As influencer campaigns move from being a PR tactic to a strategic tool that’s integral to digital media marketing, it’s time to define the next wave of innovation within the space and determine how companies can achieve it. As global ad spend is set to grow to $5-10 billion by 2020 – up from $2 billion in 2017 – marketers become better at leveraging influencer marketing to drive bigger and better results with technologies allowing brands to find the right influencer and better measure ROI.
In Linqia and Altimeter’s new report, The Power of Influence, 57% of marketers said influencer content outperforms branded content. Given this result, it may come as no surprise that Altimeter suggests brands invest 25% of the total digital marketing budget to influencer marketing.
“Marketers are ready for the next chapter of influencer marketing, and Altimeter summarised the critical tips to help take them to the next level and answer some of their most pressing questions head-on. The one that comes up the most is – how much of my digital marketing spend should I allocate to influencer marketing? After a series of interviews and research, Altimeter now recommends marketers dedicate 25% to influencer marketing,” said Daniel Schotland, COO of Linqia.
By shifting their ad budget to influencers, brands can bypass ad blockers and reach more engaged users. According to eMarketer, a quarter of US internet users deploy ad-blocking software. Therefore, over 70 million people will never see any digital ads in their campaigns. In addition, Altimeter found that on a scale of maturity, 50% of companies were in the “optimising” or “mature” stage of their influencer programs, compared to 20% of companies in their first year of influencer marketing.
Make investments valuable
Despite the rapid growth, to become a respected channel, marketers will need to overcome the challenges still facing the industry. Not only do marketers need to make a financial commitment, but that they make sure such investment valuable.
In order to do this, brands need to understand who their audience is, what their objectives are and what stories it wants to tell and look at integrating it with the rest of the marketing plan as influencer campaigns start to exist beyond just a single social channel.
“If an influencer partnership isn’t able to activate across all functions in a genuine way, it won’t be a partnership worth pursuing,” said Nina Morrison, VP of community and customer relations at Talking Rain Beverage Company.
The key, according to the report, is to start centring digital marketing practices around the customer as opposed to the individual channel goal. The report also highlights six drivers of success for delivering maximum impact with an influencer campaign as well as four characteristics of a modern influencer marketing strategy you should follow.
Altimeter produced this research using both quantitative and qualitative methods, including stats from its recently conducted benchmark surveys, third-party research and interviews with leading brands who have successfully used influencer marketing to generate business outcomes.