The influencer marketing industry is estimated by Business Insider research to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022.

Its continued growth might have come as a surprise to some. After all, the industry has been subject to criticism and scepticism over the past few years, with influencers coming under fire for failing to disclose brand involvement, as well as perceived difficulties for marketers in proving ROI.

At the same time, however, the continued success of influencer marketing is not so surprising considering the growth of the very platforms that spearheaded the strategy. With over a billion active users by July 2018, Instagram remains a powerful force behind brand marketing.

Measurement has also become more strategic. A report by Influencer Marketing Hub states that conversions or sales is the most commonly-used metric in 2020, despite being the least-supported metric just one year previously. This highlights a shift to more strategic and goal-orientated brand campaigns, and is also an indication of the wider growth of social commerce.

The number of influencer marketing platforms and agencies has nearly tripled since 2017

As the influencer marketing industry has grown in popularity, so have the platforms and agencies that support and oversee brand influencer strategies, as well as enable brands to connect with the right influencers.

Influencer Marketing Hub found that the number of influencer agencies and platforms grew by 380 in the year to 2019 to 1,120 in total. To put this into context, there were just 190 influencer platforms and agencies in 2015, when the strategy was still in its relative infancy.

As the influencer landscape grows, however, it’s becoming all the more difficult to navigate, raising questions about the right influencer operating model and how to effectively outsource campaigns.

So, what to marketers need to know?

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