8 in 10 social marketers describe influencer marketing as essential to their social strategies in new research by Sprout Social


CHICAGO, August 29, 2023 – Today’s consumers are turning to social media to discover new trends, products and brands. However, in a crowded market, brands must create increasingly personalized and authentic content in order to engage their customers and new audiences across social. According to new research released by Sprout Social, an industry-leading provider of social media management software, influencer marketing is a key strategy in bolstering a brand’s social presence with 81% of social marketers describing influencer marketing as an essential part of their social media strategy. By combining social and influencer content, brands are gaining a competitive advantage and building brand awareness necessary for long-term business growth. 

The research, which surveyed more than 300 US-based social marketers, found that social marketers rate influencer marketing as having a significant impact on their brand’s marketing efforts, listing reaching new audiences, boosting engagement rates and enhancing brand authenticity and trust as the three most valuable benefits. 

As influencer marketing proves critical to social strategies, brands are increasingly making it part of their social budgets. According to the data, 73% of those surveyed said their influencer marketing budget is shared with their social budget. As organizations continue to unify these strategies and budgets, it will be important to also streamline workflows and efforts to deliver the most effective results.

“We know that social media is the channel for creating authentic and unforgettable connections between consumers and brands,” said Jamie Gilpin, Chief Marketing Officer at Sprout Social. “The pressure to stand out and need for personalized content is only increasing and influencer marketing is enabling brands to bolster authenticity and differentiate themselves to consumers on social. Our research reveals that brands are realizing the necessary role influencers play in reaching new and growing audiences, and those who effectively implement it into their existing social and marketing strategies will be better able to compete and drive lasting business impact.” 

As consumers continue to place an emphasis on personalized content, marketers are prioritizing influencers with more targeted audiences that best match their customer base. The research revealed that 70% of social marketers see the most impact from macro-influencers (100K to 1M followers) followed by 43% seeing the most impact with micro-influencers (10K – 100K followers). 

Additional key findings include:

  • Social marketers cite Instagram (86%) as the top platform for their brand’s influencer marketing efforts, followed by Facebook (78%) and TikTok (70%). 
  • In terms of influencer-led content, brands are most focused on giveaways (65%), product collaborations (62%) and influencer-led advertisements (57%).
  • To secure internal buy-in for influencer marketing, a majority of those surveyed (58%) say that social engagement data is the most important metric, followed by conversion rates (48%) which include sales, sign-ups and downloads.
  • A majority (52%) of brands are using dedicated influencer marketing platforms. 
  • When asked how their brands ensure authenticity in their influencer marketing campaigns a majority of marketers said they encourage influencers to share their real experiences (62%), collaborate closely with influencers on content creation (59%) and choose influencers who are genuine fans of their product (50%). 
  • When asked how they assess influencers prior to collaboration, marketers say they look for influencers who already post about similar products or services (62%), they evaluate engagement metrics (52%) and monitor their interactions with their audience (51%). 

Learn more about how brands can unify their influencer marketing and social media management strategies with Sprout’s recent acquisition of Tagger Media. 

About the data 

The data referenced was collected via online survey from 307 US-based social marketers between August 16-21, 2023. Participants selected were those who were responsible for their brand’s social media strategy and utilized influencer marketing in their brand strategy.  The experience level of the participants includes Manager or Senior Manager (55%), Director or Senior Director (35%), Vice President (4%), or Executive (6%). Participants were from B2C (36%), B2B (16%), or a combination of the B2B and B2C (48%) organizations.  

About Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a global leader in social media management and analytics software. Sprout’s intuitive platform puts powerful social data into the hands of more than 34,000 brands so they can deliver smarter, faster business impact. With a full suite of social media management solutions, Sprout offers comprehensive publishing and engagement functionality, customer care, influencer marketing, advocacy, and AI-powered business intelligence. Sprout’s award-winning software operates across all major social media networks and digital platforms. For more information about Sprout Social (NASDAQ: SPT), visit sproutsocial.com.