Influencer marketing works, and it’s a hell of a bargain. That’s the takeaway from a survey of the area created by U.K.-based digital advertising technology company RhythmOne. In 2017, advertisers gained $12.21 in earned media for every $1 they sank in an influencer campaign.
No doubt that’s why brands and agencies are putting more money into influencers. The average price tag for an influencer marketing campaign was $70,685 in 2017, which was a 38.6 percent jump from the 2016 average. While that might seem like a lot, it pays off: the cost-per-engagement (CPE) in 2017 was $0.24 for the average campaign, and that’s a big drop from the 2016 CPE of $0.93.
Keep in mind that this survey only looked at 74 influencer marketing campaigns run by RhythmOne in the U.S. in 2017, so it’s limited. Still, it represents over 8,7000 pieces of content put out by 66 brands.
When advertisers ran an influencer campaign for two weeks or more, they saw an average increase of brand mentions of 14.8 percent and an increase in positive brand sentiment of 8.7 percent. Nearly one-fifth of campaigns used Instagram Stories or Snapchat, both of which helped drive engagement.
“This year’s Benchmarks Report results serve to reinforce the power of influencer marketing as a critical component of our clients’ marketing plans,” said Katie Paulsen, vice president of influencer marketing for RhythmOne. “The year-over-year increase in average campaign ROI not only validates the success of the campaigns we’ve run to date, but it’s fueling future investment and growth in influencer marketing as a core component of brands’ digital marketing strategies.”
When starting a campaign, begin with the end in mind, the report advises, and that means working toward a realistic set of KPIs. Is the brand looking for engagement? A lift in awareness? Site traffic? Influencers can succeed at all parts of the marketing funnel, but brands need to have clear goals from the start to make sure they head in the right direction.
For more on the benefits of influencer marketing, download the full report for free (registration required).