Brands are increasingly using high profile YouTube stars over traditional celebrities to promote their products, according to new research.
The study, from PR and marketing professionals by the app Takumi, indicates that 8 in 10 industry professionals now work with influencers in some capacity, with social media creators the most popular among marketers, ahead of musicians, sports stars, actors and models.
38.3% of PR and marketing experts said they worked with social media influencers on brand campaigns across platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, according to research from influencer network Takumi which quizzed 500 industry professionals on their approach to influencer marketing.
Other types of influencers used were:
• Musicians (used by 23 per cent of respondents)
• Sportspeople (23 per cent)
• Subject-matter experts (21 per cent)
• TV actors (20 per cent)
• Models (16 per cent)
• Artists (15 per cent)
• Journalists (15 per cent)
• Film stars (14 per cent)
The study found that an average of £6,000 was spent on a single influencer campaign, and that respondents ran an average of seven campaigns per year.
YouTube was the platform most commonly used in influencer campaigns by PRs. All platforms used for campaigns included:
• YouTube (used by 58 per cent of respondents)
• Twitter (51 per cent)
• Facebook (52 per cent)
• Instagram (38 per cent)
• Blogs (28 per cent)
• Snapchat (14 per cent)
• Pinterest (eight per cent)
• Vine (eight per cent)
• None (four per cent)
• Others (mostly LinkedIn) (three per cent)
• Periscope (two per cent)
On average, marketers said they spent £42,000 per-year commissioning influencer campaigns, with musicians being the second most prevalent choice for brands looking to give their products a boost at 23.2 per cent. Sports stars came a close third with 23 per cent of marketers saying they used them, followed by bloggers which were hired by 21 per cent.
Experts such as scientists and psychologists completed the top five influencers sought after for promotional reasons at 20.7 per cent.
Takumi founder and CEO Mats Stigzelius, said: “We expect the next few years will see influencer campaigns become a standard element of the marketing mix, and predict social media influencers will be the go-to for authentic message distribution over and above the Millie Mackintoshes of this world.”