Marketers increase budgets for influencer marketing – Instagram is their preferred platform

Influencer marketing is on the rise with 62% of marketers upping their budgets in 2018. Additionally, 61% of marketers also reported an increase in sponsored partnership opportunities in 2017 compared to 2016. That’s according to a survey of 100 marketers and 800 influencers by influencer strategy company Activate.

Among the dominant social media platforms and apps marketers tend to use for influencer-based campaigns Instagram and blogs tend to be used more often than YouTube and Snapchat. The reasons for this include easy access and better engagement on Instagram and particularly Instagram Stories, whilst Snapchat and YouTube present more challenges such as barrier to entry for video which is much higher.

For marketers as well as influencers finding a steady campaign partner is now a more interesting option than opting for the short-term. Almost 50% of marketers works with influencers for six or more months.

Among the main reasons why marketers choose to work with influencers are brand awareness (78%, 32% for influencers) and sales conversions (45%, 22% for influencers).

However, the opportunity to work directly with influencers on campaigns is often missed. Indeed, just 29% if influencers were asked for their opinion on content direction and 55% of marketers decided on content strategy well ahead of adding influencers to the campaign.

Among the top selection criteria for influencers are content asthetics, audience demographics, engagement rates and brand affinity.

For influencers, the dominant reason to choose to work with a brand is because they actually love the brand or wish to introduce their audience to a new product.

Both marketers and influencers agree that engagement rates are a top measure of success, followed by impressions, follower increases and reach.

However, the report also noted that just around 25% of marketers had a system in place to help detect bots. Although social media platforms are attacking fake followers, marketers should aim to verify follower counts using independent measures.