Member Exclusive   //   May 2, 2024

Research Briefing: How top influencers stack up in terms of engagement

By Li Lu

In this edition of the weekly briefing, we share newly released data from Modern Retail+ Research’s influencer index that focuses on how brands can partner with influencers and best practices. 

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The level of engagement top influencers can harness for brands 

Breaking News: This week, Modern Retail+ Research has released its influencer index measuring the impact of influencers and detailing current influencer strategies for brands. The Modern Retail Influencer Index collects data from 15 influencers and their Instagram and YouTube channels, scoring them across a set of key dimensions to create a total index average score. Each influencer is then given a deviation percentage from the index average to denote above- or below-average performance in specific dimensions. Results are dependent upon the list of influencers and the time period of data collection, generating a snapshot of the influencer space at a specific moment in time. 

The index uses four main dimensions to measure an influencer’s performance: Sponsored Engagement, Brand Prominence, Non-Sponsored Engagement and Audience Impact.

Questions: Which industry collaboration has the highest engagement? What content format performs the best on TikTok and YouTube? What influencer sponsorship format performs the best?

Answers From Research: 

In the early days of YouTube and Instagram, influencers were categorized by the type of content they posted. Being a beauty influencer was a different beat than being a gaming influencer or a DIY creator, and the types of brands that worked with these influencers resided within the same world. However, this has changed over time. Today, many influencers work with a wide array of brands, across various industries. Following beauty and fashion sponsorships, entertainment and media sponsorships were the third-most common type of partnerships on Instagram and YouTube last year. 

Influencers are entering more diverse product categories to match the diverse interests of their audiences. In particular, entertainment sponsorships are well-received by audiences, and include influencers collaborating with media companies like TikTok or publications like Vogue and Elle. The influencers also make guest appearances on shows such as “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and popular podcasts like Call Her Daddy. Looking at the average engagement rates of sponsored posts on Instagram and YouTube, the entertainment category had the highest engagement rate.

Additionally, influencers on Instagram whose majority of sponsorships are in the entertainment category scored the highest on average across all four dimensions: audience reach, non-sponsored engagement, sponsored engagement and brand prominence.

Want to learn more: Modern Retail+ Research’s Annual Fulfillment Index examines influencer strategies and where they are headed. 


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