NEW YORK: Three-quarters (75%) of national advertisers in the US make use of influencer marketing and they are reported to be so pleased with the discipline that 43% of them expect to increase their spending on it over the next 12 months.

That is according to a survey of 158 client-side marketers, polled by the Association of National Advertisers in November last year, which also found that 27% of those who were not currently using influencer marketing at the time of the survey indicated they would do so over the coming year.

“It’s clear that the popularity of influencer marketing has increased among marketers in recent years, largely due to the growth and evolution of social media,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice.

“We’ve found that a growing number of marketers are turning to influencers to help them combat ad blocking, leverage creative content in an authentic way, drive engagement, and reach millennial and Gen Z audiences who avidly follow and genuinely trust social media celebrities,” he added.

In terms of campaign objectives, a full 86% cited general brand awareness as a reason for using influencer marketing, while around two-thirds (69%) said they used it for content creation and distribution. Other incentives included improving brand perception (56%) and driving purchase (51%).

The survey also revealed that two-thirds (66%) of brands that used influencer marketing deployed mid-level influencers, who reach between 25,000 and 100,000 followers.

Micro-influencers, with fewer than 25,000 followers, were used by 59% of respondents, while 44% used macro-influencers with more than 100,000 followers.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that almost two-thirds of brands (62%) said they compensated influencers with cash, while more than one-third (35%) provided free products in exchange for influencer services.

And although more than half of respondents (54%) were either satisfied or very satisfied with the performance of their influencer marketing, only 36% felt their influencer marketing was effective, while 44% were neutral about its effectiveness.

Finally, Facebook was considered to be the top overall social media channel (86%), narrowly ahead of Instagram (84%), although Instagram was ranked the single most important channel (36%).

Sourced from Association of National Advertisers; additional content by WARC staff