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2019 Influencer Marketing Report

Influencer Marketing Grows 82% in 2019, Reaching $1.9 Billion

Overall Spending on Influencer and Fake Followers

Brands in 2019 spent a total of $1.9 billion on influencer marketing in the US and Canada. They spent $1.4 billion of that on Instagram, $255 million of which was to reach fake followers. 2019 was the largest year yet for influencer marketing, with spend up 82% from 2018.


Top Influencer Marketers

Retailer Fashion Nova led the way as the year’s top influencer marketer. 2019’s list of Top Influencer Marketers was dominated by digitally native brands for whom influencer marketing is a primary marketing channel.

Top Ten Influencer Marketers

Rank Advertiser Estimated Spend
1   Fashion Nova $40,072,619  
2   Flat Tummy Co $13,585,892  
3   Ciroc $11,836,880  
4   Walmart $9,378,266  
5   PrettyLittleThing $7,652,925  
6   Luc Belaire & Bumbu $6,766,410  
7   Carolina Lemke $6,237,031  
8   BOOMBOD $5,979,952  
9   Calvin Klein $5,370,075  
10   SugarBearHair $5,072,644  
  Top Influencer Marketing Spenders on Instagram in US & Canada, 2019  

Most Fooled

Wines of Sicily DOC topped the year’s Ten Most Fooled list, reaching audiences that were 66% fake with their sponsored content. The Ten Most Fooled brands’ sponsored posts went to audiences that on average were 55% fake, compared to 18% for the average brand.

Ten Most Fooled

Rank Advertiser % Fake Followers
1   Wines of Sicily 66%  
2   Albion Fit 60%  
3   TOMS 57%  
4   Kroger 54%  
5   Thomas' 54%  
6   Soma Intimates 54%  
7   Raw Sugar Living 53%  
8   Saks Off 5th 53%  
9   Zappos 52%  
10   Derma E 50%  
  Brands Whose Instagram Sponsored Posts Had Highest Fake Follower %   
  (>$100k Spend) in US & Canada, 2019.  

Most Engaging

Audi topped 2019’s Ten Most Engaging brands, with a 9.3% authentic engagement rate. Brands on the list had an average authentic engagement rate of 6.5%. By comparison, the typical brand had an authentic engagement rate of just 1.2%.

Ten Most Engaging

Rank Advertiser Authentic Engagement Rate
1   Audi 9.3%  
2   Sambazon 8.7%  
3   Clearblue 8.2%  
4   Converse 6.9%  
5   Hollister Co. 6.2%  
6   Sephora Collection 6.0%  
7   Wella 5.6%  
8   Aveda 4.9%  
9   Aerie 4.8%  
10   Savage X Fenty 4.6%  
  Brands Achieving Highest Authentic Engagement Rates for Instagram   
  Sponsored Posts (>$100k Spend) in US & Canada, 2019.  

Instagram’s Crackdown on Fake Engagements

After dropping from 1.7% in May to 1.0% in September, engagement rates of influencers with the least authentic audiences increased slightly from September to December. While Instagram initially had considerable success in cracking down on inauthentic activity, it seems that companies offering fake engagements have found ways around Instagram’s checks in the past few months, and that fake engagements are once again on the ascent.


To track influencer marketing, Instascreener uses software that analyzes nearly every sponsored post on Instagram. To estimate Instagram spend, Instascreener assumes “rate card” pricing of $0.003 per follower; actual price and pricing model differ by brand and deal. To estimate fake followers, Instascreener uses machine learning to identify patterns that differentiate real accounts from purchased bots. To estimate non-Instagram influencer spend, the firm uses proprietary spend data and research.

About Instascreener: Instascreener (formerly known as Points North Group) is an influencer marketing analytics company. Combining machine learning with proven research techniques and industry-leading experience, Instascreener provides brands with unbiased, third-party screening and measurement of their influencer programs so they can eliminate waste and fraud, optimize spend, and maximize ROI.

Interested in more granular data? Our influencer insights and competitive intelligence reports include overall metrics and benchmarks plus brand-by-brand breakdowns of influencer spend, fake followers, and eCPM. To learn more about subscribing, or to discuss custom analysis, please contact us at