Does Influencer Marketing Really Pay Off?

In 2022, the influencer industry reached $16.4 billion. More than 75% of brands have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing, from Coca Cola’s #ThisOnesFor campaign in collaboration with fashion and travel influencers, to Dior’s award-winning 67 Shades campaign in which the brand partnered with diverse influencers to promote its Forever Foundation product line. But does investing in influencers really pay off?

To explore this question, we partnered with an international influencer marketing agency to analyze more than 5,800 influencer marketing posts on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo. (We focused our analysis on the Chinese market because it is home to one of the world’s most sophisticated influencer marketing industries, but our findings can likely also be applied in many other global markets.) The posts in our dataset were written by 2,412 influencers for 861 brands across 29 product categories, at costs ranging from $200 to almost…

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This article was written by Fine F. Leung and originally published on hbr.org