U.S. Brands Pay Social Media Influencers About $13,153 A Year

Despite the fact that 50% of fast-moving consumer goods brands (FMCG) — a category ranging from food and beverage to cosmetics and consumer electronics — will spend up to 50% of their marketing budget on social media influencers post-pandemic, 85% admit to having a negative influencer experience.

Duff & Phelps and Kroll’s new study assesses the current state of influencer marketing. Their research reveals the use of influencers can be highly rewarding, but also exceptionally risky.

Globally, a third of FMCG businesses say their most successful influencer campaign increased sales by $250,000 - $500,000. More than one in 10 FMCG companies gained $1.1 million-$5 million from their most successful influencer campaign.

Still, one in four brands (24%) say they have had multiple negative experiences, and 70% have doubted the credibility of an influencer’s followers. These problems appear to be most acute in mainland Europe, with Spain, Italy, France and Germany registering the highest percentages for multiple disappointing influencer incidents.
These bad experiences also hurt companies' bottom line. One in four firms globally suffered a $100,000-$250,000 hit from a negative event with an influencer, and more than a fifth endured an impact up to $500,000.

The return on investment (ROI) as a percentage of sales increase to expense for these marketing efforts differs widely by country. The sales increase to expense ratio was, by far the highest in the United Arab Emirates (82%), the U.K (74%) and the U.S. (56%), above the global average of 46%. Yet, the UAE, U.K. and U.S. report to paying the least to their influencers. Italian companies reports the lowest ROI at 19%, yet paid the highest among all other countries to their influencers.

The average amount FMCG companies spend on influencers is $22,151 per year. The U.S. stands out as paying the least to its influencers, around $13,153 per year. In contrast, Italian companies pay the most, at around $29,972 per year.

Brands are definitely non-monogamous with these partnerships. Nearly half (45%) state they usually work with 51-100 at a time. France (average 109) and Spain (90) are most likely to tap into a large number of influencers, while the U.S. (71) and U.K. (66) rely on smaller groups of individuals. 

This differential, however, could be explained by language: it’s more likely an English-speaking influencer will have greater international appeal than one who speaks Spanish or French. Therefore, U.S. and U.K. FMCG companies can use fewer influencers to reach a bigger audience.

The “Face Value Report” queried 900 marketing professionals from the UK, U.S., France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the United Arab Emirates in June 2020.

Access the report here.

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