The new TAKUMI whitepaper digs under the surface of what makes Influencer Marketing tick, and what’s on the horizon.
TAKUMI surveyed over 3,500 consumers, marketers, and influencers across the UK, US, and Germany to uncover the latest trends in the sector. The report ‘Into the mainstream: Influencer marketing in society’, uncovered divided opinions on what consumers want to see and what brands are willing to engage with influencers on.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, Marketers are increasingly putting their faith and budgets into multi-channel influencer campaigns and seeing returns on their investments.
It is clear that creative influencer talent is breaking ‘into the mainstream’: providing authentic content that appeals to the values and principles of consumers.
“With 73% of marketers upping spend in influencer marketing, it is clearly a core pillar of any effective brand marketing strategy.”
“However, despite this growth, the industry cannot rest on its laurels. With conversations around diversity, equality and inclusivity gaining momentum in the industry and wider society, it’s clear that consumers are hungry for influencer marketing with a social conscience.”
“Marketers need to consider how their influencer campaigns will champion progress and reflect the real lives and concerns of consumers if they want to remain relevant and compelling.”
Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of TAKUMI.
Here’s a look at some of the key findings from our whitepaper…
Marketers spending more on influencer marketing than they were a year ago
In the last 12 months, almost three-quarters of the marketers we spoke to (73%) have allocated more resources to influencer marketing, with spend particularly increasing in the retail (79%), legal (79%), and manufacturing (75%) sectors.
Brands are also working with influencers across more mainstream advertising channels including OOH (83.3%), print (80%), and TV & radio (81.3%). Consumers are equally receptive to this shift: over a third (38%) are open to seeing influencers incorporated into traditional advertising.
Influencer marketing delivering better ROI than traditional advertising channels
A quarter (25%) of 16–24-year-olds say Instagram is the most likely advertising platform to lead to a purchase and our research shows that marketers recognise the strong ROI potential, with almost two-thirds (60%) agreeing that influencer marketing provides better ROI for brand marketing campaigns compared with traditional advertising.
Influencers acting as a news source
Nearly a quarter of consumers in the UK (24%) and Germany (23%), and 28% of US consumers are more likely to source news updates and opinions from influencers than journalists and established news outlets. This figure rises to more than a third of 16–24-year-olds (38%), 38%, of 25–34-year-olds, and 34% of 35–44-year-olds.
With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that 41% of consumers agree that social media influencers should use their platforms to discuss current affairs and everyday activism.
32% of consumers across the UK, US, and Germany find influencer content more relatable to their real lives than content produced by brands, which explain the desire for current-affairs driven content.
As reflected by the Black Lives Matter movement: more than 50% of all content creators we surveyed said also that diversity was the number one issue that needs to be addressed by marketers and brands moving forward.
Similarly, a quarter of influencers (25%) want to establish relationships with brands that are aligned with their moral standpoints — across diversity, the environment, and social issues.
Despite this, over half (55%) of marketers across the UK, US, and Germany said they would be anxious about working with an influencer who is vocal about social and political issues.
Increasingly influencer marketing is on the public’s radar, and consumers overwhelmingly believe influencers have become compelling communicators, challenging household names and journalists alike.
Content creators have reached the mainstream, and are making waves in terms of consumer trust, which is increasing in tandem with the growth of the industry.
With conversations around diversity, race, and culture thrust into the fore at the height of the pandemic, our research has found consumers to be hungry for content produced by influencers who take a stance on societal and political issues.
Influencers who use their platforms to discuss current affairs and everyday activism will be key for marketers moving forward, and any anxieties around engaging these sorts of content creators must be quelled.
Influencer marketing is evolving at an exponential rate. As brands and content creators continue to adapt to meet consumer appetites, the industry looks to be unstoppable.
To read the full report, you can download from our