Influencer marketing has been shown to deliver strong results for brands and businesses in industries where influencers have the most direct-to-consumer power, but many of these campaigns still often fail to move the needle. New research from end-to-end creator marketing platform CreatorIQ uncovers a logical reason: those flailing campaigns just aren’t spending enough—and the firm’s new report serves up correlative proof.
The firm’s new Unleashing the Power of Creators report demonstrates a direct correlation between influencer marketing investment and increased ROI. According to the survey findings, conducted by independent research firm Aberdeen Strategy & Research, brands with the most advanced influencer marketing programs see far better results from their efforts than competitors with less sophisticated influencer marketing programs.
Influencer Marketing Leaders—defined as brands in the top 20 percent in metrics like impressions, engagement, conversion, and annual revenue attributed to influencer marketing efforts—outperformed the lower 80 percent in year-over-year improvement across KPIs in all stages of the funnel. These Leaders saw:
- 9.1x greater improvement in impressions
- 8.2x greater improvement in engagement
- 11.7x greater improvement in conversion rates
The study also reports far greater YoY increases in customer retention, brand sentiment, customer satisfaction, and average customer profit margin among that top 20 percent of brands vs. competitors.
Perhaps most importantly, heightened influencer marketing efforts contributed to a 6.2x greater YoY improvement in annual revenue, leading to a return-on-creator-spend (ROCS) of $4.70 on every dollar invested in influencer marketing programs, according to the findings. The ROCS metric helps brands holistically measure the impact of creator-led marketing programs against traditional digital channels.
As a result, brands in the top 20 percent of influencer marketing spend say that they plan to invest 30 percent more in their influencer marketing programs on average in the future. While brands have increased spending on both digital advertising and creator marketing in the last year, the report shows that brands anticipate increasing their investment in creator marketing programs at a rate 13 percent higher than digital advertising.
“The time to adopt and scale creator marketing efforts is now,” said Tim Sovay, chief business development & partnerships officer at CreatorIQ, in a news release. “And the more advanced brands get with their influencer marketing efforts, the wider the gap they create between themselves and competitors across every KPI, including revenue. With investment in creator marketing solutions only increasing in the years ahead, brands lacking a solid strategy and solution will only get left further behind.”
The report comes on the heels of CreatorIQ’s brand and agency survey, where 67 percent of marketers reported increasing creator investment YoY, with 76 percent of these organizations diverting funds from other marketing functions. This is mainly due to advancements in measurement solutions, which helped 94 percent of organizations understand and attribute sales to creator efforts.
The report is based on a survey of over 200 marketing executives in the U.S. and U.K. across multiple industries, including Beauty, Consumer Electronics/CPG, Gaming, Media/Entertainment, Retail/Fashion, and Food/Beverage.