Influencer marketing to be a continuing force in 2018

Influencer or influence marketing consists in those marketing activities which leverage the recommendation potential of influencers (source: Définitions Marketing). 

In 2018, according to a survey by Linquia, 39% of marketing professionals are planning to increase the budget of their campaigns featuring influencers, celebrities who attract huge communities of followers chiefly on social media. The survey, called 'The State of influencer marketing 2018', was carried out between October and November 2017 by San Francisco-based influencer marketing agency Linquia, interviewing 181 US marketing professionals from a variety of industries. Though the figure is down 9% compared to last year, 86% of interviewees have resorted to influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% of these users have found the method effective. In terms of budget, 30% of interviewees indicated they intend to spend between $25,000 and $50,000 per campaign, and 46% of them carry out on average between 2 and 5 influencer campaigns per brand each year.  

A post sponsored by watch brand Cluse on French influencer Safia Vendôme's Instagram account - Instagram

But how do you measure the return on investment generated by influencer campaigns? According to 76% of interviewees, returns are hard to measure, and the recent algorithm changes made by Facebook add a further complication. The majority of respondents (90%) measure the return on investment using the engagement rate - i.e. the metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience.

This metric is however susceptible of various readings. For example, according to French influencer marketing agency Lefty, the most followed fashion influencers in France are three young women who made their name on reality TV: Caroline Receveur, with 2.3 million followers, Stéphanie Durant, with 1.8 million followers, and Capucine Anavoff, with 1.3 million followers. Their respective engagement rates are 2.1%, 2.8% and 0.8%. Instead, Safia Vendôme, who has 'only' 732,000 followers and is ranked eighth by that particular metric, has an engagement rate of 5.3%. In other words, the accounts with the highest following aren't necessarily those which generate the most engagement.

And while 59% of the survey's respondents cited ‘number of clicks’ as the measure of their investment's return, only 46% of them look at product sales. This could mean that most marketers accept that the goal of influencer campaigns is primarily to gain visibility and recruit new customers, rather than generate direct sales.   

Finally, 92% of interviewees considered Instagram as the most valuable social network for influencer campaigns, ahead of Facebook, favoured by 77% of them.  As a result, Instagram now claims more than 2 million active monthly advertisers.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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