Influencer marketing statistics, like its industry, has changed much over the last few years. In 2020, influencer marketing along with advertising faced both the pandemic and recession. While certain factors may have contributed to the sustained growth and efficacy of influencer marketing, other factors may also be holding it in check.
Last year, Mediakix shared most of the industry’s most relevant and up-to-date influencer marketing statistics with our 2019 Influencer Marketing Benchmark Survey.
In addition to our survey data points, we’ve compiled the best influencer marketing statistics available. After assessing the timeliness of each, these influencer marketing statistics can be divided up into the following categories:
Click on the above categories to navigate to their respective set of statistics.
When it comes to ROI, the influencer marketing statistics are clear: influencer marketing delivers a strong return on investment.
Nearly nine out of 10 marketers surveyed in Mediakix’s 2019 Industry Benchmark Survey agreed that the ROI achieved from influencer marketing is comparable or superior to other marketing channels.
In the past, various firms have also measured influencer marketing ROI to be 11X higher than other forms of digital marketing yielding between $5.20 to $6.50 for every one dollar spent.
When it comes to earned media value (EMV), advertisers can expect an average return of $11.96 to $18. Earned media value is typically defined as any sort of media or social media generated from word-of-mouth, recommendations, and/or conversations surrounding a brand. EMV can occur through reviews, user-generated content, brand mentions — influencer marketing.
Eight out of 10 marketers surveyed found influencer marketing to be effective with over 70% agreeing that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other forms of marketing.
When comparing influencer marketing to agency or brand-created content, nearly 60% of marketers reported better performance with influencer content vs. their own brand content. Furthermore, influencer content generated 8X better engagement on social media than brand content.
The vast majority of marketers have used influencer marketing (93%) and nearly 30% have leveraged influencers for more than three years. Previously, advertisers experimented with influencer marketing but increasingly, partnering with influencers on a long term basis (due to efficacy) has become more standard vs. one-off campaigns.
Much of the statistics surrounding influencer marketing industry growth and ad spend comes direct from our published forecasts and survey. Previously we’ve shared both an influencer marketing global ad spend forecast (projected to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion by 2020) and an Instagram-specific influencer marketing projection (reaching $2.3 billion by 2020).
Our 2019 Industry Benchmark Survey shared deeper insight into influencer marketing budgets and the direction of those budgets headed into 2020.
From our Survey of nearly 200 marketing professionals, we found the following:
Search interest and volume in influencer marketing have both increased in the last few years. Since 2017, influencer marketing search volume has steadily increased by 13% YoY (year over year) and influencer marketing interest has continued to rapidly climb.
Some studies have shown that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and one report stated that nearly three-quarters of consumers would spend over $600 on a product recommended by an influencer.
Understandably so, much of the influencer marketing statistics available are centered around running an influencer marketing campaign and the various nuances, considerations, and strategies associated with it.
When it comes to campaign goals, 85% of marketers aim to increase brand awareness with influencer marketing, 71% seek to reach new audiences, and 64% desire to increase sales.
When it comes to measuring campaigns, 75% of marketers agree that engagement is the most important metric for influencer marketing. This is followed by 48% of marketers who believe that sales and conversions are the most important influencer marketing campaign metrics.
When it comes to channels (i.e. Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, et. al.), nearly 90% of marketers say Instagram is the most strategically important social media channel for influencer marketing. Diving deeper into the most important types of content formats – the top three most effective are Instagram Posts (78%), Instagram Stories (a close 73% second), followed by YouTube Videos (at 56% a distant third).
For YouTube — vlogs, product reviews, and how-to’s/tutorials are the most popular types of influencer videos.
Twitch is an outlier for influencer marketing as it’s both important or not important at all depending on the marketer — 6% of marketers say Twitch is the most important channel for influencer marketing whereas 48% say it’s the least important. Unanimously, 62% of marketers agree Snapchat is the least preferred channel for influencer marketing.
A vast majority of marketers (84%) plan on working with influencers in the next year (2019-2020). Presently, 30% of marketers partner with higher-tier influencers and celebrities whereas a slighter greater percentage (36%) of marketers collaborate with micro-influencers.
As influencer marketing has matured and proven its effectiveness/ROI, some brands or companies (34%) are taking influencer marketing in-house. The remaining majority partner with influencer marketing agencies or companies.
At its core, influencer marketing deals much with how a social media influencer can influence their audiences, fans, and followers. As such, there have been several studies and surveys determining the efficacy of “the influencer effect” — or how effective influencers are at messaging their audiences.
It’s no surprise that sales or conversions are one of the primary goals of influencer marketing campaigns — 8 out of 10 consumers purchase products immediately after it was recommended by an influencer online. Separately, a different study found that 87% of shoppers were “inspired” by an influencer to make a purchase.
Beyond immediate sales, there are several statistics that support the effect influencers have on their audiences, fans, and followers — nearly 50% of customers admit listening to influencers and the same percentage depend on influencer recommendations when it comes to purchases.
On a weekly basis, 65% of people discover new brands or products through influencers (at least once per week — 24% find brands and products via influencers daily) and nearly a third of consumers are recommending influencers to friends and family.
When it comes to specific social media platforms, Twitter users reported a 5.2X increase in purchase intent when exposed to an influencer’s promotional content and more than half of YouTube users purchase a product when featured in a YouTuber’s product review video.
It’s not all about purchases and reviews though — nearly half of all Millennials cite YouTubers as their inspiration for making a personal change in their lives.
Influencers, especially the larger, more well-known ones, sometimes get compared to celebrities. It’s true, some of the biggest social media influencers may be just as popular or more popular than traditional celebrities. However, the effect influencers and celebrities have on audiences, fans, and followers varies.
Nearly all the statistics comparing influencers and celebrities state that six to seven out of 10 teens or teenage YouTube subscribers:
Just like there are differences between different tiers of influencers, there are differences between influencers and celebrities especially when it comes to involving either in campaigns.
The statistics and demographics affecting influencer marketing can be seen on both the macro and micro levels. Broadly, more and more of the population is spending time online (vs. TV, print) and entire generations’ behaviors (e.g. Gen Z and Millennials) have been shaped by the proliferation of mobile and social media.
By 2025, it’s projected that there will be an estimated 4.41 billion people active on social media. And while these numbers are always in flux, the general trend is that time spent on social media is steadily increasing.
In 2020, the general average for all demographics was an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes each day spent on social media platforms and messaging apps with each successive generation spending more and more time than the previous (e.g. Gen Z spends more time on social media than Millenials — at 2 hours and 41 minutes).
When it comes to influencer preferences and tendencies among genders, it was found that 56% of women follow 1) beauty influencers, 2) entertainers, 3) celebrity influencers and lastly 4) fashion influencers. 70% of women also prefer Instagram as opposed to other social media platforms.
54% of men follow 1) gaming influencers followed by 2) tech influencers and entertainers. 64% of men prefer YouTube as their platform of choice.
In a survey of 1,000 children (ages six to 17), 75% chose being a YouTuber as their most desired career (over longstanding traditional occupations like doctor, lawyer, etc.). Separately, nearly 70% of influencers chose to be influencers for the money.
According to Forbes, the top ten highest paid YouTubers all made over $10 million in 2019. Out of those top ten YouTubers, half are gamers.
When it comes to brand deals, over 52% and 64% of influencers cite authenticity/trust and on-brand/relevance as the most important factors.
Like the rest of the world, influencers were also affected by this year’s pandemic — over 50% of influencers sought to create and post more video content as a byproduct of quarantines and shelter-at-home mandates.
As defined by STIM (Standard Terminology In Influencer Marketing), there are five types (tiers or categories) of influencers: Celebrity or Mega influencers, Macro influencers, Mid-tier influencers, micro-influencers and nano-influencers each with their respective pros and cons as they should be evaluated such within a marketing strategy.
With the proliferation of influencers, “micro-” and “nano-” influencers emerged as two noteworthy tiers. Again, these tiers (like the rest) have both pros and cons — statistically, 82% of people are likely to follow micro-influencer recommendations and micro-influencers may have up to 7X more engagement with their followers vs. influencers with larger followings.
Among Instagram influencers, there are six main types: icons, instructors, adventurers, gurus, creators, and entertainers.