The Influencer Report

October 2019

Report summary

This report is from 2019. Want fresher data and trends on influencer marketing? Download our 2023 report here.

Influencers have become a central part of social media for young Americans, and social media is an increasingly central driver of consumer decisions. Nearly three quarters of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media, and a majority say social media is where they most often learn about new products they’re interested in. Because of this, influencers provide brands with a key opportunity to reach young Americans – so long as they adequately understand how and where to engage them.

Key Takeaways

  • Most Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers, and teenagers are more likely to follow many: 72 percent say they follow at least some influencers.
  • For Gen Z, top YouTube influencers are as popular as major celebrities: As many Gen Z men know gaming YouTuber PewDiePie as Lebron James. And PewDiePie is more well-liked.
  • And influencers are more trusted as spokespeople than celebrities: 50 percent of Millennials trust influencers they follow on product recommendations, compared to 38 percent for their favorite celebrities.
  • Authenticity is the key trait people want to see in influencers they follow: 88% say it’s important for influencers to be authentic and genuinely care about their interests.
  • The potential micro-influencer market is massive: Young Americans of all stripes are willing to post sponsored content, and a majority of them are likely to organically post about brands they like.


Based on over 2,000 survey interviews with 13-38 year-olds, this report will explore the scale and nature of influencer engagement. We look at where young Americans follow influencers, who they like to follow, why they follow, how much trust they have in influencers, and how much interest they have in becoming influencers themselves.

About the author