B2C communicators have long known that, when done authentically, influencer marketing is well worth the investment. But the indirect path from influence to purchase has been hard to quantify, and therefore often difficult to convince brand and marketing decision makers that those dollars are paying off. New research from creator marketing platform CreatorIQ reports that advancements in measurement have made that path clearer to see—and as a result, more brands are diverting digital advertising budgets to influencers and other creator-led marketing initiatives.
The firm’s new report, Can Creator-Led Marketing Really Drive ROI?, reveals that 67 percent of surveyed marketers report increasing their investment in influencer marketing from 2022 to 2023. Of those brands whose budgets increased, only 24 percent are working with a net-new budget and 76 percent are diverting the funds from other marketing activities, including digital ads.
The majority of marketers cite those advancements in measurement for this shift
More sophisticated tracking is enabling them to understand both top- and bottom-of-funnel ROI down to the dollar. Not only can 94 percent of organizations now attribute sales to creator content on social media, but marketers also report that creator-led efforts are consistently outperforming traditional digital advertising channels.
“Over the past few years, advancements in measurement solutions have enabled creator marketing to be compared alongside traditional digital channels,” said Conor Begley, chief strategy officer at CreatorIQ, in a news release. “Now, at a time when macroeconomic factors are constricting ad budgets, brands and agencies have continued to double down on creator-led efforts, which have actually proven to be more efficient for driving impressions, engagement, conversions, and other full-funnel KPIs.”
Additional findings include:
- When it comes to creator compensation, the most frequent methods for paying creators include pay-for-content (60 percent), affiliate commissions based on sales (45 percent), and performance based on clicks (33 percent).
- Of the marketers surveyed, 77 percent reported actively transforming creators who share organically about their organization into brand partners, which allows them to yield authentic content from individuals with a pre-existing passion for their brand’s products or message.
- The main reasons marketers attribute to creators converting are Authentic and Relatable (48 percent), Aspirational and Instructive (21 percent), Entertaining, (15 percent), Easier To Reach Consumers (15 percent).
The report surveyed 132 marketers who directly engage in influencer marketing, with 68 percent from brands and 32 percent on the agency side. This includes organizations of all sizes, with 37 percent of respondents from companies with more than 1,000 employees.