Influencer Marketing Budgets Rise… But Not For Obvious Reasons

Influencer marketing can quickly be seen as the underdog in the data-driven digital marketing world. It’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as impressions, likes, and engagement are tied to overall brand awareness rather than Return on Investment (ROI).

Knowing the importance of the role direct ROI metrics play on a digital marketing budget, I was surprised to learn that influencer budgets are continuously increasing in 2016. Statistics company Statista‘s study of marketing professionals in the United States in 2015 showed that 59 percent of respondents said they were planning to increase their budgets devoted to influencer marketing in the following 12 months.

I wanted to take a deeper dive into the reason for an overall rise in influencer budgets. The first and obvious reasons that came to mind are that Influencer Marketing:

  • Increases brand awareness
  • Gains trust and credibility
  • Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Generates user content

Although those are all reason enough to include influencer marketing into a digital marketing budget, I discovered the true power while working on an integrated campaign with my coworkers on Hawke Media’s email marketing, ad-buying and strategy teams. We noticed that influencer images and captions fit seamlessly into social platform advertising as well as email marketing and result in improved performance throughout.

So, although Influencer marketing has softer KPI’s than the rest of the digital marketing sphere, it is a vital complement to the other ROI driving channels. I believe that influencer marketing budgets will continue to rise because when integrated correctly into an overall digital marketing strategy, it has a multiplier effect on all digital marketing funnels.

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