Influencer marketing budgets are on the rise but still only comprise less than 10 percent of overall marketing spend for more than 60 percent of marketers, according to a new report.
Seventy-two percent of respondents to the newly released State of Influence 2.0 survey from Traackr and Altimeter are devoting more than $100,000 to influencer marketing this year. The majority of respondents—65 percent—are managing influencer marketing with internal teams, and 81 percent are using influencer marketing tech to track their results.
Content creation was the biggest influencer marketing line item for respondents, comprising 27 percent of their influencer budget, up five percent from 2017. Budgets for influencer compensation also increased from 10 percent last year to 19 percent in 2018.
“Influencers are learning that their time and the attention of their communities are valuable beyond recognition and engagement from brands,” writes Brian Solis, principal analyst of Altimeter, the author of the report. “As a result, monetary engagement is becoming more mainstream and this percentage will most likely rise year over year for the foreseeable future.”
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One hundred and eighteen digital marketers were surveyed for the report; 31 percent from B2B firms, 22 percent from B2C firms and 47 were from firms that marketed to both B2B and B2C audiences.
Marketing oversees influencer programs in the majority of respondents (43 percent), followed by PR (27 percent), sales (14 percent) and customer care (10 percent). These results show a decrease in marketing’s control of such initiatives: in 2017, 70 percent of respondents oversaw influencers. “This means that ownership is spread much wider across the organization this year,” writes Solis. “The broader distribution of ownership could be a sign of a heightened focus on influencer marketing rather than an afterthought.”
Almost half of all respondents (47 percent) cited raising brand awareness as their most important marketing priority for 2018, followed by figuring out ROI and attribution (37 percent). B2B respondents placed a higher priority on generating leads, while B2B marketers were more concerned about improving relationships with influencers.
Marketers responding to the survey placed a greater importance on developing partnerships with influencers in an earned capacity (81 percent), compared to paid partnerships (61 percent).
“Interestingly, outreach and relationship development with influencers takes precedence over customer generated content,” wrote Solis. “It seems brands are increasing their reliance on influencers as a proxy for outreach to communities of customers.”