SERMO’s new Digital Influencer Index profiles the top global 16 in luxury and lifestyle and identifies ‘ones to watch’

Today SERMO, publishes its Digital Influencer Index. Following last year’s Blogger Index, the report updates the network partners’ intelligence on working with digital influencers and identifies the most influential bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and other social stars in the luxury and lifestyle space. It also sets out how to effectively engage these influencers.

In order to compile the index, the SERMO network developed its own unique digital influence scoring algorithm. The algorithm takes into account both an influencer’s ‘data score’ (their reach across all their key platforms), as well as a ‘relationship score’, based on each SERMO agencies relationships with and experience of working with these influencers. An overall ‘influence score’ has been calculated for each digital influencer and is used to rank a top 10 list for each market the network’s partners operate in (16 in all), as well as a global top 16, comprising the top ranking influencer from each market.

As things change so quickly in the digital world, the report also looks, country by country, at the rising social and digital stars – the people who we consider to be ‘ones to watch’ as their online influence is growing fast.

Tanya Hughes, president of SERMO, comments, “Clients come to us for bespoke, luxury and style digital activation, both globally and in key local markets worldwide. When recommending which digital influencers are the most productive for our clients’ brands to work with, data can only go so far – you need the judgement that comes with experience. Especially in the world of luxury and lifestyle where the power of influence is not just a numbers game. We’ve set out a way that quantifies that human judgement and provides a way to measure digital influence that’s never been done before.”

Summary of findings:

  • Bloggers and other social stars work in a multi-platform way to extend their influence and reach, each posting frequently to a minimum of two platforms. In many cases, bloggers’ readership figures have dwindled since their efforts are now more focused on platforms such as Instagram that have higher engagement levels.
  • The data shows that Instagram leads the way in all markets except Germany and Poland where blogs are still the most popular platform. Weibo dominates in China. This is no surprise – Instagram is the perfect platform for brands to be visually appealing and demonstrate a luxurious aesthetic. Instagram now dwarfs both Facebook and Twitter as a social platform, and Instagram’s engagement rates is over 10 times higher for brands in the fashion and beauty space. 
  • Health, fitness and food blogs have overtaken pure-play fashion blogs. And digital influencers are increasingly multidiscipline, or ‘lifestyle’. They are sharing every aspect of their glossy, fabulous lives and showing followers ‘how to’. 
  • Digital influencers, particularly vloggers, are now creating content in multiple languages to attract a larger and more global audience. 
  • Beauty is a dominant subject online, particularly on Instagram. The Middle East’s Huda Beauty is queen of Instagram with a 12.3mn following, three times the following of our second highest Instagrammer, Camila Coelho from Brazil. 
  • In the luxury lifestyle world, female commentators dominate – only 2 of our top 16 influencers are men. 
  • Once the preserve of school kids, newer platforms such as Snapchat are starting to be used by brands.
  • Only 52 out of 160 digital influencers featured in this year’s Index, were included in the 2015 SERMO Blogger Index which goes to show how quickly the landscape’s changed
  • Many of these influencers have built fully-fledged businesses out of their commercialised online and socialplatforms; they make their money from a string of brand collaborations and affiliate sales. Some are charging upwards of £5,000 for a post featuring a product and £10,000 for a personal appearance.
  • Instagram and YouTube are a crucial channel for millennial marketing – they influence the purchasing decisions of 31% of millennials, particularly in the beauty category (WWD).