The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

by | Apr 15, 2021 | Public Relations

New research from AI analytics platform HypeAuditor offers key learnings from brand experiences with influencer marketing and where we are now, as well as industry-pioneering best practices. The firm’s second annual State of Influencer Marketing 2021 report also reveals 2020’s most influential social media leaders.

“Unsurprisingly, 2020 was an extraordinary year in every sense, and the digital and social landscape continues to evolve so fast that it can be hard for even the most progressive brands to stay abreast of all changes,” said Alex Frolov, CEO and co-founder of HypeAuditor, in a news release.

The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

“The global pandemic offered unprecedented opportunities for influencer collaborations, who uniquely leveraged their platforms to drive awareness for social justice and political campaigns, and our new report reveals that whether they drove these conversations or sidestepped them, only the savviest influencers knew how to monetize them effectively,” Frolov added.

Here are eight key learnings from the report:

Instagram’s influencer market is expected to grow 15 percent in 2021

The estimated global market capitalization in 2021 equals $5.8 billion, which implies 15 percent growth from $5.0 billion estimated for the end of 2020.

The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

Forty-three percent of global Instagram users are between 25 and 34 years-old

More than half of global audiences are 34 and younger (80 percent), which makes Instagram worthwhile for brands and marketing specialists.

The number of influencers involved in fraud is still very high (55 percent)

This means fake influencers and engagement could cost advertisers millions of dollars each year. That said, the average percent of Instagram accounts involved in fraud decreased by 8 percent.

On average, marketers receive $4.87 of earned media value (EMV) for each $1 paid for an Instagram influencer’s promotion

EMV is the accepted advertising industry standard for measuring PR activities and influencer marketing campaigns.

The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

Two-thirds of TikTok users (69 percent) are under the age of 24

Thirty-nine percent are between 18 and 24, which makes people of this age the largest user group.

Nearly half (41 percent) of TikTok creators are nano-influencers with only 1K to 5K subscribers

The TikTok influencer landscape differs from what is seen on Instagram.

The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

Two out of three (66 percent) YouTube users are aged between 18 and 34, but teens are the third largest user group

However, the platform doesn’t just appeal to grown-up audiences, especially since teenage users are the third-largest group accounting for almost 14 percent of all YouTube viewers.

COVID-19 made its adjustments and slowed down the growth of the industry

However, influencer marketing didn’t suffer as much as other industries.

The state of influencer marketing—and the year’s biggest brand leaders

Additionally, the report includes a preview of 2021’s trends the HypeAuditor research team identified from January through March 2021. Seven key findings that marketers should consider when planning for the remainder of this year include:

  • Brands will shift ad spend towards influencer marketing.
  • Performance-based influencer marketing is the future.
  • More brands will be using TikTok as a marketing platform.
  • The popularity of micro-influencers will continue to grow.
  • Brands and influencers will be more attentive to content they post.
  • The importance and relevance of virtual influencers is on the rise.
  • The top growing categories in Q1 on Instagram were finance and economics and DIY—how people can make the most of their finances and how to save money by doing projects themselves.

Download the full report here.

HypeAuditor’s “State of Influencer Marketing 2020” report analyzed over 12M Instagram accounts, 4.5M YouTube channels and 5.2M TikTok accounts. The research team also used data from a wide variety of sources, including market research agencies, the internet, social media companies, news media, crowdsourcing, and the company’s proprietary internal analysis.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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