Sm blog global strategies image 2

@Tera_Feng for airbnb

Influencer marketing has become an anchor of social marketing strategies in the US, and now marketers across the globe are embracing the practice too. The discipline is not one size fits all—what works in the US doesn’t always translate. Each market has its own social media behaviors, consumer values and nuances.

If companies want to tap the full potential of influencer advocacy to humanize their brand around the world, it is essential that global and local teams cultivate best practices and share learnings. To that end—consider the below research to inform your future campaigns.

Forming Local Influencer Partnerships: Context is Key

  • Top Markets: more developed countries like the UK, Spain, Germany, and Japan are seeing a rapid rise in brand investment in influencer marketing, and (aside from the US) are contributing most heavily to the $15B projected spend in 2020 according to Business Insider.
  • Creator Availability: countries with more developed influencer economies like the UK and China have larger pools of influencer talent compared to earlier stage markets like Spain and Germany.
  • Creator Compensation: rates differ by location and of nine countries we audited recently, influencers in France demanded the highest campaign fees. In some markets like Japan, it’s common to charge a fee per follower.
  • Sampling Programs: in markets that more overtly value wealth and luxury, influencers refuse unpaid seeding programs unless the brand or product is distinguished.
  • Disclosure Laws: most developed countries have disclosure regulations to ensure consumers are aware they’re being advertised to, however, outliers like Japan exist. While not legally required to disclose commercial partnerships, audiences are critical of those who do not.
  • Content Verticals: the majority of creators in emerging markets tend to produce fashion and beauty content (beauty is the most followed vertical across the globe—43% of social media users follow seeking tips to look great).
  • Language: influencers who publish content in both their native language and English tend to have larger audiences and more global reach.
  • Platform Preferences: mainstream social platforms Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are widely used around the globe, but preferred platforms differ (ex: Europeans prefer YouTube).
  • Regional Platforms: platforms like WeChat and Weibo in China have emerged and are exclusive to certain regions, creating local, nuanced opportunities for brands-influencer collaborations.
  • Preferred Stories: much like cultures differ, consumer attitudes towards content messages and themes vary. For example, Chinese consumers prefer aspirational content that embodies luxury, while Mexican audiences favor approachable content with a comedic spin.
  • Measurement Varies: while KPIs including likes, comments and shares are similar across the globe, advertisers in locations where influencer marketing is less established are struggling to calculate ROI and impact. This will evolve with experience.

Time to Test and Learn

As more social media users around the world set out to pursue their love of content creation—it’s clear that there has never been a more exciting time for brands to collaborate.

If you’d like to delve further into country-specific influencer insights, please reach out to —we’d love to share.