The amount of money marketers are willing to splurge on high-profile celebrity influencers has plunged by two-thirds over the last two years, a new survey has revealed.
Data published by Rakuten Marketing shows UK marketers are willing to fork out £25,000 for a single post by a Facebook influencer, down from £75,000 in 2017.
The figures mark a move away from traditional celebrity campaigns towards so-called micro-influencers with 10,000 followers or fewer.
The shift comes amid growing scepticism over the impact of influencer marketing. A lack of clarity over how to measure the impact of campaigns and concerns about fraudulent clicks has led to a tightening of regulation.
In January the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it had censured 16 online celebrities over a lack of clarity in the labelling of sponsored posts.
Despite the concerns, the proportion of brands' marketing budgets being set aside for influencer-led campaigns has nearly doubled over the last years to reach 40 per cent in 2019.
The study, which focused on consumer-facing brands such as fashion, cosmetics and travel, revealed marketers are now spending more than £800,000 per year on influencer campaigns across all social media platforms.
Anthony Capano, managing director at Rakuten Marketing, said: “Knowing that consumers are going to influencers for trusted recommendations on new products may explain the shift from celebrity to micro-influencers.
“Micro-influencers tend to be typically more engaged, as are their audience who feel like their friends.”
Marketing expert Scott Guthrie said the figures reflect how marketers are becoming more effective at selecting and measuring their influencer campaigns.
“We place celebrities on pedestals whilst influencers we believe are people like us – relatable,” he said. “Being popular isn't the same as being influential; that's down to credibility and context.”