More than six in 10 senior marketers have found that investing in influencer marketing has boosted online traffic and clicks for their brand, as just over half (54%) have revealed that they are increasing spend on creator output this year.
Despite 24% of marketers surveyed by global influencer marketing and creator-guided shopping platform LTK and YouGov admitting that their overall marketing budgets are being slashed, the influencer channel has shown resilience for those that invest in it.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the survey’s respondents – all of which work in the retail sector – have reported a growth in sales directly attributed to leveraging influencers in their marketing mix.
It’s not just sales that influencers are contributing to either; 38% of the 100+ panel revealed that they have used influencers to inform product decisions, while three in 10 found using influencers improved sentiment for their brand. Nearly seven in 10 cited improved brand awareness as a benefit of influencer campaigns, while 46% said they increased reach and engagement across social channels.
Where is the investment in influencer marketing going?
The areas of focus for those brands spending on influencer marketing are increasing video content by creators (54% of respondents), more diverse casting (46%) and more investment in micro-influencers (31%).
Almost four in 10 marketers said they were shifting towards always-on partnerships with influencers rather than one-off campaigns, with LTK citing its brand partner Elemis as boosting revenue by almost a third in a matter of months with its move to an always-on full-funnel strategy.
Value and measurement: the sticking points for marketers yet to be influenced
The research also looked at those marketers not currently investing in using influencers or creator campaigns – with low awareness of the channel’s value and uncertainty around measurement the main factors causing trepidation.
Nearly half of those not being swayed by the influencer channel at the moment said they needed more awareness of the value of influencer marketing, while a fifth conceded they were unsure of how to measure influencer marketing activity to demonstrate success.
The findings highlight the importance of accessing performance data, said LTK, citing high-street clothing brand Karen Millen’s incorporation of the platform’s real-time tracking and sales reporting and enjoying a sales growth of 114% month on month.
Robin Ward, Head of Sales at LTK Europe commented that the survey results came as “no surprise”, highlighting that LTK’s 12-year tenure working with brands and creators “has shown time and again how data-led creator campaigns can deliver across the funnel an array of metrics and contribute to business growth and development”.