The State of Social Media Influencer Marketing in 2021

By SCS Marketing & PR

Influencer Marketing is set to grow to be worth approximately $13.8 Billion globally according to the latest Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2021 in spite of all of the uncertainty of last year which surveyed more than 5,000 marketing agencies, brands and professionals.

Key Takeaways

The report highlighted a number of ways in which businesses across the globe approach influencer marketing with 47% of respondents from the USA, 11% Europe, 13% Asia (APAC), 5% Africa, and 19% described their location as Other.

The majority of those interviewed (59%) said they had a budget for content marketing, and 75% of those, expressed an intention to devote a standalone budget to influencer marketing in 2021.

A massive 90% of survey respondents described influencer marketing as being an effective form of marketing but 67% preferred it to be campaign- based rather than ‘always on’. And, 67% said that they measure ROI from their influencer campaigns. The most common metric, used by all, was direct conversions and/or sales.

The report also explained that 83% of firms take their influencer marketing spending from their marketing budget and of all platforms 67% of respondents prefer Instagram for influencer marketing, but there has been a huge increase in commitment for TikTok influencer marketing.

Influencer fraud was still felt to be a concern to respondents, but far less so than in the past and less were experiencing it, of late.

Researching and establishing the right influencers continues to be the most significant challenge for those who run campaigns in-house but is becoming less of a problem as agencies are now offering to liaise with influencers directly on behalf of their clients offering a cost effective and time efficient solution.

From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to $9.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to jump to $13.8 billion in 2021

When Covid19 hit in 2020, there were initial concerns that influencer marketing (in fact, all marketing) might drop off, whereas, in reality, it has increased. Some industries, such as travel and tourism, have had to dramatically rethink, but there has been some remarkable creativity and innovation from other industries which have adjusted their models to survive.

Consumers now spend enormously more time online than before. So much so that organisations have needed to upgrade their websites to deal with increased demand. Past versions of the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report show that actual and estimated influencer marketing has grown dramatically over the last few years. Coronavirus has accelerated that growth in 2020, and this is predicted to continue in 2021.

From a mere $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to have a market size of $9.7 billion in 2020. This is expected to jump to $13.8 billion in 2021.

‘Reliable Idols’

Despite the backlash in the headlines from certain influencers heading off to sunnier climes ‘for work’ whilst the rest of the general public were hunkering down for another lockdown, this does not seem to have affected organisations’ desire to secure ‘talent’ for 2021.

Businesses continue to use agencies to seek out influencers, but there is a step change towards influencers who are more socially responsible. There is a notable move away from the glamour and luxe lifestyle influencers towards more ‘reliable idols’ who specialise on a niche subject matter and use their platforms to educate.

In fact, even the NHS and the UK government have been working with influencers on public health campaigns. The government is said to have committed around £63,000 last year on a push that saw 42 social media stars promote ‘Test and Trace’.

Frequency & Duration of Campaigns

Although there is no ‘best practice’ on how long to run an influencer campaign for, according to those interviewed, monthly (34%) was still the most common frequency.

Last year saw a preference towards quarterly campaigns but this year only 27%, have decided to run quarterly campaigns, 17% (up from 15% last year) had committed to annual campaigns. This 17% tended to be brands which prefer an ‘always-on’ approach to influencer marketing. Businesses also explained that they can run campaigns whenever they launch a new product.

How to get started with Influencer Marketing

If you would like to speak to the team about how influencer marketing can help your business, we would love to help. SCS Marketing & PR works with a number of reliable social media influencers whose original content and loyal following will be guaranteed to add value to your brand and expand on your brand reach. You can contact one of the SCS Marketing & PR team on 01252 621293.