LONDON: The effectiveness of influencers can be difficult to quantify but many marketers in the beauty category believe that they will become increasingly important, especially when engaging younger audiences.

A survey by Celebrity Intelligence, conducted in association with Fashion & Beauty Monitor, invited the views of 385 marketing specialists, including in-house brand marketers, agencies, consultants and media owners.

The resulting Influencing Beauty report found just over half of respondents (52%) anticipated that, in five year’s time, brands would see the existence of a large community of influencers, ambassadors and fans as more important than having something like a shoppable app.

Already eight in ten agreed/strongly agreed that influencers are critical when it comes to engaging with younger consumers, Marketing Week reported.

And they are backing this view with investment: almost all said their influencer marketing budgets would likely increase over the next 12 months, including 27% who expected a rise of 20% or more while 38% anticipated an uplift of between 10% and 20%.

To avoid wasting that money, however, marketers need to think carefully about how they develop their influencer marketing strategy.

“The trick is figuring out what is the objective for each content creator and what are we measuring success against,” according to Alicianne Rand, Executive Director, Global Content Marketing at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

“We really focus on how we’re going to synchronise all these creators against the core message,” she told a Newscred event in London last year. (For more, read WARC’s report: How content fuels everything at Estée Lauder.)

Get it right and the returns can be impressive: 8.81:1, the Celebrity Intelligence study said – although for many marketers (46%) measuring influencer ROI remains their biggest pain point.

While not necessarily delivering the best ROI, respondents found Instagram to be the best platform for influencer marketing, delivering the most engaged audiences.

Separately, a TRIBE analysis of Instagram posts has shown that, following a change to the platform’s algorithm, micro-influencers that have under 100,000 followers attract far higher engagement than those with over 100,000 followers.

And for those with under 25,000 followers, engagement had increased 50%. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Buy or nurture? Two approaches to using micro-influencers.)

Sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff