Collectively, Inc. | Data-backed Insights & Analysis

Data-backed Insights & Analysis

Collectively's 2019 report is here! Read on for highlights or download the report now.

The report


Our most recent report combines the findings of custom creator and brand partner surveys and examines hot topics in influencer marketing. We explore the data story behind critical questions that modern marketers face in 2019 on subjects including:


  • 750 Influencer Partners
  • 25 Brand Marketers
  • 10 Industries
  • 200 Collaborations
  • Brand Investment
  • Measuring Value
  • Common Mistakes
  • Influencer Compensation
  • Platforms & Competition
  • Bullying & Harassment

Brand Investment

Q: How much are marketers spending on influencer marketing and where is the budget coming from?

Because influencer marketing provides impact across marketing goals—from awareness to advocacy to conversion—very different teams oversee these investments.

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Annual investment

Budgets vary widely but are on average likely to exceed $500k annually.

Influencer activities likely make up 25% or less of a brand’s overall marketing budget, particularly for large brands.

77% of brands invested more in 2018 than in 2017—signaling confidence in the value of the discipline.

Brand marketing teams are most likely to fund campaigns, but it’s increasingly common to see teams co-invest.

100% of respondents said that influencer marketing was an effective use of budget.

Teams funding

Measuring Value

Q: How should marketers think about measuring ROI in 2019?

While brands believe in its efficacy, many cited difficulty quantifying results. Luckily, we’re entering a new era for analysis.

Measuring influencer ROI is a common problem across the industry—62% of marketers cited challenges.” from @CollectivelyInc

Missed Opportunities

Missed Opportunities mallory on the moon

Q: What are the biggest mistakes brands make with influencer marketing?

While brands continue to invest, we still see many working without a long-term, holistic vision. Those operating campaign-to-campaign aren’t able to draw the most value from their investments.

71% of marketers polled feel their organization is not leveraging their influencer content to its fullest potential.” from @CollectivelyInc

To Pay or Not To Pay

Q: Does influencer marketing work without a budget?

62% of influencers reported that they participate in in-kind campaigns. In fact, in 2018 we managed 50% more sampling activations than in the previous year.

What's an "In-Kind" Activation?

Successful sampling/in-kind programs—where influencers are gifted products or experiences in exchange for promotion—require the right expectations, and take more time and attention than it may seem. They rely on building true advocacy and creating memorable experiences—not just sending unsolicited product to a anonymous lists.

The Business of Being an Influencer

Q: How much money are influencers really making?

The lines between influencer, freelancer, entrepreneur and celebrity continue to blur—rates and incomes vary widely.

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The Creator Economy

The professionalization of established influencer talent has led to an influx of new creators dreaming of making it big.

13% of influencer have an agent who helps source opportunities—2x more than 2016.

Yet, looking at the real economics of the content creation business, few people are able to rely on it as their sole source of income.

Influencer money
When it comes to personal income, 35% of influencers said they rely solely on their content business for their livelihood.” from @CollectivelyInc

Influencer Challenges

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Q: What are the biggest challenges for influencers today?

Influencers face a flood of new talent, unpredictable algorithm shifts, and harassment on social platforms.

In 2018, we worked with more than 2,200 influencers (up 12%) and saw a 46% spike in community sign-ups among creators with less than 10K followers.

Talent Influx

A more saturated talent marketplace drives competition for partnerships, building pricing pressure at a time when brands are coming to the table with more complex asks and seeking greater creative control.


Influencers publishing on social platforms don’t fully control access to their hard-won audiences and are subject to unpredictable algorithm shifts that impact content view-ability and engagement.

68% percent of influencers we polled said they believe that bullying and harassment on Facebook and Instagram is a problem.

Bullying & Harassment

As social platforms continue to face criticism for threatening overall individual privacy, we expect to also see more conversation about their responsibility to maintain safe environments where harassment is promptly addressed.

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