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Influencer Marketing Survey: Reflecting on 2020



There isn't a single industry that didn't have a somewhat chaotic 2020. With influencer marketing relying heavily on collaboration and events, COVID-19 certainly disrupted this ever-growing area.


It's been a challenge for marketers who have had to quickly adapt and be innovative in their approach, which got us thinking...what do marketers think of their own influencer marketing activities in the last 12 months?


So, we asked them.


In this article, we run you through the interesting finding and results of our 'Influencer Marketing 2020' survey...


Interesting Finds


If you want to discover the full results of the survey, we cover these in more detail below. But if you just want the quick and tasty findings, we have highlighted these below:


Influencer Relationships & Incentives

  1. Although some brands and agencies appear to still be working on 'one-off' collaborations such as paying for influencers to publish a single post in exchange for products or financial reward - significantly more brands and agencies appear to be focusing on long term collaborations with influencers

  2. Of those surveyed, the majority reported working on long term relationships with influencers on a purely 'financial reward basis'. However, this was closely followed by long term relationships which were founded on both financial and product/value swaps

  3. Very few brands/agencies appear to be working on long term relationships where no financial incentive is offered to the influencer at all

  4. None of those surveyed worked on one-off relationships with influencers where no financial incentive was offered


Primary Platforms


Note: We asked those surveyed which platform they primarily targetted influencers on. Just because a platform was not selected does not mean it was not included in campaigns - it simply means it was not the main platform they used.

  1. A majority (over 50%) of those surveyed worked primarily with influencers on the Instagram platform, this is especially interesting when you consider that the majority of those surveyed also work exclusively in the B2B space

  2. Others primary platform targets included Twitter, YouTube and Blogs

  3. None of those surveyed targetted TikTok, Facebook or LinkedIn as a primary platform


Influencer Marketing Budgets


  1. The most common budget range amongst those surveyed (35%) was £10,001 to £50,000

  2. The larger budget of £50,000+ (over 17%) and smaller budgets of £5,001 to £10,000 (over 11%) and £101 - £500 (over 11%) were also popular

  3. None of those surveyed who worked with influencers in 2020 reported an influencer marketing budget of £0

Perceived ROI


  1. A huge 76% of those surveyed believe that working with influencers in 2020 returned a good ROI (11% didn't work with influencers, so reported no results)

  2. The remaining recipients reported a poor ROI or an inability to judge the effectiveness of long term influencer marketing conducted in 2020


Why Influencer Marketing?


  1. The largest percentage (31%) of those surveyed reported a desire to increase brand awareness as THE most important reason for undertaking influencer marketing

  2. Interestingly, the second most important reason was recorded as driving direct sales (25%)

  3. Developing customer trust and creating content also featured as the MOST important aspect of working with influencers for some of those surveyed


The Details...


Why & Who



Before we dive into the findings, let's begin by highlighting a few important facts which will help us understand exactly why we published this survey and what the results tell us...


We created this survey to help gather information on how different businesses have used influencer marketing in 2020 and how successful they found it. Although we targetted the survey towards brand and agency marketers who have experience in working with influencers, we also gathered results from those who are not yet engaging with the influencer marketing space.


In order to collect results, the survey was published across business and personal social media accounts including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We also promoted the survey via specialist LinkedIn groups, such as those which focus on influencer and social media marketing.


The majority of those surveyed worked in small businesses, although we did gather some results from larger organisations:


Question: How big is your business?


Perhaps unsurprisingly given the niche promotion of the survey, over 80% of recipients were also from marketing agencies which dealt directly with influencer marketing campaigns:


Question: Which category best describes you?


Although the majority of those surveyed operated purely in the B2B space, there was a good representation of those who work in B2C.


Question: Which area do you operate in?



Brands and agencies from Europe dominated the survey results. However, other areas spanning across North America, Asia, South America and Africa were also well represented.


Question: Where is your business located?



Finally, we asked those surveyed which of them had actively worked with influencers in 2020, either from a brand or agency perspective:



The Findings


Of those who worked directly with influencers in 2020, we then went on to ask specific question around how their campaigns worked...below we have included in the findings, which are explored further in the Interesting Finds section of this article.


Question: Which of the following best describes the relationships you had with the majority of influencers you worked with?


Results explored here.



Question: Which platform did you primarily target influencers on?


Results explored here.

Question: How much did you directly spend on collaborating with influencers?


Results explored here.


Question: Do you believe working with influencers has generated a good ROI?


Results explored here.


Question: Which of the following is MOST important to you when working with influencers?


Results explored here.



Conclusion


It is positive to see that overall, influencer marketing appears to continue moving towards building strong, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Although new platforms such as TikTok have proven popular, more established platforms such as Instagram remain as the most popular platform to target.


Brands and agencies have clearly identified the need to pay influencers for their collaboration and content creation skills, rather than simply expecting content in exchange for products or other value exchanges.


It is interesting to find the softer, hard to measure goals of 'driving brand awareness' and the harder, more commercially driven goal of 'driving direct sales' as competitors for the top spot in terms of importance.


What will 2021 bring for influencer marketing? Only time will tell. But if you want a little insight on that the experts think, you can check out our article here.