Influencer Marketing and the Path to Purchase

Creators Share How They Work, What They Measure and What Brands Should Know

Influencer marketing isn’t easy for most companies, and challenges still abound. This report uncovers insights from 16 creators on how they view their role in the purchase process, the metrics they care about, and what they really want marketers to know.

What trends define influencer marketing in 2020?

Instagram is starting to bring creators closer to the purchase process, and TikTok has emerged as a bonafide platform for engaging with creators and incorporating them into novel campaigns. However, marketers are still challenged to measure effectiveness and combat fraud. And while there is evidence that influencers can drive purchase behavior, there are also many consumers who do not trust influencer marketing.

How important are creators when it comes to driving purchases?

An August 2019 survey from GlobalWebIndex found that 17% of respondents from the US and UK made a purchase in the past month that had been inspired by an influencer or celebrity post on social media.

How do creators view their role in the purchase process?

Those who believe their job is to create brand awareness are wary about being asked to prove themselves by driving purchases. But they are generally intrigued by Instagram’s new tools for embedding shoppable links into posts. Few creators want to be paid via sales commission only.

What factors do creators think lead to a successful influencer marketing campaign?

Our interviews yielded three key pieces of advice: Be clear about your goals upfront; think of creators as ambassadors, not influencers; and remember that trust is critical for both creator-brand and creator-audience relationships.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report assesses the trends defining influencer marketing in 2020 and shares what creators want brands to know about working with them.

KEY STAT: Gen Z and millennial internet users say that knowledge and real enthusiasm for a product, brand or industry are the top two reasons they make a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation.

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Table of Contents

  1. Four Trends that Define Influencer Marketing in 2020
  2. How Creators Choose the Brands They Work With
  3. How Creators View Their Role in the Purchase Process
  4. Compensating Creators
  1. Measuring Results
  2. Three Steps to Success When Working with Creators
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

TJ Black
@cloudtalk (TikTok)
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Marquis Clarke
@marquis_clarke (Instagram)
Interviewed January 30, 2020
David Cogen
TheUnlockr (YouTube)
Interviewed January 23, 2020
Tina Craig
@bagsnob (Instagram)
Interviewed February 11, 2020
Maddie Potter Duff
@ottestyle (Instagram)
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Jenn Haskins
@hellorigby (Instagram)
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Trisha Hershberger
@thatgrltrish (Instagram) TrishaHershberger (Twitch)
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Eric Hinman
@erichinman (Instagram)
Interviewed January 24, 2020
Melissa Johnson
@bestfriendsforfrosting (Instagram) bf4frosting (Pinterest)
Interviewed January 28, 2020
Jane Ko
@atasteofkoko (Instagram)
Interviewed January 28, 2020
Jenna Martin
@mrsjennamartin (Instagram)
Interviewed January 23, 2020
Roz Mays
@rozthediva (Instagram)
Interviewed February 11, 2020
Sean O'Donnell
@theseanodonnell (Instagram)
Interviewed February 4, 2020
Oneika Raymond
@oneikathetraveller (Instagram)
Interviewed February 12, 2020
Parker York Smith
@parkeryorksmth (Instagram)
Interviewed January 28, 2020
Charisse Yu
@charisse.yu (Instagram)
Interviewed January 30, 2020

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Debra Aho Williamson


Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Natalie McGranahan
Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst

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