2021
9
UK Influencers Market Report 2021
2021-02-16T03:03:06+00:00
OX1042373
2995
134388
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Report
en_GB
“People have little patience for influencer shenanigans when it comes to COVID-19, with the majority thinking influencers should be banned for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. However, many people have spent more…

UK Influencers Market Report 2021

$ 2,995 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Influencer market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

With lockdowns causing people to spend more time online, 54% of influencer followers reported that they looked at more influencer content than before the COVID-19 pandemic (66% of them being 16 – 34 year olds). However, decreased spending from brands and travel restrictions caused a drop in both sponsorship income and in diversity of content. Over half of followers reported to having unfollowed at least one personality, with the most common reason being repetitive content.

With platforms cracking down more on misinformation and right-wing propaganda, there is now more scrutiny towards influencers themselves. Many have received criticism for breaking lockdown rules, as well as spreading misinformation (both about the pandemic and wider political issues).

To prevent losing followers, brands and influencers will have to take into account personal accountability, as well as a focus on the quality of content over quantity.

Ecommerce features, such as Facebook’s ‘Shop’ feature and TikTok’s ‘Shop Now’ button, caused a 77% rise in 16 – 24 year olds buying products promoted by influencers. However, thanks to stronger regulations on disclosing ads, many consumers are now becoming more likely to ignore sponsored posts. More creativity may be needed to hold attention, as well as a more genuine endorsement of products.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on social media influencers.
  • The products influencers have encouraged people to buy.
  • Reasons people have stopped following an influencer.
  • Traits that most encourage someone to follow a social media personality.
  • Attitudes towards social media personalities.

Covered in this report

Platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitch, OnlyFans.

Products: Clothing and accessories, food and drink, makeup, skin care, games, technology, cleaning products, fitness equipment, household items (furniture), supplements.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Media sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

People have little patience for influencer shenanigans when it comes to covid-19, with the majority thinking influencers should be banned for spreading covid-19 misinformation. However, many people have spent more time viewing influencer content since the start of the pandemic and some influencers have been important for spreading crucial information, particularly those from medical professions. The positive image these influencers will have generated should make them particularly valuable to brands.

Rebecca McGrath
Senior Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Impact of the January lockdown and the vaccination rollout
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on social media influencers
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on social media influencers, prepared 25 January 2021
    • The market
    • COVID-19 alters the products people are buying
      • Figure 2: Impact of COVID-19 on spending, 8-13 January 2021
    • Digital adspend was down in 2020, but it will rebound strongly
    • Donald Trump’s bans could set precedent
    • Companies and brands
    • Significant shake-up in TikTok’s top influencers
    • Social platforms add more ecommerce features
    • Snapchat focuses more on influencers
    • The consumer
    • Many have turned to influencers during the pandemic
      • Figure 3: Social media influencers and COVID-19, November 2020
    • TikTok sees significant growth in 2020
      • Figure 4: Use of social media platforms, November 2019 and November 2020
    • More people are following social media personalities
      • Figure 5: Who users follow on social media platforms, November 2020
      • Figure 6: Who users follow on social media platforms (NET), November 2019 and November 2020
    • Influencers are most likely to encourage people to buy clothing/accessories
      • Figure 7: Influencers’ impact on purchasing, November 2020
    • More influencers and consumers embrace live streams
      • Figure 8: Behaviour in response to influencers, November 2020
    • Half of people have actively stopped following an influencer
      • Figure 9: Stopping following influencers, November 2020
    • Repetition is turning people away
      • Figure 10: Reasons for stopping following an influencer, November 2020
    • Being funny is the biggest draw for an influencer
      • Figure 11: Social media personality preferences, November 2020
    • People’s inclination to ignore sponsored posts means more creativity is needed
      • Figure 12: Attitudes towards social media personalities, November 2020
  3. Issues and Insights

    • While some influencers face criticism for COVID-19 content, others emerge as important tools for spreading information
    • Livestreaming growing in popularity during the pandemic creates opportunities for influencers
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 boosts use of social media and alters the products people are buying
    • Reduction in digital adspend in 2020 limits influencer income but it will rebound strongly
    • The ban of Donald Trump could set precedent for greater content moderation
  5. Market Drivers

    • Impact of COVID-19 on social media influencers
      • Figure 13: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on social media influencers, prepared 25 January 2021
    • COVID-19 boosts use of social media
      • Figure 14: Impact of COVID-19 on time spent using social media, 2-14 July 2020
    • Consumers’ changing spending patterns due to COVID-19 impact influencers
      • Figure 15: Impact of COVID-19 on spending, 8-13 January 2021
    • Digital advertising hit by pandemic but will rebound strongly
      • Figure 16: Forecast of digital advertising expenditure in the UK, 2015-25 (prepared September 2020)
    • Stricter regulations on influencer advertising
    • Social media platforms ban President Donald Trump
    • Black Lives Matter movement shines light on issues of influencers and discrimination
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Top influencers on TikTok change but are stable on other platforms
    • Social platforms introduce more ecommerce features
    • Snapchat puts greater focus on influencers
  7. Market Share

    • List of top influencers on Instagram is stable
      • Figure 17: Top 10 influencers on Instagram, 17 December 2020
    • Barack Obama leads the way on Twitter
      • Figure 18: Top 10 influencers on Twitter, 17 December 2020
    • PewDiePie still way out in front on YouTube
      • Figure 19: Top 10 influencers on YouTube (excluding musicians), 17 December 2020
    • Blackpink enter YouTube top five highlighting growing K-pop influence on western social media
      • Figure 20: Top 10 musicians on YouTube, 17 December 2020
    • Big changes in TikTok top 10 as platform goes more mainstream
      • Figure 21: Top 10 influencers on TikTok, 17 December 2020
    • Major personalities come back to Twitch
      • Figure 22: Top 10 influencers on Twitch, 17 December 2020
  8. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Social platforms push more social commerce features
    • Instagram
    • TikTok
    • Snapchat enables more people to create public profiles…
    • …and offers prize money for most viral content
    • TikTok launches a creator fund
    • Instagram begins sharing ad revenue with influencers
    • Twitch moves beyond gaming
    • OnlyFans becomes more mainstream as celebrities start using the platform
    • VTubing gains popularity
    • Snapchat and Twitter team up to make content sharing easier
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Influencers can be an important tool for spreading COVID-19 information
    • More influencers should focus on quality over quantity as repetition turns people away
    • Growth in livestreaming provides many new options for influencers
  10. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Many have turned to influencers during the pandemic
      • Figure 23: Social media influencers and COVID-19, November 2020
    • Consumers want strict punishments for spreading COVID-19 misinformation
    • Influencers bypassing COVID-19 regulations reduces their value to brands
    • Influencers have become an important tool to spread information
  11. Use of Social Media Platforms

    • Facebook is still the most used platform but has fallen behind among younger people
      • Figure 24: Use of social media platforms, November 2019 and November 2020
      • Figure 25: Use of social media platforms, by generation, November 2020
    • TikTok sees significant growth in 2020
  12. Who Users Follow on Social Media

    • More people are following social media personalities
      • Figure 26: Who users follow on social media platforms, November 2020
      • Figure 27: Who users follow on social media platforms (NET), November 2019 and November 2020
    • TikTok has a strong social media personality presence
    • Snapchat looks to boost role of influencers
  13. Influencers’ Impact on Purchasing

    • Influencers are most likely to encourage people to buy clothing/accessories
      • Figure 28: Influencers’ impact on purchasing, November 2020
      • Figure 29: Repertoire of influencers’ impact on purchasing, by age, November 2020
    • The pandemic has limited purchasing of some items meaning influencers and brands have needed to be flexible
    • Stark gender divide in which products people are influenced to buy
      • Figure 30: Influencers’ impact on purchasing, by gender, November 2020
    • TikTok becomes a key platform for food promotion
  14. Behaviour in Response to Influencers

    • More influencers and consumers embrace livestreams
    • Live shopping will be an important tool for influencers in coming years
    • Greater risk of creating controversy via livestreams
      • Figure 31: Behaviour in response to influencers, November 2020
      • Figure 32: Behaviour in response to influencers, by household income, November 2020
    • Opportunities for more subscription options for influencers
    • For popular influencers, merchandising opportunities are significant
  15. Reasons for Stopping Following an Influencer

    • Half of people have actively stopped following an influencer
      • Figure 33: Stopping following influencers, November 2020
    • Repetition is turning people away
    • More influencers should focus on quality over quantity to avoid repetition and burnout
      • Figure 34: Reasons for stopping following an influencer, November 2020
    • Consumers stop following influencers if they disapprove of their actions
  16. Social Media Personality Preferences

    • Being funny is the biggest draw for an influencer
      • Figure 35: Social media personality preferences, November 2020
      • Figure 36: Social media personality preferences (NET top three), by gender, November 2020
    • Being informative attracts older followers
    • Relatability has to be genuine and self-aware or influencers will be called out
      • Figure 37: Social media personality preferences (NET top three), by generation, November 2020
    • The importance of relatability highlights need for greater diversity in influencers
    • Drama and controversy hold little appeal
  17. Attitudes towards Social Media Personalities

    • People’s inclination to ignore sponsored posts means more creativity is needed
      • Figure 38: Attitudes towards social media personalities, November 2020
    • Four in 10 would purchase directly via a social media personality’s post
    • Influencers are near the start of their purchasing journey for many
  18. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

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