With 2018 predicted as the “Year of the Influencer”, the channel, founded on peer recommendation, continues to show rapid annual growth, driven by one app in particular.

Data from social media marketing platform Klear found influencer marketing grew by 198% in 2017, driven by a huge increase in promotional Instagram posts – identified by the #ad or #sponsored hashtag – reaching over 1.5 million worldwide.

When it comes to demographics, the majority of these influencers fell between the age of 18 – 24 years old, while 89% of all influencer marketing posts within 2017 were published by females.

Creating a buzz

Despite the volume of posts, average engagement still seems to be considerable; according to Klear, 90% of the sponsored posts last year received up to 1,000 likes per post. Globally, sponsored posts on Instagram generated around 1 billion likes, averaging out at 682 per post post.

Companies embracing influencer marketing by working with micro-influencers continue to form with fashion brands, such as Daniel Wellington partnering with thousands of influencers on Instagram. According to the study, the fashion brand receives more than 50,000 new Instagram mentions from a number of celebrities and micro-influencers.

Klear concluded that 25% of sponsored posts on Instagram were made for fashion and accessories brands.

Better measuring

While it’s evident sponsored posts are generating audience engagement and reaching mass audiences, areas within influencer marketing that remain in question are targeting and quantifiable measurements.

Matt Donegan, CEO of Social Circle stated that with influencers having access to more authentic data, the industry is “craving for” more advances in measurement.

Canada-based influencer platform Influicity found marketers using influencer marketing identified ROI as their number one challenge this year. In response, over half (51%) were turning to video content as an alternative means to measure return on their influencer campaigns.

Nonetheless, with 96% of marketers investing in influencer marketing and the number of Instagram users in the US set to reach 96.3 million, 2018 may very well be the year that influence marketing will flourish.