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Four in 5 marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective. The likely reason, according to a report from Mediakix, is that a majority (89%) say that the ROI they generate from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other marketing channels.

Below are some further highlights from Mediakix’s report.

1. Snapchat the Least Important?

Instagram is the top strategically important social media channel, with 9 in 10 (89%) survey respondents recognizing its importance for influencer marketing. Instagram was followed by YouTube (70%), with fewer pointing to Facebook (45%), blogs (44%) and Twitter (33%) as important channels for influencer marketing.

What may come as a bit of surprise to some is that Snapchat was considered the least important social media channel for influencer marketing, as a leading 62% of respondents cited it as being of lesser importance. This low ranking is attributed to the social network’s limited discoverability capabilities, as well as the relative lack of audience and engagement data available to influencers. There is also evidence that Snapchat’s popularity is starting to flatline with teens as Instagram gains ground.

2. Instagram Content Considered Most Effective

With Instagram being the most important channel for influencers, it only stands to reason that Instagram Posts and Stories would rank at the top of the most effective content formats. Instagram Posts topped the list with 78% of respondents finding this content effective, but Stories followed close behind at 73%.

For brands, Posts and Stories on Instagram can work hand-in-hand for both acquisition and retention. Prior research has shown that Instagram users use the feed for brand discovery, but they prefer getting brand updates and information when it appears as a Story.

Video is also viewed as effective content by marketers. YouTube video is the third most effective content type, with 56% of respondents recognizing its effectiveness, while Instagram video (54%) followed closely.

3. Finding Influencers Can Be Challenging

So, while knowing what channels and content are most effective for influencer marketing is important, how do marketers find the influencers that are the best fit for their campaigns?

Some 61% of marketers say that finding the best influencers for a campaign can be challenging. The primary way by which marketers discover influencers, cited 71% of respondents, is to search social media to find partners. Other top options – though lesser used – are influencer platforms or databases (43%), the influencer reaching out to the brand (42%) or marketers find influencers through organic search such as Google (40%).

No matter where marketers find influencers, there are three main factors that they believe help determine what influencer to work with. Four in 5 respondents said that the quality of content was one of the most important factors to consider. This was followed by target audience (78%) and engagement rate (73%).

4. Engagement is The Most Important Metric

Engagement is not only a metric used to determine the suitability of a potential influencer, but it is also an important metric for measuring a campaign’s success. Three-quarters of respondents named engagement as an important metric for campaign measurement, making it the top choice among the various metrics identified.

While not nearly as important as engagement, almost half (48%) of marketers also named sales/conversions as a metric they consider when measuring campaign success. The third metric most often used by marketers is impressions/views (45%).

5. Measuring ROI Is a Challenge

When asked what their chief influencer marketing challenges were, half of the respondents pointed to the task of spotting fake followers and inauthentic engagement. This option was followed closely by social algorithm changes making content less visible (49%).

Measuring ROI is also a concern and challenge for influencer marketers. More than three-quarters (78%) identified measuring and improving ROI as one of their top concerns when working with influencers.

Data from a report by Talkwalker, which surveyed more than 800 marketing and PR professionals, primarily from Europe, had similar findings. In that survey measuring ROI of their influencer program was the top challenge overall – but despite this, more than 3 in 5 (62.7%) said they did not use any dedicated tool to measure the impact of their efforts.

The Mediakix report is available for download here.

About the Data: Data for the report are results from a survey of 162 participants, the vast majority (~90%) of whom are located in the US. The respondents worked for agencies (52%), consumer-facing brands (37%) and B2B organizations (11%).

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