The return on investment of influencer marketing is notoriously hard to measure, but a new report finds that for every £1 spent on influencers within the beauty industry in 2017, brands received an average return of £8.81.
The most popular source of data for proving the ROI of influencer activity is web analytics (77%), according to the survey by Marketing Week’s sister publication Celebrity Intelligence. Meanwhile, 52% use platform-specific metrics, such as trackable links available through Shopping on Instagram, and 38% include trackable attribution links within the content influencers create.
Measuring ROI is still a major challenge for marketers, though, with 46% suggesting it is the biggest pain point when it comes to influencer marketing. However, this comes behind identifying the right people to work with (53%) and ensuring the collaboration is authentic (52%).
Driving sales isn’t necessarily the main objective for influencer marketing, which can make ROI more complex to measure. The highest proportion of marketers (33%) say increasing brand awareness is actually the main purpose of influencer marketing, compared to just 12% who look to increase sales.
When it comes to measuring success, 82% of beauty brands rely on social media engagement, such as likes, shares and comments. This is followed by press coverage (50%), revenue generated (46%) and web traffic (45%).
The report, which was carried out in association with Fashion & Beauty Monitor, is based on the views of 385 marketing specialists, including in-house brand marketers, agencies, consultants and media owners.
Instagram is the social media platform of choice, with the majority (78%) saying it is the best platform for influencer marketing. This is followed by Facebook (9%), YouTube (7%), Twitter (3%) and Snapchat (1%).
More than half (57%) say influencers’ audiences are most engaged on Instagram, while 21% believe the platform is the best fit for their products and services. Just 5% suggest it delivers the best ROI, however.
The importance of influencer marketing has steadily increased over the past few years, with 80% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that influencers are critical when it comes to engaging younger consumers and encouraging them to buy.
As a result, nearly all beauty marketers say their budget for influencer marketing is likely to increase over the next 12 months. A third (38%) suggest their budget will increase by 10% to 20%, while 27% expect to see a boost of more than 20%.
The importance of influencer marketing is only expected grow further in coming years, with 52% suggesting that having a large community of influencers, ambassadors and fans will be more important than having a shoppable app in five years’ time.