Our new Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report 2019 compiles stats and insights to track how influencer marketing has changed from 2016 until today. What’s happening to the influencer marketing bubble? Some may think that the flourishing years of influencer marketing are over and that fraud is flooding the industry.
We know that fake is a problem in influencer marketing. That’s why we put together the Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report 2019. We want to establish transparency within the industry to create a market with measurable tactics and results.
For the report, our data science team probed Instagram following three different benchmarks: the average Audience Quality Grade, the average Like Follower Ratio, and average engagement rates for sponsored posts compared to non-sponsored posts. Crunching our dataset of 307k unlocked accounts, these stats unpick the current developments in influencer marketing.
Here are some insights for the first quarter from our Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report 2019:
OVERALL DECLINE OF ENGAGEMENT
Compared to 2018 the average Like Follower Ratio (LFR) decreased in each of our measured sectors: beauty, fashion, food, lifestyle, travel, sports, and fitness. Even though the average LFR of the travel vertical drops by 3.5%, it still shows the highest LFR with a 4.5% average. A decreasing LFR with follower growth is old news. But our benchmarks showcase how powerful smaller accounts truly are. Influencers with 1k-5k followers show an average LFR of 8.8%. Double the number of followers and the average LFR is more than halved (3.8%).
This may indicate a slow saturation of the market but also emphasizes the significance to understand all important metrics. Marketers who can juggle the numbers and see the bigger picture know how to choose the right partner for collaborations.
Overall marketing trends move to more personalized advertisements. Why shouldn’t this apply to influencer marketing? Influencer marketers might consider moving away from massive celebrity endorsement to nano-influencers who are closer to their audience.
Influencer Fraud Is Part Of The Industry
The audience quality grade describes the value of the audience and is measured based on the audience’s activity and the number of followers. Cracking this metric is crucial to understand how to detect fake within the audience. France and Germany, followed by India and Mexico show high benchmarks for the audience quality grade.
In contrast, Brazil’s average audience quality is low. Why is that the case? Our data science team localizes many fake accounts in Brazil which reflects in the country’s low audience quality benchmark. Fake disrupts the industry, that’s why understanding your metrics is more important than ever. We’ve highlighted 9 steps for detecting fake influencers in this blog post.
Higher engagement for #sponsored posts
When the federal trade commission first started regulating influencer marketing in 2017 and imposed fines for undisclosed advertisement, marketers worried that the influencer-success would start to falter. But in times of a demanding and critical audience, responsibility and transparency will be rewarded. Even though the overall post engagement is at an all-time low, engagement for sponsored posts is higher than on non-sponsored posts.
Reasons for this can be diverse. One explanation might be that sponsored content is more professional as influencers tend to put greater effort into content creation when being sponsored.
However, it might be the case that algorithms boost sponsored posts which leads to a decrease in organic reach. Overall, the comparison proves that authenticity, transparency, and professionalism are key to the industry.
Our in-depth Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report 2019 breaks down the comparison on sponsored and non-sponsored content for about 70 countries in America, Asia, and Europe.
Has influencer marketing already peaked?
Is influencer marketing changing? Definitely! Does this mean that the flourishing years of influencer marketing have passed? Not so much. The influencer marketing trend continues and evolves. Like any other industry, influencer marketing adapts to market developments and changing societal expectations. The ‘gold rush’ of influencer marketing is over and companies can no longer use a ‘spray and pray’ attitude to achieve visible results. The industry matures and is becoming more diverse and responsible. Success is reflected in engaging and responsible campaigns that resonate with the audience and are strategically planned.