Influencer engagement programs have become a mainstay for online marketing campaigns, and a new forecast by digital market research company eMarketer proves the practice is showing no signs of slowing down.

emarketer: U.S. influencer marketing spending, 2016-2023 (billions)U.S. influencer marketing spending, 2016-2023 (billions).

According to eMarketer, U.S. influencer spending will rise by more than a third (33.6 percent) this year to total $3.69 billion, compared to 2020’s $2.76 billion, revealing that gains of nearly a billion in influencer marketing investment will occur in 2021 compared to 2020.

This double-digit growth is expected to continue for the next two years, according to the eMarketer forecast, hitting $4.14 billion in 2022 and $4.62 billion in 2023.

The strong spending in the influencer segment this year comes as a return after a series of pandemic-related cuts cratered marketing budgets in 2020. But eMarketer’s forecast shows that nearly two-thirds of marketers in the U.S. still utilized influencers last year, up from 55.4 percent in pre-COVID 2019, suggesting the practice is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The eMarketer report also notes that many marketers who collaborated with influencer marketing last year did so by amplifying influencer content in their paid media campaigns.