned to influencer marketing is expected to continue growing. Already, over a quarter of marketers surveyed plan to dedicate more than 40% of their digital marketing budgets to influencer marketing.
Our 2019 survey results irrefutable prove that influencer marketing is a highly effective and viable marketing strategy. Instead of looking at influencer marketing in a singular way, we evaluated it across various factors and among more than 160 marketers. The results speak for themselves—influencer marketing is on an ever-steepening path to becoming an integral part of advertisers’ marketing arsenal.
Whether your brand is new to influencer marketing or you’ve already greased the influencer marketing wheel, these results serve as a solid industry benchmark for influencer marketing effectiveness. Where does your brand fall on the spectrum?
To explore the survey results in greater detail, check out our 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey Report.