The number of influencers promoting products on Instagram has increased significantly in the past year, with the use of ‘#ad’ more than doubling in that time to +133%.
A new influencer marketing trends report from Socialbackers, an AI-powered social media marketing platform, revealed the results, which also show the amount of brands using Stories on the platform grew by 21%.
The report, based on the trends of over 12 million Instagram influencers from Q1 2018 to the end of Q1 2019, reflects the state of influencer marketing as well as emerging themes in the influencer industry.
Other key findings show that the majority of influencers today are micro-influencers (fewer than 10,000 followers), accounting for over 80% of influencers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and over 75% in North America.
The influencer industry is projected to become a $5-10 billion market by 2020. Interestingly, the increased transparency hasn’t affected follower interaction. In Q1 2019, the interactions of influencer sponsored posts vs. non-sponsored content were virtually the same, meaning that influencers don’t lose engagement when working with brands.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking out reviews and trusted voices when making purchasing decisions,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. “This has created a huge opportunity for influencers and brands to team up to create authentic connections with audiences.”
The brand that received the most influencer mentions over the year was Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington, with more than 20,000 mentions by 7,200 Instagram influencers.
Influencer marketing has become so prominent that the Advertising Standards Agency created a guide outlining how to display sponsored content on social media. Though influencers are increasing their use of #ad, they aren’t seeing any effect on their level of interactions.
Find out more from the Must-Know Influencer Marketing 2019 Trends Report here.