According to Linqia’s fifth annual ‘The State of Influencer Marketing 2021’ survey, TikTok has become a key platform of choice for influencer marketing, second only to Instagram and Instagram Stories.
In early 2020, Linqia data showed that just 16 percent of marketers planned to use TikTok. Its latest report found that now 68 percent intend on using TikTok in their influencer marketing efforts — a 325 percent jump in one year.
Instagram continues to be the go-to platform for influencer marketing, as indicated by 93 percent of respondents, though it’s worth noting that that figure represents a four percent decrease from 2020. Eighty-three percent of marketers plan to use Instagram Stories this year, the same number Linqia reported in 2020. Interestingly, Instagram’s TikTok-like Reels is in the purview of just 37 percent of marketers this year.
The number of marketers who plan to use Pinterest in 2021 reached 35 percent, Linqia reports, which is up from 29 percent from 2020. Snapchat, too, gained momentum, with 26 percent of respondents saying they plan to use it in their influencer efforts, up from 16 percent last year.
Next to TikTok, Twitch saw the highest jump in the amount of marketers looking to use the platform for influencer marketing—from five percent in 2020 to 13 percent this year.
Influencer marketing interest in Twitter, however, dipped from 35 percent to 32 percent. So too did interest in Facebook, with 68 percent of marketers saying they plan to use it for influencer marketing compared with 79 percent in 2020.
Linqia found that while COVID-19 impacted the number of always-on influencer campaigns—which went from 16 percent in 2019 to 11 percent in 2020—marketers still see the value in influencers and are putting dollars behind them. In fact, 71 percent of marketers plan to increase their budgets in 2021 — up from 57 percent in 2020.
For respondents, measurement remains a major pain point of influencer marketing, with 65 percent saying that determining the return on investment (ROI) of their influencer program is the top concern in using the channel this year. This is followed by the amount of time it takes to manage influencer marketing campaigns (51 percent) and selecting the right influencers (42 percent).
Engagements continue to be the most common metric used to track influencer success, with 77 percent choosing engagements as a key performance indicator (KPI). At least 60 percent of marketers also chose clicks, conversions and impressions as performance trackers.
As for the type of influencers that marketers are working with most frequently, micro-influencers remain a top pick. In 2020, 80 percent of marketers expressed a desire to work with micro-influencers; this year, that figure increased to 90 percent.
Lastly, Linqia found that marketers are partnering with significantly less influencers than three years ago. In 2018, its study revealed that 62 percent of marketers activated more than 10 influencers on a single campaign. This year, just 31 percent activate that many influencers on one campaign.
Linqia’s findings are based on a survey conducted between February and March among 163 enterprise marketers and agency professionals with revenue of more than $1 billion.