For our second industry report, we took a look back at 2018 and the best-performing brands in influencer marketing and we’re excited to share the report’s key findings with you! We analyzed more than 5.5 million Instagram posts in search of the best performing brands and their influencer marketing strategies – and the results are impressive!
Influencer marketing is booming and keeps growing and we have the numbers to back this statement up! In our first industry report from May 2018, we discovered that the first five months of 2018 generated an Earned Media Value of $660 million. Now, according to our update, in the latter half of 2018, the Earned Media Value of the top 20 brands on Instagram quadrupled up to $2.7 billion!
The drastic growth in influencer marketing justifies Instagram’s importance as a marketing medium. Instagram cracked a major milestone of 1 billion active users last year, added their new checkout feature and a possibility to shop looks straight from content creators, all of which strengthened Instagram’s position as the most important social media platform for marketers when it comes to influencer marketing.
The results of our industry report help marketers to evaluate their success and compare themselves to their competition with the help of these industry benchmarks. Among other things, we found out that over 25,000 paid influencers produced content for the top 20 best-performing brands in influencer marketing. The number of collaboration partners varied from 14 to almost 4,000 and on average the leading brands collaborated with 726 influencers.
The best-performing brands in influencer marketing 2018 and their success strategies
1. Fashion Nova
Fashion Nova kept its leading position as the top best-performing brand in influencer marketing from our first report and managed to grow their Earned Media Value over the course of 2018. Celebrity and macro influencer endorsements were one key factor to their success, and the brand is known for their close collaboration with celebs like Kylie Jenner, Cardi B, and Loren Gray. Fashion Nova hatched nearly $600 million in EMV, which is three times higher than the second runner Gucci’s Earned Media Value, and five times more than the EMV Fashion Nova generated in the first five months of 2018.
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Gucci, the popular luxury brand, ranks second in the list of best-performing brands in influencer marketing by heavily interesting in influencer marketing in the last two quarters of 2018. The brand may stay way behind Fashion Nova’s Earned Media Value but when it comes to followers, Gucci beats its competitors with twice the number of followers (33.2 M) than Fashion Nova (15.6 M).
The third place is taken by Liketoknow.it, which moved one rank down compared to our first industry report. Something that caught our eye from Liketoknow.it’s statistics is that although Gucci has ten times more followers than Liketoknow.it, the brands Earned Media Value is only $11 million less than Gucci’s.
A general observation from the data was that micro influencers keep climbing the ladder higher up on Instagram. Let’s have a look at Zara, as the brand is very well known for its Influencer Marketing. Out of 2421 influencers, the brand collaborates with 522 micro influencers. This strategy proves to be a good one as the brand’s Earned Media Value is impressively high at $175 million. 33 million followers are attracted by the brand’s clean and simple content.
Aggregator Accounts Climb to the Top
Out of the 20 best-performing brands in influencer marketing 2018, seven in our ranking are not actually brand channels but instead, represent aggregator accounts that curate and repost influencer content.
The aggregator accounts’ content varies from inspirational content to travel destinations, fashion, and food. Compared to all the other brands, the aggregator accounts’ Like Follower Ratio is slightly higher (3.9% compared to 3.4% on average). While there have been cases of aggregator accounts stealing influencer content, there are plenty of people reposting in favor of the influencers and creating businesses around their Instagram accounts.
@beautifuldestinations is an example of a well-executed aggregator account bringing in big bucks for its founder. The travel-related content attracts more than 3 million followers and engages its audience the most out of all the accounts that ranked into the top 20. Instagram users clearly long for daily inspiration in every vertical!
Learn from the best-performing brands in influencer marketing! Download our full industry report with the top 20 best-performing brands and benchmark your influencer marketing efforts against the industry leaders!