Marketers Reveal Key Insights about the State of Influencer Marketing in 2017

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78% cite determining ROI as their top challenge in 2017; 50% of marketers report performance-based pricing models are the most effective according to new Linqia survey

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As marketers continue to increase their investments in influencer marketing, CMOs will demand that those investments be held accountable for driving concrete business results.

Linqia, the first performance-based influencer marketing platform, today 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 from their spend. 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, which survey respondents report 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, which is the most widespread form of influencer compensation, is effective.

“The pay-per-post model is fundamentally broken. Influencer compensation should be aligned with your success metrics,” said Nader Alizadeh, co-founder and CEO of Linqia. “If you want great content, then you should compensate them for great content. If you want bottom of the funnel actions, you should compensate them for bottom of the funnel actions. As marketers continue to increase their investments in influencer marketing, CMOs will demand that those investments be held accountable for driving concrete business results.”

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, as well as their agencies. To download a full copy of the report, visit http://go.pardot.com/l/153091/2016-11-29/9t6n1k.

About Linqia
Linqia is a leader in performance content marketing technology, delivering turnkey influencer marketing programs that are guaranteed to deliver concrete business results. Linqia is the easiest way to inspire action with your target audience, reaching today’s consumers through authentic, influencer-generated content. Our performance pricing model means you only pay for consumers who have developed an emotional connection with your brand and have taken an action as a result. As programs continue to run over time, the Linqia platform identifies the best performing content and enables you to amplify it through social and native advertising, reaching “look-alike” consumers with content that has been proven to deliver results.

Founded in 2012, Linqia works with over 200 leading national brands including Black & Decker, Epson, Gerber, Herdez, JP Morgan Chase, Kimberly-Clark, Mezzetta, NBC, Nestle, Purina, Samsung, Unilever, Viacom and Walmart. Linqia is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Chicago and New York.

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Eileen Bernardo
Linqia
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