Report Highlights Continued Growth in the Influencer Marketing Category, and Strong Returns for Advertisers

San Francisco, CA. — February 16, 2016 — RhythmOne (“1R”), an online advertising company that connects digital audiences with brands through premium content across devices, today released its third annual Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report. This industry-leading report provides insights into Return on Investment (ROI) and best practices based on 76 programs run as part of RhythmOne’s Influencer Marketing offering, RhythmInfluence, between January and December 2016. As in previous years, the report aggregates key performance indicators across industry categories, including Earned Media Value (“EMV”), engagement and brand lift. New measures this year include Cost-Per-Engagement (“CPE”) and Social Media Listening. Over the course of the year, 1R ran influencer marketing campaigns with 51 brands spanning 18 advertiser categories and employing over 8,700 influencers in total.

Full Year 2016 Highlights

Earned Media Value continues to be a key indicator of the efficacy and ROI of Influencer Marketing programs. On average in 2016, advertisers that implemented a 1R Influencer Marketing program received $11.69 in EMV for every $1.00 of spend. This is an increase of 4.4% over its full year 2015 EMV average of $11.20. Cost-Per-Engagement – a new measurement metric in this year’s report – was $0.93 across all products and programs. CPE is increasingly important to advertisers looking to gauge the value of capturing users’ attention across all social channels and interactions.

  • The average spend on Influencer Marketing programs in 2016 was just over $51,000 per campaign.
  • Of the 18 verticals analyzed in 2016, the top three EMV “performers” were Health and Pharmaceuticals ($21.25), Retail ($18.20) and CPG Food ($14.76).
  • Engagement Rate (“ER”) across all products and programs was 2.01% on average – a rise of 33% over the full year 2015 benchmark of 1.50%.
  • Advertisers that ran an Influencer Marketing program for two or more weeks saw on average an increase of 14.78% in brand mentions and an 8.73% increase in positive brand sentiment (vs. mentions and sentiment prior to the campaign flight).
  • Instagram – via rich video and imagery created by RhythmInfluence influencers – proved to be a top-performing channel for driving engagements for several advertiser categories, and the engagements contributed to measured lifts in brand mentions.
  • Snapchat was effective for campaigns that targeted audiences of Millennials.
  • About one-quarter (23%) of the 51 unique brands included experiential tactics and/or live events as part of their Influencer Marketing program(s), and 38% included giveaways or a sweepstakes. These efforts generally drove higher engagement rates and EMV returns vs. programs that did not include these components.

A Look Back, A look forward

“An increase in Influencer Marketing investment has been met with a corresponding need for accountability and better success measurement,” noted Chuck Moran, VP of Marketing, RhythmOne. “As such, RhythmOne enhanced its reporting over the course of the year, and now provides information on cost-per-engagement and brand lift. These are two ways RhythmOne is helping marketers quantify the value of engaged consumers and accurately assess the impact of Influencer Marketing programs.”

“Influencer marketing has proven to be an effective way to reach new people and educate them on our brands’ products and services,” said Todd LaBeau, SVP Digital Marketing & Social Media at Lindsay, Stone & Briggs. “We look to RhythmOne as one of our turnkey and scalable resources for authentic branded content that matters to consumers. Their measurement and reporting capabilities are one reason we often choose RhythmOne to help us optimize the performance of our content marketing campaigns.”

Influencer Marketing continues to gain momentum with advertisers looking to authentically engage with consumers. It has moved well beyond the sponsored blog post – expanding into channel-specific content and incorporating experiential elements like live events, sweepstakes and give-aways. Moreover, progressive Influencer marketing programs work in close concert with paid media – especially programmatic branded content distribution – to move beyond the walled gardens of social media as advertisers seek to target look-alike audiences to gain broader distribution and engagement with their branded content.

“This year’s Benchmarks Report results serve to reinforce the power of Influencer Marketing as a critical component of our clients’ marketing plans,” said Katie Paulsen, VP of Influencer Marketing, RhythmOne. “The increased budgets we saw this year signaled a clear move beyond experimentation. We also saw new categories start to spend on influencer marketing, as well as a broader range of creative execution and distribution tactics. Influencer Marketing has truly come into its own as a powerful means to tap into the enthusiasm and brand loyalty shared amongst influencer community members.”

For more information and to download the entire Full Year 2016 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report, visit

About RhythmOne
RhythmOne is an online advertising company that connects digital audiences with brands through premium content across devices. Founded in 2004 as a pioneer of video search, RhythmOne works with advertisers, publishers and content providers to offer fully integrated, cross-screen advertising solutions that span desktop and mobile video, rich media, display, social and native formats. Through its fully integrated programmatic platform, RhythmMax, the Company represents inventory across owned, controlled and extended supply sources. The RhythmMax platform includes specialized brand safety technology, RhythmGuard, which combines leading third-party verification methodologies with proprietary filtering technology to ensure quality inventory in brand safe environments. RhythmOne’s mission is to maximize return on spend by providing the most efficient and effective marketplace for digital advertising. The Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in the U.S., UK and Canada. For more information please visit