Ads beat influencers by about 300% when discovering brands

Influencer marketing has become the industry’s hot go-to strategy – just take a look at the host of celebrities on your social media feeds encouraging you to visit this hotel and try that beauty product.

But is this buzzworthy trend all that it’s cracked up to be and, importantly, is it a sustainable strategy for brands?

According to GlobalWebIndex, influencer marketing was bound to be alluring to marketers. With the ongoing
challenges of ad-blocking and banner fatigue, digital ads are no longer as appealing as they once were and marketers are turning to alternative strategies.

Immune to ad-blocking, influencer marketing makes sense here, especially because consumers are already receptive to recommendations when they’re shopping.

But influencer marketing may not be as fool-proof as it sounds. According to GlobalWebIndex's research, while it could be argued that it’s harder for consumers to recognise when they’ve been influenced by or exposed to an influencer (as opposed to a TV or print ad), it’s still just 14% of digital consumers who say they discover brands via celebrity endorsements and this figure has remained steady over the past couple of years – despite the influx of influencer posts. Figures peak slightly among 16-24s, but even here its impact is limited when compared to other strategies like advertising.

Digital consumers are about three times as likely to say they discover brands via TV or online ads, for instance.


With the supply and demand of influencers at an all-time high, it’s starting to lose its personal touch and brands need to be prepared for a potential backlash against influencers who aren’t authentic. The key is to focus on sincerity and build long-term relationships with only those who fit with their messaging.