Influencer marketing shifts to always-on strategy, study says
- More than 68% of marketers said image-sharing app Instagram is the most important social network for influencer marketing, followed by Facebook (51%), per survey results that influencer marketing firm Linqia shared with Mobile Marketer. Snapchat was ranked in last place behind YouTube, blogs, Pinterest and Twitter as the most important influencer platform for 2019.
- Forty-two percent of marketers said they've shifted to an "always on" influencer marketing strategy from single tactical campaigns. Two-thirds (66%) of marketers ran three or more campaigns in 2018, and more than a quarter ran five or more campaigns, per Linqia.
- More than half (57%) of marketers said influencer-created content is more effective than brand-created content, and more than one-third (39%) of digital marketers with a digital marketing budget above $500,000 plan to increase their influencer budget this year, the survey found.
Linqia's survey of marketers from a variety of industries demonstrates the steadily growing importance of influencer marketing as brands seek to reach ad-fatigued consumers through popular apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Influencer marketing can be so effective that 74% of marketers leverage their influencer content across other channels to support perceptions of brand authenticity, according to the study. Among the marketers that don't repurpose creator content in other channels, 40% said it's not a priority and 38% said another marketing team "owns" that function, limiting its wider use.
"As more marketers hear the results from influencer marketing content in other channels, we believe even more will repurpose the content and see incredible results," per Linqia.
Marketers said the greatest challenge of influencer marketing is measuring its effectiveness. More than half (52%) of survey respondents said determining ROI of influencer campaigns was the top concern, ahead of changes to algorithms on social platform that make influencer content less visible and the amount of time needed to manage campaigns. Only 3% of marketers said they're concerned about escalating enforcement of truth in advertising rules by the Federal Trade Commission, which has gained attention over the past two years after the federal agency cracked down on influencer content disclosures.
Linqia's survey again shows the critical role Instagram plays in the influencer space. The Facebook-owned app has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide and is especially popular among young adults and teens, who tend to respond positively to more authentic creator content. Instagram continues to respond to this trend by adding more features to transform the app into an e-commerce channel that could result in more revenue for both brands and influencers. The new "Checkout with Instagram" service that began testing last month could reportedly generate $10 billion by 2021, Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley estimates.
Influencer marketing helps brands to reach the 25% of U.S. internet users who use ad blocking software to avoid ad banners that may slow download times on mobile devices, per research published in Harvard Business Review. Marketers need to be respectful of prominent influencers to develop an effective strategy. U.K. fashion retailer Asos boosted its followers on social media from 123,000 to 200,000 in 12 months after launching an influencer marketing program, while L'Oréal's Beauty Squad influencer campaign grew from 4.6 million to 6.3 million followers in 12 months, the study found.