The global influencer marketing economy, which expanded 21.5% last year, is on track to grow another 16.9% this year, topping $34 billion in spending.
The U.S., which accounts for more than three-quarters of the worldwide influencer marketing marketplace, is expected to expand its share -- rising 17.6% this year to more than $26 billion, according to an annual update to PQ Media's "Global Influencer Marketing Forecast" report.
PQ attributed the expansion to the proliferation of "macro and micro influencers" plugging brands across a wide number of social media platforms, especially those aimed at younger consumer targets in the fashion, entertainment and sports categories.
“‘Word-of-mouth marketing’ is rarely used anymore, as it has been replaced by ‘influencer marketing'," PQ Media CEO & Founder Patrick Quinn noted, citing a sea change in the way brand marketers use people to influence other people.
“If executed well, influencer marketing is a valuable component of omnichannel campaigns because it helps brands improve their social media reputations with high-quality content and to grow sales," he added.