While influencer marketing appears to be in an upswing, there are still brands and marketers who aren’t catching on to this incredibly powerful marketing tool. However, influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere any time soon. In fact, influencer marketing has a better ROI than that of traditional marketing.
During one of our own studies, Collective Bias researched and tracked 11 influencer campaigns over an 8-12 week period. Among the findings, the analysis measured a 7.6x return on ad spend (ROAS), by weighing households exposed to the campaign’s influencer content versus an unexposed control group. Read more & download your free report.
A study by eMarketer in 2014 showed “advertisers who implemented an influencer marketing program in 2014 earned $6.85 in media value on average for every $1 they spent on paid media for such programs”, although that number varies depending on product category. (source)
Ad blockers allow users to block ads across all websites visited, significantly limiting the effectiveness and reach of ad campaigns. However, influencer content isn’t an ad, in the traditional sense, which means it is not subject to these ad blockers.
“According to a new IAB report, 26 percent of desktop users and 15 percent of mobile consumers use blockers to remove ads from publishers’ websites.” (source) Influencer content, however, is more engaging, authentic content from a real person, not a paid advertisement. Users who view influencer content do so voluntarily, whereas most ads on websites are placed by advertisers and the user has little to no control over whether or not they view the ad.
A recent report by Cision found that 65% of consumers trust journalists, analysts, and the like (essentially influencers), coming in second behind family and friends at 78 percent. (source) In fact, MuseFind found that 92% of consumers trust influencers over celebrities and traditional advertising.
Consumers are realizing that influencers share more authentic content, giving honest reviews of products they use and real-life applications of these products. Influencer content allows consumers to think outside the box, experiment with creativity, and build a relationship between the influencer and the consumer, something traditional advertising cannot claim.
Whether they are using ad blockers, or are just glazing over traditional ads on websites, evidence shows that readers only spend about 9 seconds on ads. However, influencer content sees an average of 2 minutes and 8 seconds per influencer content piece, according to our own study and measurement tool.
Because influencer content is an organic piece of content specifically about a product, consumers are engaging with the brand longer than a traditional ad. Combine time spent on influencer content with engagement metrics like pageviews and clicks, brands get a more clear picture of the value of each piece of content.
According to Grapevine’s 2016 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks, “up and coming creators typically have more cost effective pricing, and can also have highly engaged audiences.” The majority of CPCs fall under $2, while the smaller influencers with higher engagement see CPCs from $6-$9. (source)
So what constitutes “smaller”? We defined the “power middle”, the sweet spot for quality engagement, as influencers with a following between 35K to 65K. (source) Ideally, however, brands will incorporate influencers of all levels for a robust influencer marketing campaign.
While traditional advertising may never disappear completely, influencer marketing will continue to grow in popularity as more brands and marketers realize the ROI of influencer content.