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Social Soup research shows influencers are twice as effective as Instagram ads

New research released today by the expert in scaled, authentic influencer marketing, Social Soup, has found that Instagram is a powerful channel for converting inspiration to action and purchase.

From surveying 329 instagrammers Social Soup’s research shows that users act after seeing a post featuring a product they’re interested in, with 83% reporting that they had bought products online after seeing it posted on Instagram. When asked about their most recent instagram inspired purchase, 29% said it was a brand they follow and 27% from an instagrammer they don’t know in real life. Only 14% of instagram inspired purchases were directly from sponsored or ad content.

“It’s really clear from our research that influencers are punching way above current levels of investment and brands should be investing more in the influence space if they want to drive sales,” Social Soup CEO, Sharyn Smith, said. 

The research also showed that high-profile spon con wasn’t nearly as effective as smaller and nano influencers with a more engaged audience. Just 3% of purchases from Instagram were inspired by celebrities.

“The research underscores just how important it is to always be authentic when brands partner with influencers. In the context of influencers, it’s authenticity and engagement, not size, that matters,” Smith said. 

When asked about how purchases were made through Instagram, the research uncovered a pattern of behaviour as people confirmed they read comments as a way to validate purchases and searched product hashtags to see real people using the product and their experience. 

Smith said: “The research uncovers how effective Instagram influencers are in driving purchase through through authentic content along with the perfect blend of social proof and immediate product validation. It also reveals how important it is to encourage customers to create content as they play a pivotal role in the purchase ecosystem”.

“These results speak to the power of Influencer marketing, showing that Instagram users are not only following influencers and researching the products they promote, but interactions between the influencer and their followers are helping to drive purchases.”