If you have been active in digital marketing trends and paying attention at all to the digital landscape, you’ve probably come across influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing has become a useful strategy for many teams and companies to boost brand reputation, visibility, and drive sales. 

In order to understand the impact, I put together a collection of influencer marketing statistics your company can’t afford to ignore.

I’ll cover some of the basics, as well as how influencer marketing has shifted in the last few years. 

 
Influencer Marketing Statistics
 

What is Influencer Marketing?

You might be familiar with influencer marketing and if so, feel free to jump down to the collected data below.

But if you’d like a quick reminder of what influencer marketing entails or are fairly new to it, then stick with me here.

Influencer marketing focuses on using experts, leaders, or those with influence to drive your brand’s message to a much larger market.

But it all begins with cake — how else can you lure the influencers to do your bidding?

 

Credit: Allie Brosche, Hyperbole and a Half

Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead activate influencers to get out the word for you by word of mouth, content creation, social media, etc.

And the main reason influencer marketing exists in the first place is because of the power of social media and content creation. 

Initially, influencer marketing really started with celebrities, well-known figures, or those with a massive social media following.

But in today’s digital world and social media in the workplace, your company’s customers and employees can be activated as influencer marketers too. 

Influencer marketing is all around us and should be an aspect of marketing and sales at your organization. 

 

Influencer Marketing Statistics

With any strategy or tactic, it’s always important to understand the data and research that exists.

As I searched for influencer marketing statistics, I found plenty of interesting ones that will make you and your marketing team think.

Plus, company leaders should have a grasp of these statistics too. 

Below are some of the main influencer marketing statistics you should know.

After that, I’ve also broken down the impact from customers and employees as they are part of the new influencer marketing. 

  • Influencer marketing grew from a helpful marketing tactic to a $5-10 billion dollar industry. (MediaKix)
  • 86% of marketers used influencer marketing since last year, and budgets for influencer marketing are skyrocketing. (eMarketer)
  • More than half of women made purchases due to influencer posts with Facebook and Instagram being the preferred platforms. (Adweek)
  • 22% of marketers say influencer marketing is the most cost-effective method of obtaining new customers. (Tomoson)
  • Of the marketers surveyed about the state of influencer marketing by Tapinfluence and Altimeter, 67.6% acknowledged difficulty in finding relevant influencers. (Source)
  • Worth just $2 billion in 2017, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach  $10 billion by 2020 as the industry witnesses more growth and becomes a more effective marketplace. (Adweek)
  • Three-quarters of consumers trust opinions they find on social media, including those from friends, families, and influencers to help them make the right decision about buying a product or service. (Social Media Week)
  • Influencers are now rivaling friends in terms of building trust with 49% of Twitter users saying they relied on influencers compared to 56% listening to friends. (Twitter)
  • Influencers created a 5.2x increase in purchase intent when users were exposed to brand and influencer tweets compared to 2.7x when just shown brand tweets. (Twitter)
  • 94% of marketers who have used influencer marketing believe it is an effective tactic. (Social Media Today)
  • 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions (Tapinfluence).
  • 90% of business decision-makers initiate their purchasing process by researching opinions from industry experts and peers. (Martech Series)
  • 61% of 18- to 34-year-old consumers “have at some point been swayed in their decision-making by digital influencers.” (Econsultancy)
  • Internet users trust user-generated content (including posts by influencers) 50% more than traditional media such as ads. (Neil Patel)
  • 51% of marketers believe they “acquire better customers through influencer marketing.” (Tomoson)
  • Influencer marketing can generate up to 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising. (Social Media Today)
  • 90% of marketers believe that “brands need to take authenticity and transparency more seriously, for [influencer marketing] to be sustainable over the long term.” (Econsultancy)
  • 77% of marketers value influencers’ ability to “drive engagement around [their] brand” as a top benefit of influencer marketing (Social Media Today)
  • In a Keller Fay Group and Experticity survey, 82% of respondents said they were highly likely to follow a micro-influencers recommendation. (Marketing Dive)
 

Employees & Customers = New Influencer Marketing

As I alluded to earlier in this post, influencer marketing has broadened over the years in terms of its scope and reception. 

No longer is it just categorized as celebrities or someone with a ton of social media followers, but influencers can be your customers and company employees as well. 

The benefits of these groups on social media, online forums, or via word of mouth will impact many areas of your organization like marketing, sales, and recruiting. 

 

Employees As Influencer Marketers

Your work colleagues might be called brand advocates, brand ambassadors, or employee advocates. Typically, those are the terms you’ll hear or read about. 

But, they are all interchangeable with labeling them as influencer marketers. And this has helped shape employee advocacy which simply put: 

“Employee advocacy is about curating brand and other content for your team members to read and share with their social networks.”

Empowering employees to distribute and create content on their own social channels is a cost-effective alternative to the traditional influencer marketing process. Plus, it is scalable and can have a huge impact on branding. 

Consider this: 1,000 employees have an average 1,000 social connections each, that’s a potential network influence reach of 1,000,000 organically! 

Below are some influencer marketing statistics as it relates to employees becoming online brand influencers.

  • Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels. (MSLGroup)
  • A Nielsen study showed that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing. (Nielsen)
  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires. (Jobvite)
  • 79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition. (Hinge Marketing)
 

Related: If you are curious about activating employees as social influencer marketers via employee advocacy and measuring those results, we put together this in-depth guide to building a program. Download the employee advocacy program guide here

 

Customers or Clients As Influencer Marketers

Besides employees, your customers (or clients) can be some of your best influencers as well. Their recommendations to colleagues and friends and their online reviews can make or break your brand. 

It’s why customer success is so important in the digital age! 

Below are a few influencer marketing statistics as it relates to the power of consumers, customers, and clients. 

  • 70% of people trust consumer reviews online. (HubSpot)
  • 68% of people trust online opinions from other consumers, which places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information. (Nielsen)
  • 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. (BrightLocal)
  • Consumers discuss specific brands casually 90x per week. (HubSpot)
  • 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. (Ogilvy Cannes)
  • 56% of B2B purchasers look to offline word-of-mouth as a source of information and advice, and this number jumps to 88% when online word-of-mouth sources are included. (BaseOne)

Getting your customers more involved, providing opportunities for them to succeed, and just providing top quality service can help your company really drive customer influencer marketing. This is generally called customer advocacy

 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, some of the most interesting influencer marketing statistics that are out there!  

It’s easy to see from the data, that you can’t completely ignore this marketing strategy. However, not every organization has to approach influencer marketing in the same way. 

Traditionally influencer marketing is about leveraging celebrities, well-known figures, or people with large online and social presence for targeted consumer goods. 

And while the celebrity avenue is still an option, influencer marketing has expanded to employees and customers as well.