Every year, cmosurvey.org asks top marketers of US for-profit organizations about their industry and produces a report that reveals interesting marketing stats and trends. For instance, the most recent update to the report found that CMOs’ optimism in the US economy increased steadily and that marketing budgets were expected to increase as well. This increase falls between 2.5% in retail and an impressive 12.2% and 15.6% in the tech and finance industries. (See figure 3.3)
Although the report does not mention influencer marketing budgets specifically, it does discuss the growing importance of digital and social media marketing. As such, the first of three steps in correctly budgeting for influencer marketing in 2018 will be to identify how these trends will affect your industry over next few years.
Step 1: What Are Industry Trends? How Can You Be Proactive?
A very revealing figure from the report above shows the percentage change in traditional advertising versus digital marketing expected in the next 12 months. With an average digital marketing budget increase of 13.8% in 2017, the trend towards digital is clear. Additionally, the figure below explains how the portion of the overall budget dedicated to digital is expected to almost double from the current 9.8% to 18.5% in the next 5 years.
In a digital space where PPC advertising is losing its appeal and platforms like Facebook make it harder for business posts to reach followers organically, influencers have been receiving a lot of attention from marketers. Looking at the data provided by cmosurvey.org, it’s clear that in the next five years influencers will be receiving increasingly larger portions of marketing budgets. To stay proactive as a marketing manager, look at 5 year trends and make sure that you are making the crucial budget decisions earlier rather than later.
Influencer marketing can be more complex than it looks and the many differences between it and traditional marketing have many impacts on marketing results. For this reason, organizations need to understand what results they can expect from their campaigns and find the best way to shift their overall budgets towards influencer marketing.
Step 2: Base Your Influencer Campaigns on Realistic Goals and Measure KPIs
Influencers are pros at driving awareness. They are amazing at getting followers to look at a post and really make them think about it. With influencers, people will know you exist, but expect more investment to get their interested followers converted into buying customers.
Realistically, influencers can get your product in front of their audiences at a fraction of the cost of ads. They’ll be able to send their followers to your page and even refer them to your website and current promotions. Relevant KPIs to track are those that measure increase in social engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares and views. Figure out how much extra awareness is being generated and don’t forget to track traffic increase on specific links and pages of your website.
The trends above showed marketing budgets quickly shifting, but remember that while increasing digital marketing budget for influencers, make sure to use ad budget that has the purpose of creating awareness. It’s this type of value that influencers are going to deliver.
Step 3: Shift Marketing Budget Within Your Organization
Once there is a clear understanding of the types of changes influencer marketing can bring to your organization and precise goals and KPIs that track results, it’s time to shift your budget from traditional marketing to digital, more specifically influencer marketing.
Analyse your previous year’s annual budget focused on creating awareness and look at what can be moved into your influencer budget. With a variable cost per impression dependent on the number of influencers and campaigns, you have lots of control on your expenses. In addition, with historical data on each influencer’s work, impression results can be predicted very accurately. Remember that some of the budget allocated to creative tasks such as content creation can be moved to influencers who take control of most of the creative work during campaigns.
Lastly, to have a thorough understanding of the influencer marketing space and the possibilities available to you, consult with professionals of the industry. Here at 66 Agency, we make sure that our campaigns shake things up a bit. Our unique team creates one-of-a-kind campaigns for our clients that captivates influencers and most importantly keeps followers happy and engaged.