By 2022, the influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth $15 billion, nearly double its value of $8 billion last year. As the industry continues to scale, marketers are leaning more heavily into influencers amid the pandemic, increasingly putting their budgets in multi-channel campaigns and making their influencer activations more inclusive. That’s according to the results of a survey Takumi fielded in August among 4,000 marketers, consumers and influencers across the US, the UK and Germany.
According to Takumi’s report, 73 percent of all marketers are now allocating a greater proportion of their resources to influencer marketing compared with a year ago.
Especially for marketers in retail (79 percent), legal (79 percent), sales, media and marketing (76 percent), education (75 percent) and finance (71 percent), influencers have become an even more important part of strategies in the past 12 months.
Marketers in more traditional advertising channels such as retail are among those most diversifying where they spend on influencers, including 83 percent who say they’ve upped spend on influencers for out-of-home, digital and billboards ads; 81 percent for television and radio; and 80 percent for print.
A familiarity and confidence in influencers’ ability to deliver return on investment (ROI) and raise brand awareness has inspired marketers to explore additional channels. In fact, 57 percent of marketers say they’ve partnered with influencers on multi-platform campaigns.
Häagen-Dazs’ Secret Sofa campaign with Secret Cinema offers insight on this growing approach to multi-channel campaigns. Launched during UK lockdowns, the at-home movie experience was promoted by influencers over the course of eight weeks. The result: a two-fold increase in week-on-week sales for Häagen-Dazs and over 80,000 new subscribers for Secret Cinema, according to Takumi.
Marketers’ increased confidence has also produced their openness to testing new platforms. For example, over the next 12 months, 58 percent of respondents say they’re considering working with influencers on YouTube, followed by 55 percent on Instagram, 43 recent on online advertising, 35 percent on TikTok, 29 percent on television ads, 20 percent on OOH, 20 percent on Twitch and 10 percent on Triller.
Younger generations (54 percent) are the most open to seeing influencers appear in traditional media channels. But that figure decreased steadily across older age groups, with 44 percent of consumers over 55 being actively opposed to it.
Both consumers and marketers see the value in influencers. Thirty percent of consumers say brands that use influencers are more compelling and 32 percent find influencer content more relatable to their real lives than brands’ own advertising.
What’s more, 60 percent of marketers agree that influencer campaigns provide the best ROI for brand marketing campaigns when compared with traditional advertising.
In terms of the marketing channels on which influencer campaigns deliver the best ROI, marketers agreed on online advertising (21 percent), Instagram (18 percent), YouTube (18 percent), television advertising (10 percent) and TikTok (6 percent).
Consumers believe influencers should take a clear stance on social issues but marketers are hesitant to work with influencers who openly share such opinions. Nearly half (41 percent) of consumers agree that influencers should use their platforms to discuss current affairs. Yet 55 percent of marketers indicate they’d be anxious about working with an influencer who’s vocal about social and political causes.
The survey also reveals that influencers want brands to take diversity more seriously. Half the influencers ranked diversity in campaigns a principal issue that marketers need to address moving forward, followed by equal pay.