Rakuten Marketing has a big new report out looking at influencer marketing. Influencers are now an established part of the consumer marketers toolkit. They offer authenticity and new ways to tell the story of a product or brand. The difficulty for many marketers is that by their nature influencers are individuals, which makes attribution, scalability and brand protection difficult.

The new Rakuten report takes a deep look at:

  • how shopping behavior is affected by influencers;
  • the impact of influencers on product discovery;
  • preferred payment methods and how focused influencers are on campaign metrics.

Instagram is inevitably the most popular platform, although YouTube and Facebook are not far behind. There are differences between the sexes though:

“YouTube was the most popular platform used by men to follow influencers. Sixty-four percent of males use this platform, which aligns with the type of influencers they follow the most – gamers. Female consumers, on the other hand, primarily leverage Instagram (70%), which provides a good balance between images and video and can deliver a robust experience for beauty and fashion.”

Brand and product discovery is a big focus for marketers using influencers:

“Consumers are frequently discovering new products and brands through influencers, with as many as 41% of consumers saying they find at least one new brand or product from an influencer weekly, and 24% saying they did so daily. […] When a shopper does find a product through an influencer, they’re not afraid to open their wallets and spend. Almost three-in-four consumers said they would spend between $1-$629 on a purchase that was inspired by an influencer.”

There’s a lot of data in the report showing that influencers are more effective in the path-to-purchase than is sometimes thought:

“When it comes to marketers understanding whether an influencer drives sales, 71% of marketers globally said they were able to tell when an influencer is performing.”

There’s a lot more in the report itself, including that last click attribution is the least popular payment method, and that micro-influencers are both the largest proportion of influencers used by marketers, and yet do not cost that much less than high-tier or celebrity influencers.

Read the entire article here.