Influencer marketing drove almost 10% in engagement rates in 2018

Influencer marketing spend continues to grow with the average campaign spend in 2018 2.9x above the 2017 average, according to a report by RhythmOne, the Taptica-owned digital ad company, released today.

The latest Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report is based on the analysis of 67 US-based campaigns which ran on RhythmInfluence in 2018.

Among the key findings of the report, it highlights that influencer marketing drove engagement rates of 9.66%, with the average cost per engagement being $0.29, making influencer marketing a cost-efficient alternative to other ad strategies. Among the top categories for engagement were alcohol & spirits, apparel and grocery & supermarkets.

Advertisers who implemented an influencer media campaign in 2018 received $8.12 in earned media value (EMV) for every $1.00 of their campaign spending.

According to the report: “EMV refers to the value that can be attributed to publicity, social sharing, and other organic, unpaid digital media exposure.” In other words, it provides a measure of ROI.

Among the top categories for EMV were entertainment, beauty and quick service restaurants.

“As influencer marketing continues to mature and drive value for our clients, we are finding that more and more advertisers are looking to leverage the custom offerings that influencer marketing providers bring to the table,” said Kimmy Fleishman, Associate Director, Content at Spark Foundry.

“Brands that run with an influencer strategy focused on uniquely driving consumer engagement – especially through emerging channels such as video, Instagram Stories, and even live events – are the ones who find the most success. It all comes down to letting the influencers engage their audiences in the ways that they know best to ensure the message resonates, no matter what the campaign KPIs are.”

The study further notes that influence marketing engagement can be boosted when using video. Indeed, video campaigns doubled in 2018 across the RhythmOne platform.

Advertisers who applied social media listening in 2018 also noted an average 98% of positive sentiment. Average brand mentions lifted 42.4% during campaigns and 69% year-on-year.

“In 2018, we saw more advertisers activate multi-month and even year-long campaigns in an effort to deepen brand ambassador partnerships and form ongoing relationships with influencers who were key to their campaigns’ success. These investments are paying off with higher engagement rates and brand lift, which prove the value of influencer marketing and set the stage for continued success,” added Katie Paulsen, VP of influencer marketing at RhythmOne.