KEY POINTS

  • Interest in influencer marketing continues to climb, and marketers plan to increase spending in this category. Interest in the search term on Google Trends is skyrocketing, and nearly 40% of advertisers plan on increasing their influencer budget this year. 
  • Influencer ad spend is growing quickly on a global basis. Influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022, according to Mediakix. Taking the midpoint of $7.5 billion as a base case, this represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%.
  • Influencers tend to have higher user engagement than content generated by brands. The average influencer engagement rate across industry verticals is 5.7%. As a comparison, the average engagement rate for brands on Instagram has fluctuated between 2-3% in the past year. 
  • Brands need to fine-balance providing influencers with enough creative freedom, while also ensuring the messaging positively reflects the brand. Nearly 40% of influencers believe that overly restrictive content guidelines are one of the biggest mistakes brands and agencies make when working with them. 
  • The major tech giants continue to roll out new tools for influencer marketing campaigns. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest each have qualities that foster the relationship between brands and influencers, but some platforms are more developed than others in terms of the tools they offer:
    • Facebook's strengths include its massive scale.
    • Instagram's users are open to following new personalities, and the platform has strong discoverability tools.
    • YouTube should be leveraged for its global scale and strong analytics.
    • Pinterest is a go-to platform for home and lifestyle influencer content.
    • Snapchat is lagging in terms of influencer metrics, but is rolling out new tools. 
  • Authenticity is key for influencer marketing messaging. Brands should give influencers sufficient creative freedom to keep posts authentic, as it makes posts less likely to be dismissed by users. Other best practices include repurposing influencer content for multiple platforms, evaluating the audience and following of an influencer, and leveraging data to optimize future campaigns. 
  • Regulatory compliance, fraud, and brand safety are still major hurdles. The FTC sent out letters to over 90 Instagram influencers, including celebrities and professional athletes, reminding them that relationships to brands must be clearly disclosed when promoting or endorsing products on their social media accounts. 

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Introduction

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