Driven by increased use of social media combined with a growing — and increasingly professionalized — cohort of influencers, The social media and influencer ecosystem in Spain is growing rapidly.
Spain is in fourth place, behind Russia, Italy and the United Kingdom, among the countries with the most influencers, according to the 2021 Responsible Influence White Paper by ICMedia for the European Commission. It is also The fifth most influential country in the world in terms of the proportion of social media users having purchased products recommended by celebrities or influencers.
“The United States and some other European countries like France or the United Kingdom have always been ahead of the Spanish market, but in recent years, Spain has caught up,” explains Fabienne Fourquet, CEO and founder of the Spanish digital media group 2Btube. “Brands are aware of the value of influencers in connecting with their audience and the sector has become professionalized at a record speed.”
Spain counts 9,100 professional influencers having More than 100,000 followers, according to the 2btube study, and nearly 900 mega influencers (+1m followers). The total number of content creators (over 1,000 followers) in the country grew by 15%, from 134,000 in 2021 to 154,000 in April 2022.
At the same time, 3.3 million Spaniards more have taken the path of social media between 2021 and 2022, 39.8% of users aged 16 to 64 going there to search for brand and product information. According to Fourquet, the increased use of social media in Spain due to the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the increasing importance of influencers in their role as providers of entertaining and inspiring content.
“It is increasingly common for brands to contact us with the specific idea that they want to implement influencer marketing campaigns, whereas a few years ago, they only saw it as a possibility,” explains Mr. Fourquet. He points out that InfoAdex data shows that Spanish companies have invested 93.7 million euros in influencer marketing in 2021, against 75.6 million euros in 2020 and 61.8 million euros in 2019. “This is an important number because influencer marketing was one of the few sectors that grew last year.”
Despite the rapid growth of the influencer environment in Spain, the market is distinguished by its different degrees of development. Although theWe expect Although Spanish D2C e-commerce will register a CAGR of 14.8% between 2022 and 2025 to reach 61.27 billion dollars, a majority of brands have not yet taken the plunge in exploiting influencer marketing to increase brand awareness and generate concrete sales.
“Unlike Germany, for example, Spanish brands who use influencer marketing are still focused on identifying the best influencers to increase brand awareness and less about making deals and sales,” explains Julien Schaaf, head of new business at Kolsquare. “They are more interested in reach, influencer data and whether they are a good match for their brand or not. They have not yet taken the next step in developing real partnerships with influencers.”
The challenge: identifying influencers
Many Spanish brands also remain hesitant to manage influencer marketing internally, intimidated by the complexity ofidentify and properly contact the right influencers with whom to set up campaigns and develop relationships. This is especially true for businesses looking to generate significant reach and awareness with a limited marketing budget. Niche micro and nano influencers can be particularly effective in this regard, but to achieve the desired result, they need to be activated in large numbers.
(A study on the use of influencers by Spanish tourism groups showed that, although micro-influencers represent only 12% of influencer activations, there is a clear preference for niche profiles and accounts (compared to mega-influencers)
According to Mr. Schaaf, the use of a tool such as Kolsquare — whose catalog includes some 70,000 Spanish influencers with over 5,000 followers And a Audience by +40% in Spain — is crucial in helping brands simplify the identification process first, and reporting later.
Fourquet affirms that if nano and micro-influencers have a more loyal audience and trust their opinions, Spanish macro and mega-influencers achieve greater reach and engagement with a smaller budget than needed to exploit hundreds of influencers at once.
“It's important not just to look at the number of followers, but to select talents based on their specific commitment on relevant topics and the target audience of each brand,” he explains. “[For] businesses that seek to reach a niche audience and want highly personalized marketing, it is possible to have a successful micro-influencer strategy, if there are no suitable macro-influencer candidates with the specific target that the brand is looking for.”
From awareness to sales
As the use of social networks in Spain increases, so does the number of consumers — especially young people — who follow and trust influencers, and who use social media as a buying channel.
One out of two social media users follows influencers in Spain, while 32% use social media a lot or enough to follow brands, according to the IAB Social Media Study 2022. Some 20% of Spanish social media users say that social media is already a buying channel, and 43% say that comments influence their buying decisions.
But for many Spanish brands, the barrier to converting influencer campaigns into sales is twofold: they haven't built strong enough relationships with their social media communities to generate sales, and they haven't yet established an e-commerce infrastructure to support direct sales.
That said, there are multiple ways to take advantage of influencers depending on the type of product or service a brand is trying to sell. Fourquet, from 2btube, insists on the fact that For products that are not impulse buys, a channel like YouTube, even if it has less engagement than a channel like Instagram, can be crucial for the marketing mix.
“Because YouTube search is the second most used search in the world and its videos also rank highly on Google, it's an easy way for people to learn more about a product before they buy it,” he says. “Anyone who is considering buying a product and wants to see a review or know how it works, goes to a search tool (Google or YouTube), which means that positive, well-ranked reviews are critical..
Given the rapid development of influencer marketing in Spain and the growing strength of new platforms such as TikTok and Twitch with young consumers, opportunities abound for brands — new and old — to reach new customers and engage with them at a deeper level than in the past.
“Tomorrow's consumers — and that's already the case today — will not only buy for the product, but based on brand values. That's where influencer marketing is the most powerful,” says Schaaf, from Kolsquare. ” Spain is full of opportunities to exploit influencers for the benefit of brands and consumers. The key is to be smart and qualitative in choosing influencers that are right for your brand.”
In figures: the social media and influencer ecosystem in Spain
- Spain counts 40.7 million active users Social networks in 2022, an increase of 3.3 million (+8.8%) compared to 2021, representing 87% of the population.
- 39.8% Internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 go on social networks to search for brand and product information.
- 25.1% of Internet users aged 16 to 64 follow influencer and expert accounts.
- 80% Internet users from the Alpha generation Follow influencers on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
- 12.7% of Internet users have clicked or tapped on a sponsored social media post over the past 30 days.
- TikTok has the fastest growing user base among Spanish social networks, increasing its share from 16% in 2020 to 25% in 2021. TikTok interactions grew 107% in 2021, compared to A 6% drop in Instagram interactions.
- Spain is home to Four of the 50 biggest Twitch streamers, whose number of followers is estimated at 37 million.
(Sources: Digital 2022 Spain, Datareportal & Kepsios, Feb 2022; IAB Social Networks Study 2022; TechRound)
Social media platforms in Spain, by users
- YouTube: 40.7 million
- Facebook: 20.2 million
- Instagram: 22.85 m
- TikTok: 13.73m
- LinkedIn: 14m
- Snapchat: 3.6 million
- Twitter: 8.75m
- Pinterest: 7.04m
(Source: Digital 2022 Spain, Datareportal & Kepsios, Feb 2022)