I’m on social media a lot. Whether it’s doomscrolling Twitter, liking Instagram Stories, or watching endless TikToks, I have to say, I don’t tend to notice ads at all.
When it comes to influencers, I don’t see many sponsored posts either. This might be because I’m an old git, or because I don’t generally have an interest in the majority of things they typically endorse, and as a result, I’m not being targeted.
Even so, I must say it can as a bit of a shock to me when a recent YouGov survey revealed that 46% of global consumers are likely to notice endorsements by social media influencers for clothing, 45% for food and groceries, 44% for out of home entertainment, 42% for cosmetics and 42% for tech devices and mobile phones.
Some of the lowest-performing categories were gambling, tickets for sporting events, and financial/investment products.
The survey findings took a deep dive into the travel industry specifically, with consumers in APAC countries being far more likely to make purchases of air travel and hotels recommended by influencers (averaging 55%). In the UK and US, these numbers were way lower – just 23% and 21% respectively. In terms of why this may be, influencers are said to be much more trusted in some APAC countries. In fact, 80% of social media users in Asia who follow influencers on social media are either more likely or much more likely to make a purchase based on their recommendation. In China alone, social commerce is ten times the size of the US.
When looking at the UK, Statista research shows that marketing departments are increasing budgets for influencer marketing, with 11% stating it as their primary marketing channel. There has also been a shift from one-off sponsored content to longer-term partnerships and brand ambassador programmes. Instagram remains the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing, with TikTok hot on its heels.
Research by Mastercard revealed that 24% of Gen Z stated that they liked their favourite influencers linking straight to items to buy.
While you may think it’s just the younger generation contributing to the boom in social commerce, the same study reported a 42% increase in over-55s making purchases via social media, so it’s important not to dismiss developing influencer marketing strategies that appeal to older demographics too.
It is really worth noting how much notice consumers take of influencer-sponsored content varies across different categories from country to country.
Brands clearly think that investing in influencer marketing is good for business. The influencer marketing industry has doubled since 2019 and is expected to grow to about $16.4 billion before the end of 2022. In addition, 80% of marketers say that influencer marketing is effective, delivering high-quality traffic and building trust in their brand. For now, at least, influencer marketing is showing no signs of slowing down.
What do you think? Will your brand be investing more in influencer marketing in 2023?