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Influencer marketing in Spain 2024: low prices and new regulations to define the market

Although yet to reach the maturity of markets to its north, Spain’s growing influencer marketing industry is demonstrating increasing professionalism.

Influencer marketing in Spain 2024
Influencer marketing in Spain 2024

Notable for its outsized pool of creators, the Spanish influencer marketing industry is growing strongly as more brands seek to harness the power of KOLs to reach audiences and drive business growth.

Still relatively immature compared to France, Germany or the UK, influencer marketing in Spain is currently defined by an influx of new influencer talent agents, and advertising agencies installing dedicated influencer marketing teams within traditional structures.

Brands, although increasingly aware of the need to embrace data-driven influencer marketing, continue to resort to external influencer marketing service providers over internalizing operations themselves.  

And with more KOLs overall on Instagram than in France or Germany, the market is awash with content and competition for brand deals. This contributes to significantly lower prices for content, and ensures brands and agencies must work harder to seek out quality creators and content amongst the deluge.

Market growth is also giving rise to the development of specific influencer laws that aim to force Spain’s most powerful KOLs to take greater responsibility in relation to content that is potentially harmful for minors.  

“There are more brands, more corporations, health brands or public institutions that are investing in influencers. They see the new generation of influencers, new platforms and new audiences they are able to capture and seeing good results every time,” comments influencer talent agency Native Talents CEO Alvaro Blanco.

Key Takeaways

  • Spanish influencer marketing industry to continue steady growth through to 2028
  • Ocean of Instagram creators drives prices and content quality down
  • Proposed new regulatory environment indicates lack of understanding of how the market operates
  • Hype around Twitch and TikTok yet to deliver concrete performance for influencer marketers in Spain

In figures: Spanish Influencer Marketing to continue strong growth trajectory

With advertising spending on influencer marketing in Spain set to reach $349.70M (€320M) in 2024, Spain’s influencer marketing industry is expected to continue to show a healthy 8.2% CAGR to reach $479.3M (€435.5M) in 2028, according to Statista.

And although spending on influencers represented just 1.6% of the total digital ad spend in Spain last year, spending itself rose a healthy 23.9% in 2023 compared to 2022, according to advertising association IAB Spain.

Growth of influencer marketing is also driving growth in the advertising agency market, which is expected to expand 3% in 2024 to reach €7.4bn. This growth is up from an average decline of 0.9% between 2019 and 2024, with advertising agencies today employing more people overall than they did five years ago.

“I’m seeing a lot of new agencies, but also a lot of old agencies starting to sell influencer marketing services, and a lot of non-professional agencies trying to do it also,” comments Bluecell Communications New Business and Strategic Sales Manager EMEA LATAM, Laura (Lala) Prada Streithorst.

“If you’re competing with real knowledge and strategy, you’ll do well but this growth in agencies also brings bad experiences for clients who choose them, which makes it harder for us to sell influencer marketing as a good pillar.”

High number of Instagram creators keeps content costs and quality low

At an estimated 10% annual growth from 2022, to 2023, the number of Spanish KOLs on Instagram is growing faster than the influencer marketing industry overall.

According to Kolsquare data from March 2024, Spain is home to some 76,321 KOLs with more than 5,000 followers on Instagram, compared to just 53,915 in Germany, and 65,627 in France.  

The impact of Spain’s outsized number of KOLs relative to the overall population is evident in significantly lower fees for content compared to mature markets, and in repeated complaints about content quality and professionalism of some KOLs.

“As an agency, one problem that we have is that many creators don’t want to make different content for Instagram and TikTok,” comments Alem Communications Founding Partner Stefanie Milla.

“As soon as the influencers get a little bit big, they get an agent. My feeling is that talent agencies are not loyal to them, they are just trying to make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can. They are not trying to build a career for them.”

Combined with the inflationary context, the large number of Instagram creators in Spain is also forcing marketers to be more selective when choosing creators for campaigns.  

And as audiences mature and self-educate about the world of social media and influencer marketing, the flood of content from inexperienced KOLs is driving them to be more critical and discerning of creator content.

During a 2023 survey, just 5% of Spanish social media users who followed influencers stated the influencers they followed were very credible, while a further 23% said they were quite credible. On the other hand, 14% said they were not very or not at all credible.

“In some cases the budgets have increased, but in the majority, budgets have been reduced due to a lack of results,” comments Infinity Media Director of Inbound Marketing and Digital Public Relations Angela Villarejo.

“It is no longer enough to do things any old way, we have to worry about how we speak to the audience and the way we communicate to keep them interested. That’s why it’s essential to maintain good story-telling with a creative and strategic touch so the action works and attracts users.”

What is proposed in the new influencer law in Spain?

That Spain, like France and Italy before it, is today wrestling with the thorny issue of how to regulate influencer marketing is a clear signal of a growing professionalism that is likely to drive market rationalization within the next 18-24 months.  

To date, influencer marketing in Spain has been regulated under a series of local laws that govern advertising in general. Changes made to the Unfair Competition Law in 2022, for example, force influencers to clearly label brand collaboration content.

Influencers are also subject to advertising restrictions relating to potentially harmful products such as tobacco, alcohol, financial services, medical and health advice, or advertising that targets children, under the General Advertising Law and the Audiovisual Communication Act.

More recently however, the Spanish ministry of economy has drafted new laws that seek to protect minors from harmful content promoted specifically by influencers.

Under changes to the Audiovisual Communication Act, Spanish influencers with 2M+ followers earning at least €500,000 annually would be qualified as “users of special relevance” and restricted from advertising products like alcohol, tobacco, slimming products or products promoting unrealistic body image, and cosmetic surgery.  

“Influencer marketing is not in conflict with transparency. Regulation is a natural outcome of an industry that is maturing,” comments Bluecell’s Streithorst.

“But Spain is foolish with this regulation that only controls the big influencers. Regulating influencers is not related to how much money they earn, it should be related to their responsibility to come up with good, healthy, respectful content.”

Indeed, according to Kolsquare data, the new regulation would apply to just a tiny fraction of Spain’s KOLs. On Instagram, there are just 74 KOLs with 2M+ followers and 30% of their audience in Spain.

“We are already regulated under existing laws; whether those laws are being complied with is another question,” comments Native Talents’ Blanco. “But limiting the [new] law by number of followers is a bit of an outdated concept, because any social media account with 10K, 50K or even 500K followers is having an impact.”

Some market observers also suggest that the proposed law has been designed specifically to target the growing cohort of Spanish streamers who have set up residence in neighboring Andorra for tax purposes — at least eight of the top 15 most followed Spanish YouTubers are understood to officially reside in Andorra.

New platforms Twitch and TikTok creating buzz, but Instagram remains safe haven for influencer marketers

There is one area, however, in which the Spanish social media environment is well ahead of more mature markets: Livestreaming.

Driven by the massive success of KOLs like Ibai Llanos (15.5M followers on Twitch, 11.5M followers YouTube, 10.3M followers Instagram), Spanish youth are +10 points more likely than other Europeans to watch livestream content daily.

In Spain, Twitch is the second-most used platform for livestreaming after YouTube, and Spanish content creators are growing in popularity and influence, both in Spain and around the world.

But Instagram and YouTube remain the most popular platforms in Spain for following influencers, with 70% and 41% of those who follow influencers doing so on Instagram and YouTube respectively.  

And despite the immense buzz around TikTok, the platform has yet to penetrate with Spanish audiences the way it has in other markets. Around a quarter of those who follow influencers in Spain do so on TikTok.  

With 77,067 KOLs with more than 5,000 followers on TikTok, Spain lags well behind France (183,562 TikTok KOLs) and Germany (125,555 TikTok KOLs), according to Kolsquare data from March 2024.

“Instagram, to a certain extent, gives you some security in terms of reach, impressions and so on, but not the virality phenomenon. But precisely what’s wrong with TikTok is that many times you look at it for yourself, but not for people you follow, so most of the time the audience you impact is new,” comments Native Talents’ Blanco.  

2024 will see Spain’s influencer marketing industry continue its roller coaster ride towards maturity. From the underdevelopment of new platforms to the hesitation of brands to internalize influencer marketing, much work remains before it reaches parity with bigger, more advanced markets.

In the meantime however, Spain’s influencer marketing environment offers plenty of opportunity for those brands, KOLs and agencies savvy enough to leverage data, creativity and transparency to win over new audiences.  

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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