A few years back, influencer marketing exploded into popularity.
As the huge influence of Instagram stars, YouTubers, and Twitch streamers held over consumers became clear, brands rushed to collaborate with these social media personalities and capitalize on that influence.
In the years since then, influencer marketing has changed dramatically. And while it may not be the revolutionary trend it once was, it can still be a valuable part of your wider marketing strategy.
In this post, we’ll be sharing the latest influencer marketing statistics that show the state of the industry this year, tell us more about the most popular influencer marketing platforms, and reveal some of the latest trends and challenges shaping the industry.
Use the stats below to build a better influencer marketing strategy.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Editor’s top picks – influencer marketing statistics
These are our most interesting statistics about influencer marketing:
- There are more than 300,000 influencers with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram alone. (Source: MediaKix3)
- Nano influencers have an average engagement rate of 4%. (Source: Later x Fohr)
- 74% of consumers have spent up to $629 on a single purchase after being inspired by an influencer. (Source: Rakuten)
Let’s start by taking a look at some general influencer marketing statistics that show us how many brands are investing in influencer marketing, how much they’re spending, and what kind of returns they’re generating.
While the majority of marketers spend a modest 20% of their budget or less on influencer marketing, around a sixth spend over half of their budget on the same.
Not only that, but 6% spend almost their entire budget (91-100%) on their influencer campaigns. This shows just how important a channel influencer marketing continues to be for many brands out there.
It’s worth noting, though, that investing over half your budget on influencer marketing only makes sense in very specific circumstances. If you were wondering how much of your budget you should be allocating to influencer marketing, 10-20% is a more reasonable benchmark to aim for in most cases.
Different brands measure the effectiveness of their campaigns differently. An ‘effective’ marketing channel might be one that drives a good ROI or leads to a noticeable uptick in brand awareness.
Whatever metrics you use to measure success, it’s likely you’ll see good results with influencer marketing as 80% of brands found it to be an effective channel.
Of that 80%, 35% found it to be very effective. A further 15% rated it as neutral, while only 5% said it was ineffective. No respondents in the survey rated influencer marketing as very ineffective.
That’s right – nearly 9 out of every 10 marketers said their influencer campaigns generated equal or greater revenue per dollar spent than other marketing channels. If that’s not a clear sign that influencer marketing is still an effective marketing channel, then I don’t know what is.
To break that down a little further, 48% of marketers said their influencer marketing ROI was better than other channels, while 41% said it was the same.
Over a third of brands invested 6 figures in their influencer marketing campaigns in 2019, which is no small amount. Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the most popular marketing channels available to brands, and more and more marketers are turning their attention (and budgets) to social media.
It’s extremely hard to calculate exactly how many influencers there are across social media platforms, but MediaKix recently conducted a study that showed just how large the influencer industry has become over the last couple of years.
The study found that there were over 300,000 mid-tier influencers (with over 100k followers) operating on Instagram alone. The same study found that there could be as many as 220,000 mid-tier influencers on YouTube and as many as 30,000 on TikTok.
The takeaway from these figures is that there are more opportunities than ever to work with quality influencers on various platforms. However, the increased number of influencers may make it more difficult for brands to find the right creators for the job.
Next, let’s take a look at some influencer marketing statistics pertaining to engagement and how audiences interact with sponsored posts.
Post engagement rate is calculated by the amount of engagement a post receives (i.e. likes and
comments) in relation to an influencer’s total follower count. According to a study conducted by Later x Fohr, 1.9% is the overall average across all influencer groups, but it varies substantially depending on follower size.
Source: Later x Fohr
According to the same study, nano influencers have the highest average engagement rate (4%). This is more than double the average engagement rate of 1.9%.
If you didn’t already know, nano influencers are the ‘lowest’ tier of influencers based on follower count with just 1K-10K followers. As this stat shows, it seems that the smaller the audience, the more engaged they are.
Source: Later x Fohr
This is proven further by the average engagement rates for influencers with bigger followings. The Later x Fohr study found that Mega influencers (also referred to as macro-influencers), whose following exceeds 500k have engagement rates of 08%. That’s less than a quarter of Nano influencers.
Source: Later x Fohr
Most marketers measure engagement by looking at likes, comments, and shares, but saves are a new metric to keep an eye on. Particularly on Instagram, saving posts can help to increase the reach of posts and many influencers and marketers are keen to increase the number of people that save their sponsored content.
Currently, average save rates on Instagram are extremely low at just 0.07%. That means that only 7 out of every 10,000 people that see a post will share it, on average.
Source: Later x Fohr
Marketers have lots of options to choose from when it comes to creating influencer marketing content. However, the most commonly used and most effective types are Instagram posts and Stories.
78% of brands reported that regular Instagram feed posts were their most effective content type. In the same study, 73% of brands said that Instagram Stories were their second most effective content type. Instagram is a great option for influencer marketing campaigns, and many brands combine both Stories and feed posts when crafting their campaigns.
This increases the overall reach of their content, and the two content types complement each other well, as feed posts can easily be repurposed and shared within Stories.
11. 56% of brands think YouTube videos are the 3rd most effective content type for influencer marketing
After Instagram posts and stories, the next most effective content type was video content. In the MediaKix study, 56% of brands reported that their third most effective content type was YouTube videos.
Influencer marketing on YouTube is extremely prominent, and the format of YouTube videos gives influencers a chance to talk about brands in-depth, review products and test them out on camera.
For some brands, this kind of in-depth content is exactly what they need in order to really make the most of their influencer marketing campaigns.
Note: Check out our roundup of YouTube statistics if you’d like to learn more.
Most influencer campaigns are centered around driving sales, and if this is your main marketing goal, then influencer marketing could be the right channel for you.
Statistics show that almost half of all Twitter users have made a purchase based on recommendations from influencers on Twitter. This statistic shows us just how powerful the opinion of an influencer can be.
If 40% of Twitter users are making purchases based on Tweets, we can only imagine how high the percentage would be on more popular influencer marketing platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
13. 70% of teenagers that watch YouTube said that they relate to influencers more than normal celebrities
If your business is looking to appeal to younger demographics then influencer marketing may be the right choice. Influencers are becoming more popular than regular celebrities and younger generations look to influencers for guidance when it comes to purchasing decisions.
According to an article published by Think With Google, 70% of teenage YouTube watchers said that they relate more to influencers than they do to normal celebrities.
So, if your products are geared towards teens, or young adults, then your marketing budget would likely be much better spent on influencer campaigns than working with celebrities or gifting products to high-profile public figures.
Source: Think With Google
When choosing influencers to work with for your campaigns, it’s important to select influencers that are popular within your niche and hold a lot of sway with their followers. Therefore, you should take into account what type of influencers the average social media user likes to follow.
According to a survey published by Rakuten, the most popular type of influencer to follow is entertainer influencers, such as comedians and video creators. 47% of those surveyed said that this was their favorite type of influencer to follow. Other popular types of influencers include beauty influencers, celebrities, and fashion influencers.
According to the same study published by Rakuten, it’s extremely common for social media users to purchase products based upon recommendations from influencers.
The survey found that 80% of those surveyed had made at least one purchase based upon recommendations from people they follow on social media. This statistic shows just how powerful the opinion of influencers can be, and this is why influencer marketing is becoming one of the most popular marketing channels for businesses and brands.
16. 74% of consumers have spent up to $629 on a single purchase after being inspired by an influencer
Influencers not only have the power to encourage people to buy products, but they also hold sway when it comes to consumers making large purchases online. According to the Rakuten survey, 74% of respondents reported that they spent up to $629 on a single purchase after being inspired by an influencer.
Many people feel that influencers are trustworthy, and they treat their recommendations like reviews from friends. As a result of this tight nit community, many consumers look to influencers when they plan on making large purchases online.
Therefore, if your brand is selling products at higher price points, influencer marketing could help to convince consumers that your products are worth the extra investment.
17. 71% of companies agree that traffic from influencer marketing is better than from other marketing channels
For many years, search marketing and email marketing were the go-to for businesses, but times are changing and social media and influencer marketing are taking the top spot.
According to statistics published by MediaKix, 71% of companies believe that the traffic they receive from influencer marketing is better quality than traffic from other sources. For example, customers from influencer campaigns are often more engaged, and more likely to make a purchase than traffic from other channels.
This is great news for marketers looking to maximize their ROI and improve the quality of their web traffic.
What kind of platforms are most commonly used for influencer marketing? Let’s find out by taking a look at some influencer marketing platform statistics.
Instagram is a big deal in the world of influencer marketing, and most brands that run influencer campaigns focus specifically on this platform.
According to Statista, Instagram is the most popular platform for influencers and marketers, with 89% of marketers agreeing that it was the most important platform to include in their influencer marketing strategy.
As a result of its popularity amongst marketers, Instagram has a range of features that make life easy for marketers to collaborate with influencers such as ways to tag sponsored content so that both parties can track engagement and other metrics regardless of who posted it.
The next most popular influencer marketing platform is YouTube. According to Statista, 70% of influencer marketers believe that YouTube was an important platform for their influencer marketing efforts.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, video content offers a good opportunity for influencers to review products and talk about brands, which is why many businesses prefer to use this platform for their campaigns.
In the same study, Statista found that other popular influencer marketing platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, blogs are also considered a great place to run influencer marketing campaigns.
The Statista study showed that blogs were the 4th most popular channel for influencer marketing after Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
When choosing a platform for your influencer marketing campaigns, it’s extremely important to consider which platform is the best for reaching your target audience.
Try to consider the gender, age range, and other demographic data when planning your strategy and this should help you to select the right platform and influencers to make the most of your campaigns.
According to Rakuten, women follow their favorite influencers on Instagram. Their survey showed that 70% of women prefer to follow their favorite influencers on Instagram more than any other platform. It is well known that Instagram is most popular with women, so this is something to consider when planning your own campaigns.
Similarly, YouTube is the preferred social media platform for most men when it comes to keeping up to date with their favorite influencers. Rakuten found that 67% of men prefer to follow influencers on YouTube than any other platform. So if your target audience is mainly men, YouTube would be a good choice for your campaign.
Age also plays a huge part in influencer marketing, as many young people prefer platforms like TikTok and YouTube over Facebook and Instagram. It’s a good idea to create a clear customer persona for your campaigns before you select a social platform and choose the influencers you want to work with.
Despite there being a range of social platforms to choose from, many marketers choose to stick with the safe option: Instagram. Instagram still remains the go-to for influencer marketers and around 70% of marketers spend the majority of their budget here.
However, this could be set to change in the next few years. Emerging platforms such as TikTok have a stronghold on younger generations and more and more influencers are operating on TikTok alone. Therefore, brands targeting younger audiences may start migrating their campaigns to TikTok over the next couple of years.
Note: Want to learn more about Instagram? Check out our roundup of Instagram marketing statistics.
Running a successful influencer marketing campaign requires marketers to overcome many hurdles. Here are some statistics that highlight the main challenges influencer marketers face.
24. 50% of brands struggle with identifying fake followers and inauthentic engagement when running influencer marketing campaigns
One of the most difficult aspects of influencer marketing is identifying which influencers are the best fit for your brand.
Although there are thousands of trustworthy and hardworking influencers out there, brands have to contend with influencers that have paid for fake followers on their accounts, or that are falsifying engagement metrics such as comments and likes.
This can be a hard thing to identify, and half of brands see this as one of the biggest challenges of influencer marketing. As a result of this, many brands choose to work with the same influencers over and over again to reduce the risk of losing money by paying fraudulent influencers.
25. 38% of businesses think that rising influencer costs is one of the biggest challenges of influencer marketing
As the influencer marketing industry grows, so too does the cost of running influencer marketing campaigns. In the past, ‘influencer’ wouldn’t have been seen as a serious way of making money, however, these days, many people are full-time influencers, and earn a lot of money working with brands.
Therefore, the cost of working with influencers has risen significantly over the past few years, with both brands and influencers recognizing the value that sponsored content holds.
38% of brands told MediaKix that this was one of the biggest challenges they face when it comes to running influencer campaigns.
Managing influencer marketing campaigns can be a time-consuming business, especially if you are working with multiple influencers at any one time. Some of the main tasks that marketers face when managing campaigns include communicating with influencers, creating content, scheduling content, and analyzing results.
Altogether, this takes a lot of time, and one of the biggest challenges businesses face is reducing this time to a minimum. 30% of brands engaging in influencer campaigns reported this as one of the biggest challenges they face.
If you’re planning influencer campaigns, you can try using social media marketing tools to plan and schedule your content in order to reduce the time spent managing the campaigns.
Social media platforms change their algorithms regularly in order to improve the experience for their users, but this can be extremely frustrating for users. Unlike changes to the Google algorithm, social media algorithm changes are often not well-publicized and it requires a lot of trial and error to work out why your content is not performing as well as you’d hoped.
According to a study by MediaKix, 49% of businesses reported that changes to social media algorithms had caused their content to become less visible, and this was one of the biggest challenges they faced with influencer marketing.
The key to overcoming this challenge is being ready to adapt your strategy at any time, and keeping your finger on the pulse when it comes to updates and changes.
Social media platforms are fast-paced, and trends change extremely quickly. Although this is a great thing for consumers, it poses a real challenge for influencers and marketers.
According to a study by MediaKix When planning your social campaigns 33% of brands reported that this was one of the biggest challenges they faced when planning their influencer campaigns.
To tackle this issue, it’s important to choose the right influencers for your brand and choose influencers that know how to stay relevant and up-to-date with trends. It’s also a good idea not to plan campaigns too far in advance so that you can jump on trends as soon as they emerge.
Sponsored posts are a powerful marketing tool, but there is a fine line between too little and too many posts. Since influencer marketing is built on authenticity, it’s important to strike the right balance, so influencers don’t come across as insincere or pushy with their sponsored content.
According to an article published by Agility PR, social media users are extremely in tune with the sponsored content that their favorite influencers are posting, and 31% said that their trust in them falls if they post too much sponsored content.
When planning your influencer campaigns, it’s important to remember that posting more content isn’t always a good thing.
Finally, let’s take a look at some stats and trends that show how the influencer marketing industry is growing and changing.
30. The influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth almost 14 billion by the beginning of 2022
Throughout 2020 and beyond, the influencer marketing industry saw rapid growth, with more and more brands opting to include influencers in their marketing campaigns.
With consumers spending more time online than ever before, it was the best option for many brands that were forced to close physical stores during lockdowns.
According to statistics published by Influencer Marketing Hub, the industry is expected to be worth around $13.8 billion by the end of 2021. The industry is seeing rapid year-over-year growth. At the end of 2020, the industry’s estimated worth was around $9.7 billion, up from $6.5 billion in 2019.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Influencer marketing is a big deal for many companies, and the scale of many influencer campaigns can be huge.
Over half of all brands engaging in influencer marketing work with up to 10 influencers at a time. Not only does this mean that influencer marketing budgets are increasing, but brands and businesses now need to devote more manpower to managing multiple influencer campaigns.
As a result, more businesses are now hiring marketers that have expertise in working with influencers and managing large-scale social media campaigns.
In a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, it was discovered that 56% of brands work with the same influencers across multiple campaigns.
This is a growing trend in the influencer marketing industry and we’re seeing more and more brands creating long-lasting public relationships with influencers. There are quite a few benefits of working with the same influencers across multiple campaigns.
Firstly, brands can use data from the initial campaigns to work out which influencers were well received by their audience. In addition to this, brands can also choose to partner with influencers that they know are trustworthy and easy to work with.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Many brands are keen to engage in influencer marketing, but some are unwilling to dedicate a large budget to it. As a result, many brands gift products to influencers in exchange for sponsored content.
For many influencers, this is not the preferred method of payment, but despite that, it’s still an extremely common practice. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 36% of businesses pay influencers with products, whereas only 32.4% of brands actually gave monetary payment.
The same study showed that 21% of brands gave influencers a discount in exchange for sponsored posts, and 10.5% entered influencers into a giveaway.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Influencer marketing is a relatively new marketing channel, and in previous years, many businesses were skeptical about the safety of working with influencers. Some companies were the victims of fraudulent activity on social media, and this gave influencer campaigns somewhat of a sketchy reputation.
However, as influencer marketing becomes more popular, it’s shedding that reputation and becoming known as a trusted marketing channel.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, reports of fraudulent activity are dropping with only 38% of businesses saying they were the victim of fraud via influencer marketing when surveyed. Whilst this figure still seems high, it’s a step in the right direction for the influencer marketing industry.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Influencer marketing statistics sources
Wrapping it up
That wraps up our roundup of the influencer marketing statistics and benchmarks you need to know.
Want to learn more about influencer and social media marketing? Check out some of our other posts such as 9 Powerful Influencer Marketing Research Tools That Get Fantastic Results and The Best Social Media Automation Tools To Boost Productivity.
Looking for more statistics? Check out these articles: