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Marketers and Influencers: A New Survey with Updated Figures and Trends

By Alex Passett March 21, 2023

The horizontal bar graph above indicates how, according to research from marketplace and consumer assistance company Capterra, marketers most commonly pay selected influencers. Nearly two-thirds (that 64% at the top) reportedly plan to actively increase their influencer marketing campaign budgets within the next six months, followed by 56% that plan to pay by performance, 52% via licensing deals, and so on.

Capterra’s 2023 Influencer Marketing Survey has revealed that while many businesses have either maintained or noticeably reduced overall marketing spend in response to recent economic headwinds, increases to influencer spend indicate they may be the newest in worthwhile investments. This becomes even clearer as influencers’ statuses experience huge growth across social media fairgrounds like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, livestreaming and video production platforms like YouTube and Twitch, and more specialized influencer marketing platforms like Dovetale (Shopify’s all-in-one partnership tool), Grin (via digital marketing tools and affiliate relations, Upfluence (in terms of connecting brands and nonprofits specifically with good-fit influencers and brand ambassadors), etc.

However, Capterra’s complied statistics also reveal how marketers may feel particularly challenged, even while recognizing the value of influencer investments. Many feel they risk overpaying influencers (while others, on the contrary, might be underutilizing them).

Below are takeaways from Capterra’s detailed survey of 300 marketing professionals:

  • Challenge: 40% claim making payments can be difficult, despite still wanting to. They say a huge pain point is determining rates, and wrangling late or duplicate payments.
  • Challenge: Addressing influencer-related legal issues is another hurdle; 44% of marketers encounter security issues, 37% spend more time than expected approving social media posts, and 31% are roped into combatting the rise of fake followers, thus inflating influencer numbers.
  • Challenge: Competitive rates are important, but there’s no one-fit standard method for paying. This results in recurring instances of payment ambiguity. Influencers must be reliable and be held accountable, just as brands should. Moreover, payments link to determined success metrics and KPIs, and these might also be more difficult to define.
  • Strategy: 56% (per the graph) are turning to performance-based metrics.
  • Strategy: 80% of marketers are turning to designating influencers as their brand ambassadors, 79% rely on themed or hashtagged campaigns, and 76% focus more on product-specific collaborations.
  • Consideration: Factors when choosing influencers include optimal brand reach, number of real followers, mid-tier (or better) influencer engagement, influencers’ strengths and aesthetics, etc.
  • Questions: Important questions marketers have honed when identifying certain influencer needs include:
    • “Which audience (or high-value segment) do we want to reach?”
    • “Who does our existing audience turn to for recommendations?”
    • “On which platforms does our audience regularly engage?”
    • “What drives desired influencers’ beliefs or behaviors?”

Marketers deserve to feel more confident in how they discover, price, and acquire working relationships with influencers; while many brand-influencer relationships do achieve this level of confidence, others are still shaky.

“Businesses with tighter marketing budgets may not be as comfortable in only paying for specific influencer outcomes, as they want to avoid wasting spend or stumbling on additional risks,” said Meghan Bazaman, Senior Marketing Analyst at Capterra. “That said, this isn’t all on the marketers themselves. Influencers are incentivized to drive real results, too.”

To help manage influencer programs, many marketers turn to established agencies to streamline working relationships with influencers. In fact, 61% report that they currently work with such an agency or (or influencer specialist). Another 34% plan to start using one in the next 12 months.

Read more about actions marketers can take (plus strategic and operational sample metrics) by clicking here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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