Budget restraints and a lack of ROI prevent many brands from adopting influencer marketing strategies, according to a new report by Traackr. Failure to adopt a long-term strategy is also a culprit, although more brands are focusing on nurturing creator relationships than they were last year.
“The State of Influence 2.0” is the second annual report by Traackr, an influencer relationship management platform. Written by Altimeter principle analyst Brian Solis, the report includes responses from 118 digital marketers in both B2C and B2B industries that include Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Nissan and L’Oreal. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents come from companies with over 10,000 employees, 17 percent of respondents were from companies over 1,000 employees and 66 percent come from either Fortune 500 or Forbes Global 2000.
The most important question for marketers was why they turn to influencer marketing in the first place. Top marketing priorities among respondents were to raise brand awareness (47 percent), followed by calculating ROI and attribution (37 percent), Traackr found.
These results are significantly different than a poll of 158 marketers by ANA in April, finding that 86 percent use influencer marketing for brand awareness. Another key difference between the two studies lies in compensation—while 62 percent of ANA members pay influencers monetarily, several respondents of Traackr’s survey, including Microsoft and Sipsmith, said that they rely more on relationships than paid agreements.
When comparing owned, earned and paid partnerships, 81 percent of marketers surveyed by Traackr placed greater importance on developing partnerships with influencers in an earned capacity, compared to 61 percent that focused on paid partnerships.
Brands are saving a place for influencer marketing in the budget, but not that much. More than half of respondents said that influencer marketing accounts for less than 10 percent of the total budget. A majority of this budget is allocated to content creation, followed by agencies and influencer compensation. The least amount of budget goes to technology—a fact that Traackr was understandably concerned about.
According to Traackr, 70 percent of marketers surveyed have influencer marketing budgets of more than $100,000, compared to 38 percent of ANA members. Influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022, according to Business Insider.