This post was originally published in Business 2 Community.

Consumers are increasingly wary of advertisements, leaving marketers scrambling to find new ways to capture, and hold, their attention. As a result, influencer marketing is on the rise, enabling marketers to circumvent ad blockers and reach consumers through the voices they trust most – their peers.

But how many marketers are using influencer marketing? Is it a hot fad or a strategic marketing channel? Does it really work? Here’s a compilation of influencer marketing stats that you need to know so you can use them to inform your influencer marketing strategy in 2017.

THE EVOLVING MEDIA CONSUMPTION LANDSCAPE

  • Researchers predict $35 billion in ad revenue will be lost to ad blocking by 2020. (Source: Ovum, Ad-Blocking Forecast Report: 2015–2020, 2016)

THE ADOPTION AND GROWTH OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

  • Influencer marketing and content marketing are projected to be the fastest growing brand activation channels through 2020. (Source: The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), U.S. Brand Activation Marketing Forecast (2016-2020): Key Findings Report, April 2016)
  • 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016, 94% of whom found it to be effective. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)
  • 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. (Source: MuseFind, Influencer Marketing Latest Trends & Best Practices to Increase Your ROI, 2016)
  • Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer. (Source: Twitter, The Value of Influencers on Twitter, May 2016)
  • 86% of marketers today use influencer marketing to fuel their content marketing strategies, 88.5% of whom find the influencer content valuable. (Source: Linqia, The Value of Influencer Content 2017, April 2017)
  • 70% of internet users want to learn about a product through content rather than through traditional advertising. (Source: MDG Advertising, The Shift to Native Advertising in Marketing, April 2015)
  • 90% of Millennials value the opinions of their friends, parents, and online experts over traditional media and advertising, with 33% relying mostly on blogs before they make a purchase. (Source: Millennial Branding, The Millennial Consumer Study, January 2015)

THE STRATEGY BEHIND INFLUENCER MARKETING

  • 31% of all referral traffic comes from social media (Facebook accounts for 25% of it), making social media #1 driver of all website referral traffic. (Source: Shareaholic, Social Media Traffic Report, January 2015)
  • Nearly 50% of marketers consider influencer blogs the third most important social channel for their influencer marketing strategy. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)
  • 66% of marketers repurpose influencer content in other marketing initiatives, including email marketing, website and product pages, and paid and organic social channels. (Source: Linqia, The Value of Influencer Content 2017, April 2017)

THE COST OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

  • 48% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2017, compared to only 4% who plan to decrease it. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)
  • 38-40% of marketers work with influencer marketing companies that provide all influencer assets as part of the program spend for an additional fee. (Source: Linqia, The Value of Influencer Content 2017, April 2017)

THE CHALLENGES OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

  • 78% of marketers cite measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge for 2017, resulting in a gain in traction for performance-based influencer marketing pricing models. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)
  • 59% of marketers struggle with approaching and engaging potential influencers. (Source: eConsultancy, The Rise of Influencers, January 2016)
  • Only 55% of marketers report that they know what the most recent disclosure guidelines are, despite 88% stating that they require that influencers disclose sponsored content to comply with FTC regulations. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING PROGRAMS

  • 50% of marketers report that cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing models are the most effective for driving results. (Source: Linqia, The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, December 2016)

Influencer marketing isn’t going away. In fact, it’s only getting more popular. Marketers are increasing their influencer marketing budgets as programs continue to prove their ability to reach and inspire consumers to take action. Looking forward, marketers can measure the ROI of their influencer marketing efforts by structuring their programs to align with the brand’s goals, whether it be engagement, sign-ups, conversions, or sales.

Influencer marketing will remain a valuable part of the overall media mix as marketers realize that the cost efficiency and proven performance of influencer content enables them to increase their investment in content that’s proven to drive results.