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A new report released by Socialbakers revealed that Instagram Influencers are posting 150% more sponsored content than last year.

The study evaluated a sample of over 12 million instagram influencers from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Socialbakers classified the influencers into three categories: micro-influencers with less than 10,000 followers, macro-influencers who have between 10,000 to 50,000 followers, and celebrity influencers who typically have over 1 million followers.

Below is a summary of the report’s most insightful findings.

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Disclosing paid partnerships

Not only are we seeing an increase in sponsored content, but influencers are also becoming more transparent with partnership disclosures. More than ever now, influencers are openly stating which of their posts are sponsored by brands. According to Socialbakers, “over 2018, the number of influencers using the #ad hashtag on Instagram has increased by a staggering 133%.”

In addition, Socialbakers’ findings also show that influencers with larger audiences (over 10,000 Instagram followers) are more inclined to use “#ad” than micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers vs. Celebrity influencers

Perhaps one of the most interesting discoveries of the study is that micro-influencers (with less than 10,000 followers) collaborate with significantly less brands, across less industries.

Macro-influencers and celebrity influencers (with 100,000-1 million followers) are 2x more likely to mention brands in their Instagram posts than micro-influencers. Moreover, they collaborate with businesses in various industries.

Fashion and Beauty Influencers

Both the Fashion and Beauty industries use influencer marketing far more than the other eight industries identified in the study (pictured below).

As reported by Socialbaker, there are 308,865 influencers working with Fashion Companies, making the fashion industry the biggest supporter of influencer marketing. Yet, “the most mentioned industry by influencers is the Beauty industry with 4.9 million mentions,” stated Socialbaker.

Diversity of Content

In 2017, single images consisted of 91% of influencers’ posts. However, over the last couple of years, influencers’ content has evolved to include a variety of formats.

Now, Carousel posts and videos also make up a notable part of influencers’ content. Although single posts still make up 71% of their content, Carousel posts are quickly becoming more popular among the influencer industry. Socialbakers’ study showed that 18% of influencers’ posts were Carousel posts, while videos made up just 10% of instagram posts.

Why are these findings important?

Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most effective marketing strategies, particularly for brands looking to reach millenials. “As consumers are increasingly seeking out reviews and trusted voices when making purchasing decisions, a huge opportunity has been created for influencers and brands to team up to create an authentic connection with audiences,” explained Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO at Socialbakers. Consumers seek trusted product recommendations from their favourite influencers, who they often regard as “industry experts”.

For years now, the public has called for more transparency in the influencer marketing industry, particularly with paid sponsorships. The study conducted by Socialbakers demonstrates that the influencer marketing industry is quickly evolving into the more consumer-centric and transparent industry the public has been waiting for.

Author: Daniella K.

Daniella is a marketing professional who specializes in business development and advertising sales. She has helped with the growth of several companies by curating original content, leading brand development initiatives, and driving business objectives.

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