- Around one-third of U.S. social media users between the ages of 16-34—about 25.5 million people—are influencers, according to research from Yahoo, Deep Focus, Shareablee and Ipsos, as reported by Media Post.
- The report broke this group up into three sub-groups: socialites (18%), rising stars (61%) and newbies (17%).
- The socialite sub-group consists of established influencers, with 35% already partnering with a brand for sponsored social media outreach and 66% of their branded posts featuring brand integration.
Social influencers have emerged as powerful media channels, and marketers are taking note.
eMarketer’s report, “Influencer Marketing for US Brands,” found that 67% of marketers reported using influencers for content promotion and 59% reported using influencer marketing tactics for product launches and content creation. eMarketer found that marketers are spending 11% of budgets on social media, with that number going up to 24% over the next five years, while 59% report they plan on increasing influencer marketing spending this year.
According to the sixth annual "State of Sponsored Social" report, consumers see sponsored social posts as more effective than the almighty TV commercial. "Sponsored social stands apart from the new ad units because it allows brands to reach their target audiences in authentic and original ways by connecting with social creators who have built-in credibility, creativity and engagement," IZEA Founder and CEO Ted Murphy previously told Marketing Dive about the effectiveness of influencer marketing.
Working with influencers can bring a number of benefits, such as helping brands amplify their reach, target niche audiences, spur engagement, forge connections and build trust. According to RhythmOne’s “2015 1H Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report,” marketers that used influencer marketing saw a $9.60 return of earned media value (EMV) on average for every dollar of paid media spend.
But influencer marketing doesn't come without its challenges. A recent Forrester report, “The Right Way to Measure Social Marketing,” found that more than half (53%) of the marketers surveyed said measurement was their main challenge with social marketing.
“This is one of the ugly parts of influencer marketing,” Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners Group consulting firm, told Marketing Dive. “I think marketers are not willing to take the risk of not receiving metrics. At least in my experience when we speak with clients about influencer marketing they roll their eyes, saying, ‘Thanks so much for your promises,’ and it's very much a hard selling point.”