Influencer Marketing: All It's Cracked Up to Be? - eMarketer
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Influencer Marketing: All It's Cracked Up to Be?

Average earned media value of influencer marketing programs is $6.85

More brands are including influencers in their digital marketing plans. Based on research released by Burst Media earlier this month, influencer marketing pays off. The digital advertising solutions provider looked at 48 influencer marketing programs for US advertisers across 15 industry verticals and used 662 influencers.

Earned Media Value of US Influencer* Marketing Programs, by Advertiser Category, 2014 (among Burst Media clients)

According to the study, advertisers who implemented an influencer marketing program in 2014 earned $6.85 in media value on average for every $1 they spent on paid media for such programs. However, that return varied greatly across advertiser categories. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers in the food industry saw an average earned media value of $11.33—the highest, and due largely to a target audience of mothers, who are a heavily engaged social audience, as well as highly appealing imagery—followed closely by retailers and apparel brands. Tourist destinations and travel also saw an above-average earned media value. Meanwhile, the grocers and supermarkets, shoes, and toys and games categories all fell below average, with the home and garden group trailing much further behind.

Burst noted that social power—significant and measurable clout on social media—was a key influencer trait, and advertisers studied saw a 3.4% social engagement rate on average for influencer marketing programs.

Social Engagement Rate* of US Influencer** Marketing Programs, by Advertiser Category, 2014 (among Burst Media clients)

However, a breakdown shows large differences across categories. Grocers and supermarkets prevailed here, at 6.7% of readers engaging after social exposure. CPG food brands were the only other category with an above-average social engagement rate. Retailers and apparel came somewhat close to the average, while no other category topped 1.3%.

Targeting and engagement can benefit from influencer marketing—both top of mind among client-side marketers polled worldwide by Econsultancy between November 2014 and January 2015. Fully 30% cited targeting and personalization as a digital marketing area they would prioritize in 2015—the No. 1 response—while social media engagement ranked third, with 27%.

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