Celebrity Intelligence this week released a new study, The Age of Social Influence, which includes some interesting findings about the evolution of influencer campaigns.

But let's look at some of the key findings from the accompanying survey of 270 marketing specialists – some very positive and others, as the headline suggests, showing room for improvement.

Digital influencers in greater demand than celebrities

61% of survey respondents said they have worked with digital influencers in the past 12 months, compared with 57% who have worked with singers or musicians, and half who have worked with TV actors and models.

When asked to pick the type of person suited to campaigns in the near future, digital influencers again came out on top, selected by 44% of respondents.

One reason for this is undoubtedly the pre-eminence of social media within influencer campaigns. Fully 75% of survey respondents said social media promotion is “critical” or “very important” within their celebrity engagement, increasing to 92% of respondents who are also working with digital influencers.

The table below shows social media's importance far outstripping that of product placement, content distribution and digital advertising. Every single respondent (100%) backed up this view, saying they believe their social media promotion is proving very effective.

Influencers and social media are evidently indelibly linked.

role of influencers 

Talent-led campaigns deliver 1700% ROI

For every £1 ($1.34) spent on talent-led influencer campaigns, average return on investment (ROI) amongst respondents was £17.21 ($23.08). 

Attribution could be more sophisticated

Despite the confidence of respondents in their campaign ROI, here's that headline stat. The table below shows that only 29% of respondents are tracking links in influencer content, only a fifth are using social measurement tools (despite their admission of social's criticality) and little more than a quarter are using platform-specific metrics.


Encouragingly, data is coming to the fore when selecting influencers

Finding influencers and tracking their influence has traditionally been a challenge for marketers. Indeed, in Econsultancy's Rise of the Influencers study in 2016, 73% of marketers said their biggest challenge in this area was finding the right influencers.

So, it's encouraging to see 59% of survey respondents in Celebrity Intelligence's new study say that data and insight relating to a talent’s audience and followers are proving the most useful way of finding the right people to work with.

It’s also good news that 45% of respondents are investing in specialist engagement tools (such as Celebrity Intelligence and Fashion & Beauty Monitor), a significant rise on the 36% of companies and 32% of agencies taking this approach last year.

tools to find influencers  

The Age of Social Influence report includes more stats, in-depth case studies and interviews with brands and influencers such as ITB Worldwide, East of Eden, L’Oréal, The Body Shop and Tanya Burr. Download it here to learn more about

  • the current state of influence
  • the opportunities and risks posed by digital technology
  • the rise of social influencers and its impact on celebrity culture
  • the trends and spends for the year ahead and what factors equate to success on talent-led campaigns today.
Ben Davis

Published 1 December, 2017 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (3)


Julia Kush, SMM Software at Roobykon Software

Good info! I have have found a once more interesting article related to influencer marketing. I recommend that you read this: https://roobykon.com/blog/posts/68-who-will-the-main-influencers-of-2018

9 months ago

Nicolas Chabot

Nicolas Chabot, VP EMEA at TRAACKR

Hi Ben. Can you bring more back up data to this 1700% ROI for influencer marketing? If true, this would be a mind-blowing case to create a huge switch in brand investment . Strangely however, the same piece of research shows that only 42% of respondents plan to increase their spend... Where is the problem ?

9 months ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Editor at EconsultancyStaff

@Nicolas – thanks for reading

As per our Twitter convo:

Measurement is still an issue (63% of respondents agreed with that statement in this survey), and is backed up by the chart on metrics seen in the article above.

This perhaps undermines the ROI figures somewhat. I've asked Celebrity Intelligence for more detail on how respondents came up with the ROI figures.

9 months ago

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