73% of marketers in US, UK, and Germany allocated more resources to influencer marketing in the last 12 months, engaging talent across a wider channel mix including OOH (83.3%), print (80%) and TV & radio (81.3%), according to research from global influencer marketing agency Takumi.

The study covers the latest industry trends within influencer marketing after surveying over 3,500 consumers, marketers, and influencers across the UK, US, and Germany. The report, Into the mainstream: Influencer marketing in society’ uncovers opinions on ethics, diversity, misinformation, and new channels.

According to Takumi’s report, marketers are also exploring additional social media channels with plans being considered over the next 12 months. 58% of marketers are considering working with influencers on YouTube, followed by a further 55% on Instagram, 35% on TikTok, 20% on Twitch, and 10% on Triller.

With influencer marketing becoming much more measurable, the report found that 60% of marketers recognise the strong ROI potential of influencer marketing, stating it provides better ROI for brand marketing campaigns compared with traditional advertising.

Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) of 16-24-year-olds said Instagram is the most likely advertising platform to lead to a purchase.

Influencers acting as a news source

Nearly a quarter of consumers in the UK (24%) and Germany (23%), and 28% of US consumers are more likely to source news updates and opinions from influencers than journalists and established news outlets, rising to more than a third of 16-24-year-olds (38%), 25-34-year-olds (38%), and 35-44-year-olds (34%). With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that 41% of consumers agree that social media influencers should use their platforms to discuss current affairs and everyday activism.

32% of consumers across the UK, US, and Germany find influencer content more relatable to their real lives than content produced by brands, which explain the desire for current-affairs driven content.

Diversity on the agenda

As reflected by the Black Lives Matter movement: more than 50% of all content creators surveyed said that diversity was the number one issue that needs to be addressed by marketers and brands moving forward. Similarly, a quarter of influencers (25%) want to establish relationships with brands who are aligned with their moral standpoints – across diversity, the environment, and social issues.

Despite this, over half (55%) of marketers across the UK, US and Germany said they would be anxious about working with an influencer who is vocal about social and political issues.

“With 73% of marketers upping spend in influencer marketing, it is clearly a core pillar of any effective brand marketing strategy,” commented Mary-Keane Dawson, Group CEO of Takumi.

“We’ve known for a long-time that being platform-agnostic equals success with influencer marketing, which is why we launched TAKUMI X. And it appears marketers are starting to realise this too. They are now exploring new social media channels – such as TikTok – and are integrating creator content into their wider marketing mix including TV and OOH in line with consumer appetites,” she continued.

“Despite growth, the industry cannot rest on its laurels. With conversations around diversity, equality and inclusivity gaining momentum in the industry and wider society, it’s clear that consumers are hungry for influencer marketing with a social conscience. Marketers need to consider how their influencer campaigns will champion progress and reflect the real lives and concerns of consumers if they want to remain relevant and compelling,” Dawson concluded.