Love it or hate it, social media has become one of the most impactful inventions of the 21st century.
Around 61.4% of the world’s population is active on some kind of social media platform, be it Facebook, Instagram, or Twitch. But users aren’t just following their friends—68% of users also follow their favorite brands to stay up to date with their latest products.
Influencers—people with large social media followings—play a huge role in a customer’s purchase decisions nowadays. Brands have the power to collaborate with influencers and drive a sustainable stream of new customers toward their products and services.
So, is influencer marketing right for your business? To help you decide, we’re sharing 30+ influencer marketing statistics, including the costs, platform engagement, and ROI you can expect from various influencer marketing activities and channels. With these stats, you’ll be able to create a more informed marketing strategy as we head into 2024.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media strategy where brands partner with people who have a large, engaged social media presence. This can include bloggers, celebrities, and everyone in between.
Ecommerce brands can give away free products, pay for a sponsored endorsement, or collaborate on a big creative project in return for an influencer’s public post.
The value of influencer marketing lies in the fact that 69% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations. If you can identify and collaborate with the influencers that your target customers follow, you’ll raise brand awareness, generate website traffic, and see positive impacts on your bottom line.
The influencer marketing landscape
Now that we know what influencer marketing is, let’s take a look at the current landscape with some big picture influencer marketing statistics.
The influencer marketing industry is worth $21.1 billion
Influencer marketing is big business. The business intelligence platform Statista found that the entire influencer marketing industry is worth almost $21.1 billion (a 105% increase from its $10.29 billion market size in 2021).
One in four marketers use influencer marketing
The influencer marketing industry is booming because so many marketers are leaning on the credibility that influencers offer. HubSpot found that, in 2023, one in four marketers worked with influencers, making it a more popular marketing tactic than virtual events, webinars, and social commerce features like Facebook Shops.
More than half of brands working with influencers run ecommerce stores
Which types of brands are contributing most to the influencer marketing industry’s ballooning worth? Data shows that over half of brands working with influencers have ecommerce stores.
Not only does this stat demonstrate the rise of ecommerce businesses, it also suggests that ecommerce businesses are particularly well-suited to the influencer marketing model. Because their store is accessible to anyone around the world, ecommerce businesses can share products with collaborators everywhere—and in turn, influencers can easily link to their store without being limited by geography.
36% of brands say influencer content outperforms branded content
Influencer marketing is a popular digital marketing channel because people trust influencers’ recommendations more than branded (and often biased) social media content. It’s why 36% of marketers say influencer content outperforms brand-created content on social media.
Types of influencers
Search for the type of influencer you want to collaborate with and you’ll see hundreds (if not thousands) of potential partners. But how do you choose the person you want to collaborate with on your influencer marketing campaigns?
Influencers are broken down into five categories, each based on their follower count for their most popular account.
- Nano-influencers: between 1,000 and 4,999 followers
- Micro-influencers: between 5,000 and 20,000 followers
- Power or mid-tier influencers: between 20,000 and 100,000 followers
- Mega-influencers: between 100,000 and 1 million followers
- Celebrities: more than 1 million followers
Let’s take a look at how they compare.
Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate
Granted, follower count is an important metric to consider in influencer marketing. However, engagement rate—the percentage of their audience who follow their page and like, comment, or share their content—is crucial, too.
The higher the engagement rate of your potential influencer, the more likely they are to sway what their followers think (and buy). According to 35% of marketers, smaller content creators are more trusted by their audiences.
Data from HypeAuditor found that nano-influencers (though with fewer than 5,000 followers) have the highest engagement rates (2.53%). This seems to decrease as the follower count skyrockets, until reaching celebrity level (0.92%).
Nano-influencers account for 65% of all Instagram influencers
Speaking of higher engagement rates for smaller influencers, the same survey also found that it’s easier for ecommerce brands to find smaller partners to collaborate with on Instagram influencer campaigns. Now, anyone can make money on Instagram with just a few thousand followers—with influencing becoming a target career path for 57% of young people.
Almost two-thirds of all influencers are accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers on their biggest social media platform. That’s followed closely by micro-tier influencers (27.73%) and mid-tier influencers (6.38%).
The hardest types of influencers to come across are macro-, mega-, and celebrity influencers—the latter of which accounts for just 0.23% of all social media influencers.
Marketers are most interested in working with mid-tier influencers
Mid-tier influencers have decent engagement rates and are in large supply—so it’s no surprise that marketers and brands are more interested in working with mid-tier influencers than traditional celebrities for influencer marketing campaigns.
The majority (81%) of marketers say macro-influencers top their list of ideal influencers, shortly followed by micro-influencers (74%).
Demographics most impacted by influencers
The number of people active on social media differs by generation—which means that certain demographics are more attuned to influencer recommendations than others.
Gen Z is most influenced by social media influencers
The success of your influencer marketing campaigns depends on your target audience.
If that’s Generation Z, people currently between the ages of 16 and 23, you’re in luck: that demographic is most likely to respond to influencer marketing efforts. Recent data shows that 85% of Gen Z shoppers say that social media influences their purchasing choices. Influencers are also the primary product discovery channel for this demographic.
Unfortunately, influencer marketing gets a bit more challenging when you’re going after older consumers, as the percentage of people following social media influencers decreases with age. Just 9% of baby boomers follow influencers on social media compared to 47% of Gen Z.
21% of social media users under age 54 have bought into an influencer recommendation recently
While Gen Z audiences dominate the influencer marketing landscape, the reality is that people across all age ranges buy into influencer recommendations. Studies show that one in five people aged between 18 and 54 have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months alone.
If you need to find the influencers that your older audience is following, try starting your influencer marketing strategy with customer surveys. Adding a simple question to your purchase confirmation emails—like “Which influencers do you actively follow on social media?”—will help to uncover them.
Men are more likely to follow social media influencers than women
Data from Statista found that more men than women follow social media influencers: approximately 95% of men follow influencers, compared to 93% of women.
Platform-specific influencer marketing statistics
You’ll find influencers on a variety of different social media platforms. Their popularity, follower count, and average engagement rate differ from platform to platform, as do the number of users who buy products via influencer campaigns.
79% of marketers consider Instagram the most important influencer marketing channel
Wondering which channel you should focus on with your influencer marketing strategy? Data shows that Instagram leads the way in popularity. Some 79% of marketers consider Instagram the most important influencer marketing hub for their business.
Instagram’s visual component allows your product to be front and center, encouraging social media users to visit your website (and purchase something!). “What works well for us is an up-close image of the influencer holding our product,” says Emily Chong, founder of Healthish.
TikTok has the highest influencer engagement rate
TikTok is a relatively new influencer marketing platform that exploded in popularity over the past few years. It’s now one of the most popular platform for influencer marketing: some 55.5% of marketers rely on TikTok for their influencer campaigns.
TikTok’s users don’t just passively scroll through the one-minute videos, also. Some 78% of users have purchased a product after seeing it featured in TikTok content from a creator on the platform.
The popularity of TikTok marketing is great news for brands who want to capitalize on influencer campaigns—especially considering high-profile users on the platform have excellent engagement rates. Nano-influencers on TikTok have an incredible 18% engagement rate, trumping Instagram’s 5% average and 3.5% for YouTube influencers.
To partner with TikTok influencers, start by looking at the typical engagement rates on their video content. Across their most recent videos, how does the number of likes compare to the number of people who’ve watched the video?
Fewer brands rely on Facebook for influencer marketing
Facebook has been causing problems for retailers since its move toward a pay-to-play model. Organic reach—the percentage of followers who see a business’s organic content—has been slowly declining.
It’s no wonder that Facebook is one of the only social media channels with declining influencer marketing activity. Now, just 57% of marketers rely on Facebook’s influencer marketing potential, compared to 61% who use TikTok and 72% who lean on Instagram.
That said, ecommerce brands have access to a whole host of Facebook features that make it easy to collaborate with influencers outside of traditional posts. For example, you could:
- Partner with an influencer to host a livestream
- Pay to amplify an influencer’s Facebook endorsement with other users
- Create Facebook Stories that appear at the top of a users’ Facebook feeds
How much do influencers cost?
There’s no doubt that each social media channel has a wealth of influencers—but how much should you prepare to spend when partnering with an influencer for sponsored posts?
To help answer this question, Influencer Marketing Hub determined the influencer marketing spend you should budget for each type of influencer
Nano-influencers charge between $2 and $250 per social media post
Nano-influencers are often written off when brands begin looking to the influencer marketing industry. Granted, they have a smaller follower count (up to 5,000 followers), but they also have the highest engagement rates—meaning followers are tuned into the products or services they recommend.
The good news is that nano-influencers demand the lowest rates per sponsored post. Expect to pay:
- $10 to $100 for an Instagram post
- $2 to $200 for a YouTube video
- $5 to $25 for a TikTok video
- $2 to $20 for an X (Twitter) post
- $25 to $250 for a Facebook post
Micro-influencers charge between $25 and $1,250 per social media post
Micro-influencers charge slightly more per sponsored post. As a rough guideline, expect to pay:
- $100 to $500 for an Instagram post
- $200 to $1,000 for a YouTube video
- $25 to $125 for a TikTok video
- $20 to $100 for an X (Twitter) post
- $250 to $1,250 for a Facebook post
If you’re working with a micro-influencer, test the waters with a sponsored Instagram Story or short TikTok video. It’s the cheapest way to judge whether an influencer’s audience is a good fit for you—especially if the influencer shares their Story statistics post-collaboration.
Power influencers charge up to $12,500 per social media post
Influencers with more followers demand higher fees because they have a wider pool of potential customers for brands to tap into. They typically earn:
- $500 to $5,000 for an Instagram video
- $1,000 to $10,000 for a YouTube video
- $125 to $1,250 for a TikTok video
- $100 to $1,000 for an X (Twitter) post
- $1,250 to $12,500 for a Facebook post
Macro-influencers can charge up to $25,000 per sponsored post
Macro influencers, a step above power creators, can charge even more money for a sponsored post if they have between 500,000 and one million followers on their largest social media account. Influencer Marketing Hub shows that this can range between:
- $5,000 to $10,000 for an Instagram video
- $10,000 to $20,000 for a YouTube video
- $1,250 to $2,500 for a TikTok video
- $1,000 to $2,000 for an X (Twitter) post
- $12,500 to $25,000 for a Facebook post
Celebrities charge beyond $1 million per social media post
Defined as those with more than a million followers, celebrity influencers earn the most for sponsored content. Influencer Marketing Hub gave estimates of:
- $10,000+ for an Instagram video
- $20,000+ for a YouTube video
- $2,500+ for a TikTok video
- $2,000 for an X (Twitter) post
- $25,000 for a Facebook post
That being said, some celebrity influencers demand even more for sponsored content. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly charges $2.3 million per sponsored post. Reality star Kylie Jenner is said to demand $1.8 million.
If you decide to go this route, bear in mind that you may have to go through an influencer’s managing team to confirm a sponsorship. Their bio usually shows who to contact for sponsored content opportunities.
The ROI of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing campaigns can work well for brands with all budget sizes. Smaller budgets make nano-influencers a go-to, but if you’ve got cash to spend on celebrity endorsements, you’ll have the ability to tap into massive new audiences.
But will you make a return on your investment? And what kind of results can you expect?
“Sometimes, it can be tricky to expect an immediate ROI,” says Nathan Chan, CEO at Foundr magazine. “You have to think of influencer marketing as a long-term investment and budget for it from a profit and loss perspective.”
Still, there are some statistics to keep top of mind when it comes to influencer marketing’s ROI. In particular, you should take note of channel-specific ROI when you’re planning your marketing strategy.
Engagement rate is the most popular way to measure influencer success
Most marketers typically kickstart influencer campaigns to generate conversions, but it’s not how most marketers benchmark success.
Just 30% of marketers consider sales as a measure of success when evaluating the ROI of their campaigns. Engagement rate, reach, and brand lift are not only easier to track, but are more important to influencer marketers.
Number of followers greatly influences influencer marketing ROI
Despite the fact that most influencers have fewer than 10,000 followers, the Harvard Business Review found that brands get a 9.2% better return on their investment when partnering with influencers that have more followers.
Both posting frequency and follower-brand fit had what HBR describes as the Goldilocks effect: “Influencers who post infrequently are not seen as up-to-date sources of information. They also don’t have enough presence on followers’ feeds to build intimacy and trust.”
On a post basis, links to the brand’s website have the biggest impact on influencer marketing ROI. Surprisingly, the announcement of new products has a detrimental impact. According to the report, brands see a 30.5% dip in ROI when collaborating with influencers on this type of content.
Businesses are making $5.78 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
A survey revealed that businesses make $5.78 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing. So, if you spend $2,000 per month on influencer collaborations, you’ll likely get more than $11,500 in orders (provided you partner with the right ones).
Take a look at the other marketing channels you’re using to promote your ecommerce business. Do they get comparable results? If not, it may be time to reallocate your budgets. Pull some spend from your lowest-performing channels and put it toward influencer marketing. It’ll give you higher marketing ROI across the board.
Brands will get $4.12 of earned media value for each $1 spent on Instagram influencer marketing
The goal of an influencer marketing campaign isn’t always to drive sales. Partnering with a high-profile, trusted influencer increases your reach and brand awareness. You’re exposed to more people than you were before—especially on Instagram.
HypeAuditor estimates that retailers will get $4.12 of earned media value for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing through Instagram.
Marketers report influencer marketing has a higher ROI than SEO
HubSpot’s State of Marketing report found that 7% of respondents say influencer marketing has the highest ROI out of any campaign. That beats social media direct messages for customer service, SEO, and content that reflects a brand’s core values.
Influencer marketing challenges
As you can see, influencer marketing has many advantages. You’re able to increase your reach, build trust, and generate product sales though influencer marketing. But the landscape is changing—and marketers are facing some challenges that are worth keeping in mind.
Monitoring ROI is the biggest influencer marketing challenge
Not every follower who views your influencer’s sponsored post will purchase immediately. People might view the post, visit your brand’s website, and return to it three weeks later when they think about the problem your product solves.
This is why influencer marketing is the biggest challenge for over 60% of marketers, beating:
- Selecting the right quality influencers (55.86%)
- Content quality (52.25%)
- Brand safety (49.55%)
One in four influencers have bought fake followers
The drive for any social media user to become an influencer pushes people to do shady things. The most questionable: buying followers. Data shows that 9.5% of Instagram accounts are bots.
Identifying fake followers and inauthentic engagement is a huge struggle for marketers relying on brand partnerships with content creators. One in four influencers have bought fake followers, hence why brands are calling out for better influencer marketing data and metrics to allow for more transparency.
Tools like Grin and HypeAuditor help brands to spot whether an influencer has fake followers. But there are some telltale signs that show an influencer’s audience isn’t authentic:
- Their following/follower ratio is high. This could indicate that they only have a large following because they’re in a follow-for-follow scheme.
- Their posts are littered with spam comments. Emojis, random hashtags, or “nice post” comments from bot accounts indicate that the influencer is probably ungenuine.
- They have a low engagement rate. If a potential influencer has 500,000 followers and their typical post has just 1,000 likes, there’s something odd going on—likely that they’ve paid for followers.
- Large, sudden jumps in followers. Gaining 100,000 followers overnight might be normal for celebrities—for nano-influencers, not so much. Use one of the tools mentioned above to see how an influencers’ follower count has increased over time. A slow, steady increase usually indicates that they haven’t paid for fake followers.
Social algorithm changes are a problem for 48% of marketers
These days, more and more social media platforms are turning to a pay-to-play model. Organic reach is on the decline, not just for brands but for influencers, too. Keeping up-to-date with those algorithm changes is a struggle for almost half of social media marketers.
No budget for ads? Don’t worry. Work around social algorithm changes by leaning into alternative content formats. If you’re partnering with an Instagram influencer, for example, don’t just agree on one feed post. Increase the reach of your sponsored content by having the influencer repost it to their Instagram Story or repurpose the content into a Reel or post on your own page.
Each of those tactics increase the mileage of your influencer marketing campaigns—making sure more people see the sponsored content you’ve paid for. Of course, you can always seek marketing funding to boost your ad budget, but it’s good to know that you can expand your reach through organic means and not just paid advertisements.
The state of influencer marketing in 2024 and beyond
The state of the influencer marketing industry has evolved dramatically over the past few years. Here’s how the industry is set to change as we head into 2024 and beyond.
In 2024, brands will spend $7.14 billion on influencer marketing
The surge in influencer marketing budgets means that brands will spend an estimated $7.14 billion on influencer-related marketing campaigns in 2024. That’s a 15.9% increase from the $6.16 billion in 2023.
A quarter of brands will spend 40% of their marketing budget on influencers
The value of influencer marketing is undeniable, and retailers are becoming more aware of it. Almost a quarter of marketers plan to invest more than 40% of their marketing budget into influencer marketing—a huge increase from last year’s 5%.
If you’re unsure on how to set budgets for your own campaigns, aim for 10% of all planned marketing spend. That gives you room to experiment with different channels, formats, and influencers without too much risk.
71% of marketers want AI to help them find the right influencers
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the buzzword of 2023. That’s not set to change as we head into 2024 and beyond, with even the influencer marketing industry set to be revolutionized by machine learning technology.
A Linqia report found that 71.82% of marketers would like to use AI to find the right influencers. Just over 65% want AI to help them analyze the influencer performance, and little over half want it to streamline their workflows.
Tools like HypeAuditor and Affable are adding AI capabilities into their software, but the demand for AI in the influencer marketing niche is only set to skyrocket as we head into 2024.
Use these influencer marketing statistics to fine-tune your strategy
These influencer marketing statistics show that collaborating with high-profile social media users has the potential to meaningfully impact your sales.
And understanding these statistics will help you make more informed marketing decisions—like what type of influencer to collaborate with, what channels to prioritize, and what kind of return you can expect.
But the most important takeaway of all is this: influencer marketing is accessible to all brands, not just brands with big budgets. With these statistics in mind, you’ll be in a better position to create an influencer program that’s right for your business as we head into 2024.
“Remember: influencer marketing is a long game,” Emily Chong of Healthish summarizes. “When an influencer posts about your product, people won’t buy straight away—many will just start following your brand and others will buy over time through retargeting campaigns, and so on. Each activity compounds, so track everything over time.”
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Influencer marketing statistics FAQs
How effective is influencer marketing in 2023?
Brands get a better return on their investment with influencer marketing than traditional forms of advertising. It’s why companies will spend $7.14 billion on influencer marketing in 2024.
What percentage of marketers use influencer marketing?
Studies show that one in four brands currently rely on influencers in their marketing campaigns.
Is influencer marketing getting outdated?
Influencer marketing isn’t dying—it’s evolving. The new era of influencer marketing is happening on TikTok with smaller influencers who can produce high-quality content for their brand partners.
What percentage of Gen Z wants to be an influencer?
Influencing is a popular career path for young people. One report found that, if given the opportunity, some 57% of Gen Z people would want to start influencing as a job.