The proportion of marketing budgets allocated to influencer marketing campaigns has doubled over the last two years reaching 40% in 2019, according to new research by Rakuten Marketing.
In the UK, marketers within fashion, cosmetics and travel are now setting aside more than £800,000 each year for influencer campaigns, compared to just 27% of their budgets back in 2017.
However, two years ago, marketers would be more likely to spend up to £75,000 on a single Facebook post by a celebrity endorsing a product. In 2019, that figure has fallen to £25,000 per post.
Marketers are also focusing more heavily on micro-influencers and are paying almost £26,000 for a campaign involving a micro-influencer.
“Knowing that consumers are going to influencers for trusted recommendations on new products may explain the shift from celebrity to micro-influencers,” explained Anthony Capano, Managing Director EMEA at Rakuten Marketing.
“Micro-influencers tend to be typically more engaged, as are their audience who feel like their friends. New tools exist that let brands and marketers measure influencer marketing’s impact. It is now a good opportunity to take advantage of to enable stronger relationships with the most brand-relevant influencers for their businesses rather than simply going for the largest influencers, who may not bring back the same return on investment.”
Rakuten also surveyed 3,500 customers to find out just how many had previously made purchases based on influencer recommendations. Almost half (49%) of respondents said they learned about new brands and products from influencers.
The rise in influencer marketing has also promoted campaign measurement changes with just 29% of marketers not being able to confidently attribute sales to a campaign (compared to 86% in 2017).
More marketers (32% in 2019 compared to 12% in 2017) are now also measuring the impact of influencer marketing campaigns via indirectly influenced sales.
Capano added: “Influencer marketing has continued to be an incredibly hot topic for marketers who are clearly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to backing these campaigns. However, the issue of measurement still proves murky. Two years on, it is clear that marketers are making strides to ensuring they understand the real impact that influencer programmes have on the purchase journey, before spending huge sums of money. However, there is still a gap between what they are measuring and their spend. If this industry continues to grow at the rapid pace it is now, decreasing that gap will be key.”
Although last-click has quickly become an outdated measurement method, 25% marketers globally and 30% in the UK are still using it.