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The Most Important Influencer Marketing Statistics for 2023

Samantha Scott

Dec 1, 2022

Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing channel for businesses, enabling them to reach wider audiences and find new customers. Working with influencers has become an integral part of a brand's marketing strategy, and if this list of influencer marketing statistics is any indication, it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the 2023 Influencer Marketing Hub survey found that a whopping 90% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective and 72% of marketers agree that influencer marketing provides higher quality customers.

These influencer marketing stats clearly show the value of influencer marketing — and how it can help you increase sales, customer retention, and social media following. If you're not convinced, we’re pretty sure you will be by the end!

Table of Contents

Influencer marketing is actually nothing new, but how it’s valued from a public perception and how it’s utilized on the business side has shifted significantly. Before the internet, it was the power of influencer marketing rested solely in celebrities' hands. From endorsements like Jennifer Aniston for Aveeno, or Michael Jordan for Nike, there was very little in the way of what today is commonplace: using nano, micro, and macro-influencers for more targeted, authentic messaging. 

The reach for this new class of influencers may be smaller, but their engagement rate is significantly higher, and the trust factor is astronomically higher for the up-and-coming purchasers of the future. In fact, 70% of teen YouTube subscribers say they relate more to YouTube creators than celebrities

On that note, when online influencer marketing started, impressions were considered the most important metric. Everyone wanted as many eyes as possible on the content and on the product, and so massive impressions and reach numbers were sought after. 

Today, engagement rate is considered far more valuable, as it tends to lead to more hard and cold ROI such as followers, clicks, web traffic, and sales. Just focusing on the number of eyeballs is a less strategic and less fruitful approach. 

Nano, micro, and macro-influencers typically have a much stronger relationship with their audience and will only vouch for products and services that they love to retain their status as a trusted source of information to their loyal fan base. So, when reaching out to an influencer, particularly smaller influencers, don't be surprised if they aren't interested in promoting your product unless they can truly vouch for it.

Influencer Marketing Statistics You Need to Know in 2023

The value of influencer marketing cannot be understated as we head into 2022. Here are some top influencer marketing statistics to showcase the power they have in social media to influence purchases and other important KPIs for your team...

Reading Tip: Are you wondering how much influencer marketing costs? Learn more about influencer pricing.

1. Today’s consumers are heavily influenced by reviews and recommendations from trusted friends, family members, peers, and influencers.

In fact, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, according to Digital Marketing Institute and 82% of consumers trust the opinions they see on social media channels, shared by friends, family, and influencers, and they use these comments to drive purchase decisions. 

Authenticity, transparency, and the ability to compare different products and opinions are vital for purchasers today, which is why finding trusted influencers to partner with as a brand is hugely important for influencing sales and customer retention.

2. Influencer marketing is considered a legitimate and mainstream marketing channel today

It wasn’t that long ago that influencer marketing through Instagram or YouTube was more of a fringe strategy. But today, 64% of marketers say they use influencer marketing or plan to do so in 2022. (State of Social Survey, Meltwater).

Tip: Here you find more Instagram statistics

3. Marketing teams are more willing to put money behind their influencer campaigns

In 2020, the State of Influencer Marketing report found that 66% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets. By the time 2021 rolled around, the report indicated that 75% plan to allocate more of their content marketing budgets toward influencers, with an approximate spend of $3.69 billion on influencers which is expected to increase to $4.14 billion in 2022.

4. Through influencer marketing, you reach a more relevant target audience 

51% of marketers say influencer marketing helps them acquire better customers. It might seem like we’re beating a dead horse, but it bears repeating: when you use influencers to promote your products or services, you’re skipping several steps ahead of the hurdle that is proving the value to a cold customer. In other words, you’re reaching potential customers who are already predisposed to be interested.

5. Most companies like the idea of working with the same influencer for multiple campaigns

In 2021 Influencer Marketing Hub reported that 56% of surveyed marketers responded that they had worked with the same influencer multiple times. This is a great way to build even more trust with their audiences.

An underappreciated facet of influencer marketing is that audiences who follow influencers are less likely to be turned off by sponsored posts or videos when they know: 1) the influencer enjoys working with a particular brand and 2) that brand supporting the influencer allows them to continue making the content their subscribers and followers enjoy. 

6. Campaign-based influencer marketing is preferred by most marketers

While they might work with the same influencer on multiple occasions, over half (67%) of teams working with influencers prefer the partnerships to be campaign-based, rather than ongoing. Influencer marketing campaigns cover a very wide range of styles and KPIs, and they are a bit easier to manage expectations than an on-going agreement.

7. Influencers contribute strongly to marketing ROI

Businesses have seen a return of $5.78 for every $1.00 on influencer marketing campaigns so it’s no wonder that 42% of marketers consider influencers a top ROI-generating strategy. 

And it’s even harder to measure the true impact working with influencers can have on brand awareness. 

8. Influencer Marketing can also help brick and mortar sector

60% of consumers say they’ve been influenced to buy a product while shopping after looking it up online. (Compared to 3% who trust a celebrity endorsement).

9. Finding influencers is still one of the biggest challenges marketers point to

34% of brands say they have difficulty finding influencers, which is down slightly from 2021 when 39% stated they had trouble identifying people to work with. Part of this comes from the concern over fake influencers (67% of brands are concerned about influencer fraud), however actual reports of fraudulent influencer activity have dropped massively as of 2021, from 68% to 38% according to Shopify.

If you’re struggling to find influencers and manage your influencer relationships, Meltwater's influencer marketing platform can help! Schedule a demo to see how. You can also compare the best influencer management platforms on the market.

10. Engagement is the most commonly measured KPI 

77% of marketers measure the success of their influencer campaigns using engagement, which is followed by Clicks at 65%.

11. Free samples are still the most common method of payment for influencers in the micro and nano sector 

36% of State of Influencer Marketing respondents indicated that they largely paid influencers with free samples in 2021. This practice is commonplace and has been around for decades. If you’re working with a new influencer, particularly a nano or micro-influencer this is an acceptable arrangement when you’re testing the waters of the partnership.

Learn more about why micro-influencers matter →

However, there is a strong movement among creators, especially those that make a living from being an influencer, to know their worth and to push back if “exposure” and “swag” are the only payment methods offered. If you are one of those marketing teams throwing a significant part of your marketing budget behind influencer campaigns, make sure you're truly valuing their time through appropriate compensation.

12. Influencer posts are more effective for encouraging sales than brand posts

Twitter found a 5.2% increase in purchase intent on Tweets from influencers over Tweets from brands or companies. 

13. Instagram is the preferred influencer marketing channel by most marketers

67% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. SocialPubli reports that 96% of marketers consider Instagram their preferred network for influencers.

Higher Education influencer posts had an engagement rate of 3.96% on Instagram in 2019 — the highest out of 12 main industries.

14. But TikTok is right on Instagrams heels

TikTok saw an astounding 325% increase in popularity among marketers between 2020 and 2021. 45% of marketers said they already use TikTok for influencer marketing.

Additionally, the engagement rates seen on TikTok are steadily increasing, surpassing Instagram and YouTube in 2021, especially for micro-influencers (17.96% — yes, you read that correctly).

Tip: Read this blog for more dedicated TikTok stats.

Engagement Rates for influencers on top social media platforms

Source: Upfluence, Instagram Marketing Hub

15. Live Stream shopping is poised to usher in the next phase of influencer marketing 

Just before the holiday season in 2021, major platforms like Pinterest, and Instagram introduced livestream shopping features. In 2022: 26% of retail marketers said they were focusing on livestream shopping.  

The Use of Micro-influencers Is On the Rise 

As we’ve hinted at, micro-influencers are where it’s at when it comes to influencer marketing. Here are some key micro-influencer statistics in case you’re still on the fence!

Learn more about what defines different levels of influencers in our Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing.

1. Micro-influencers had 91% of the market share in 2021, compared to 89% in 2020.

2. 90% of marketers state that they’re most interested in working with Micro-influencers, followed by Macro influencers (72%)

Bar graph showing which level of influencer marketers prefer to work with

Source: Linqia, © 2021 Linqia, Inc. All rights reserved.

3. Micro Instagram influencers boast an average engagement rate of 3.86%, while mega-influencers see only 1.21%.

4. 77% of fashion micro-influencers prefer Instagram.

5. Micro-influencers made up roughly half (47.3%) of all influencers in 2021.

Learn more about why micro influencers matter →

Social Platforms Are Empowering Content Creators Like Never Before

There is a strong incentive push right now from top social media sites to keep creators making content for their platforms. These are largely coming in the way of “creator funds” and certifications. 

What does this mean for brands?

The influencer market will continue to become more competitive and brands should pay close attention to where their target audience for influencer campaigns lives. Because now, influencers on those platforms now have more tools at their disposal to create even more engaging and high-quality content.

  1. TikTok has created a $1 billion Creator Fund to nurture influencers.
  2. Pinterest launched “Creator Code”, a fund designed to elevate underrepresented creator communities
  3. Oculus, a Meta company, announced a VR creator fund in 2021 to push the boundaries of virtual reality capabilities.
  4. Snapchat created a certification program to help advertisers achieve success on their platform
  5. YouTube has added a new Media Kit feature to their creator tools, making it easier for creators to showcase their audience and engagement metrics and demographics to prospective brand partners.

So there you have it! Will you be implementing an influencer marketing strategy in 2023 after reviewing these impressive influencer marketing stats? If the answer is yes, don't forget to contact a Meltwater representative to learn about our Meltwater influencer management solutions.

Tip: These are the best social influencer management platforms and social influencer marketing tools.