Instagram Influencer Marketing Doubled in 2017

Posts with the FTC-mandated #ad hashtag totaled 1.5 million worldwide

Instagram established itself as a go-to channel for influencer marketing in 2017, according to new data from Klear.

The analytics and social media marketing platform reported that the number of influencer posts on Instagram nearly doubled to a little more than 1.5 million posts worldwide between 2016 and 2017.

(Klear defined an influencer post as one that contained the #ad or #sponsored hashtag recommended by the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] as a way to identify a post created with the purpose of promotion or endorsement in mind.)

Klear's data also revealed that sponsored Instagram posts are raking in the "likes," generating about 1 billion globally in 2017 alone. That averages out to about 682 per post.

As any social media marketing strategist understands, successful influencer posts are not about reaching a mass audience, but about targeting the right consumers based on an influencer's followers. In other words, it's about good segmentation.

The business of being an Instagram influencer skews young. Klear found that the vast majority of Instagram influencers—nearly three-quarters—fell into the 18- to 34-year-old age range. And those ages 18 to 24 accounted for 42% of them.

In addition, Instagram influencers were overwhelmingly female, with women accounting for about 84% of the group.

That might explain why the two top industries that partnered with influencers on Instagram were the fashion and accessory sector, followed by the beauty and cosmetics industry, according to Klear. In fact, Klear's analysis revealed that a quarter of all sponsored posts on Instagram were for fashion and accessory brands.

Meanwhile, eMarketer estimates the number of Instagram users in the US will reach 96.3 million this year. By 2021, that figure will swell to 118.1 million.