Not every marketer does influencer marketing, but a large majority do. In our first-ever forecast, we estimate that 67.9% of US marketers with 100 or more employees will use influencers for paid or unpaid brand partnerships in 2021.
Although some marketers cut spending on influencer marketing during the pandemic (such as travel marketers), the interest in working with influencers actually increased; between 2019 and 2020 the percentage of US marketers using influencers grew from 55.4% to 62.3%, according to our forecast.
And budgets for influencer marketing look ready to rise. In July 2020 research by Kantar Media, senior marketers worldwide said they expected to increase budget allocation for branded content shared by influencers by 48% in 2021.
What it means for marketers: Influencer marketing has its pitfalls, but an increasing percentage of marketers are working with influencers. Considering the important role they play in other trends in our list of social media predictions for 2021, such as social commerce and livestreaming, the impetus to use influencers will continue to grow.