Linqia, a performance-based influencer marketing platform, released the results of The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, a survey designed to understand how brands and agencies are using influencer marketing today and how they plan to incorporate it into their plans for 2017. As influencer marketing continues to evolve from an emerging channel to a strategic part of the media mix, marketers are demanding more accountability. In fact, 94% of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2016 found the tactic to be effective, however 78% say that determining the ROI of influencer marketing will be their top challenge in 2017.
In large part, this call for accountability is because budgets are increasing. In 2016, most marketers spent between $25,000 - $50,000 per influencer marketing program, but respondents report it will double to $50,000 - $100,000 per program in 2017. Overall budgets are set to increase as well, with 48% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2017 and only 4% planning to decrease their investment in the channel.
In line with this trend, performance-based pricing models are gaining traction, with 50% of marketers citing cost-per- click (CPC) and cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing models as most effective for driving results. Only 17% of marketers think that pay-per- post or “flat rate” pricing is effective, which is the most widespread form of influencer compensation.
The survey also found that 42% of marketers now account for influencer marketing as part of their advertising/marketing budgets, whereas only 31% account for influencer marketing as a PR/communications line item, signaling that the industry is evolving from an organic channel owned by communications to a paid channel owned by marketing.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- The top benefits of influencer marketing cited by marketers include creating authentic content about their brand (87%), driving engagement around their brand (77%), and driving traffic to their website/landing pages (56%).
- When asked which platforms were most important to their influencer marketing strategy, marketers overwhelmingly cite Facebook (87%) and Instagram (87%). The next most important channel is blogs with nearly half the respondents leveraging them as a tool for increasing discovery and improving SEO (48%).
- 88% of survey respondents require influencers to disclose sponsored content in order to comply with government regulations. However, only 55% of marketers know what the most current FTC Guidelines are, signaling a need for broader education amongst brands, agencies, and the influencers that they work with.
- 64% of marketers use managed or turn-key services when executing their influencer marketing programs. 25% of marketers still use a manual process involving email and spreadsheets for influencer outreach, and only 11% of respondents use a self-service SaaS platform to automate influencer outreach, management, and reporting.
170 marketers participated in The State of Influencer Marketing Survey across a variety of industries, including CPG, Food & Beverage, Media, Retail and their agencies.