With the first quarter of 2020 now past us (phew!), it’s a perfect time to examine influencer marketing research to see what it indicates for the rest of the year and beyond. Here are six influencer marketing studies that could impact your marketing decisions for the coming months.
1. “The State of Influencer Marketing 2020” Report From Linqia
This influencer marketing report from Linqia offered some valuable findings regarding how companies plan to work with influencers this year. Some of the conclusions may come as surprises, however.
Grab your copy of “The State of Influencer Marketing 2020” from Linqia.
For example, the highest percentage (77%) of companies hoped to work with micro-influencers who have 5,000-100,000 followers. In contrast, less than a quarter (22%) wanted to hire celebrity influencers with at least 5 million followers.
Then, concerning the platforms of choice, Instagram and Instagram Stories topped the list, with 97% and 83%, respectively. The segment of marketers intending to use Facebook was 79%, and 44% said they’d use YouTube for marketing influencers this year.
Marketing professionals also planned numerous ways to measure the success of their influencer marketing efforts. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (71%) looked at engagement statistics, such as likes and comments. However, brand awareness and content impressions were also notable, comprising 62% and 60% of responses about measurement techniques marketers would use in 2020.
2. “The State of Influencer Equality” Report From IZEA Insights
This influencer marketing research report is all about the growing equality in the influencer marketing world. One of the graphs in it concerning payments per post shows that male influencers typically earn more than females across all content types.
Grab your copy of “The State of Influencer Equality” from IZEA Insights.
However, the data also illustrates the significant increase in earnings over time for both genders. In 2014, males earned $69 per post, while females got $75. In the following years, males earned more than their female counterparts, but both genders earn substantially more now than they did in the earlier eras of influencer marketing. For example, the per-post income in 2019 was $2,152 for males and $1,138 for females.
Another fascinating statistic showed that people 24 or under had the highest earnings potential. Additionally, the lucrative nature of influencer marketing was particularly prominent for influencers aged 17 or under.
That finding sheds light on why many colleges use influencer marketing. Doing so allows them to target specific groups and address identified needs. For example, research conducted outside of IZEA’s report found that 56% of people looking for university information do so to learn about campus life. Hiring an influencer to distribute the message about the college experience could be especially impactful if the person is an appropriate age.
3. The “2020 Trends” Report From Whalar
This report takes a closer look at the “visual and cultural trends” associated with influencer marketing. It reveals some of the leading priorities in the segment now.
One of the areas studied was activism. Whalar described how it created a campaign for Burt’s Bees in conjunction with World Earth Month. It featured the hashtag #ForceForNature. That initiative resulted in an engagement rate of 6.08% and earned 13 million impressions.
Athleticism — especially of women — is another trend covered in this influencer marketing report. Whalar collaborated with Strava, Nike and other sports brands to reshape perceptions of fitness. For example, the Strava campaign highlighted how people have different physical activity-related goals. Whether a person aims to compete in the Olympics or run in their first 5K, their aspirations are equally important and valid.
Whalar’s report also brigs up how marketing with influencers also means creating fascinating images. A popular way to do that recently involves the “face as canvas” approach. The influencers who demonstrate it often don meticulously applied, bright and vivid makeup. This shows audiences how they can make strong impressions by using their faces as a starting point to inspire and encourage others to unleash their creativity.
4. The “Influencer Marketing Trends 2020” Report From The Corner
The Corner mentioned that it worked with more than 190 brands and businesses within the influencer space in 2019. It used the expertise gained that year to develop this report about 2020. Regardless of the length of time a person spends in marketing, influencers are highly likely to factor into their efforts today and for the foreseeable future.
One of the trends featured in this influencer marketing report related to longer partnerships between businesses and influencers. For example, the document clarified how one contract requiring influencer Warren Nash to create content for the LEGO Family channel involved producing four videos per week and maintaining that output for six months.
Genuine storytelling is also gaining ground, the report showed. When people feel influencers are like them to some extent, they’ll find the content more relatable and be more likely to take positive actions after seeing it.
An influencer marketing campaign featuring Harriet Shearsmith, who gives parenting guidance, worked with Heinz Beans to publish posts despite going through a kitchen renovation. The content received more than 90% positive sentiment, likely because people appreciated the honesty of the images.
5. “The Impact of Coronavirus on Influencer Marketing” From Obvious.ly
Obvious.ly is an influencer marketing agency that published its findings concerning the COVID-19 pandemic on the influencer community and the people who hire its members. The data showed 92% of influencers would create content new to them, such as a livestream. That’s crucial, considering more people are staying at home and looking for things to do during lockdowns. Additionally, 23% of influencers recently began hosting such real-time streams to engage with followers.
Also, the study indicates if charitable brands want new opportunities in marketing, influencers could help. The conclusions revealed that 97% of influencers would post about brands and causes they care about, while 80% were open to taking part in charitable campaigns without pay.
When Obvious.ly ran its #ObviouslyForGood campaign associated with the coronavirus, 237 influencers associated themselves with the effort. It was an unofficial partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat misinformation.
Obvious.ly’s CEO Mae Karwowski told CNBC, “We’ve heard from so many influencers and brands that they wanted to use their influence to help — and we’ve seen so much misinformation and misunderstanding about the virus over the last few months — that we decided a good first step was to cut through all the mixed messages and provide a definitive source of information — [by publishing content based on guidance from] the World Health Organization.”
CNBC’s coverage also mentioned that the campaign reached 2 million people so far. That statistic emphasizes the power of influencers working together on worthy causes. Obvious.ly’s report said influencers most often choose health care and hospitals as their top charitable causes these days. Giving back and volunteering during the coronavirus were two other priorities cited.
6. “How Marketers Are Using Digital Content Creators in 2020” From Vamp
This influencer marketing report published in February 2020 illuminated how and why companies invest in influencer marketing today. It was a relatively small-scale study with 124 respondents, but the results are still worth studying. Although the report’s title uses the broader “digital content creators” term, the findings solely concern influencers.
One finding illustrated how — not surprisingly — marketing professionals experienced numerous benefits after allocating portions of their budget to influencer marketing.
Increased brand engagement was the top advantage marketers brought up. Money saved on content creation followed. The study’s results indicated 41% of those polled mentioned that latter perk. Marketers curious about that statistic need only consider that three-quarters of respondents said they asked influencers to handle content creation duties formerly given to creative agencies.
Another conclusion in the Vamp report that spells good news for any company weighing whether to launch an influencer marketing campaign was that 80% of respondents said influencer-generated assets performed as well or better than brand-created materials. Additionally, the majority (60%) of companies currently working with influencers repurpose the associated material in social ads.
Influencer Marketing Is Well Worth Consideration
Many marketers initially hesitate to move forward with a new type of marketing, even if their peers get excellent results. Whether a professional has not yet worked with influencers or is considering scaling up their current relationships with them. both of those moves could pay off, especially given the findings explored in these six reports.