Nearly two-thirds of brands (65 percent) say they are planning to increase their influencer marketing budget this year, according to a Buzzoole survey of the more than 200 brands on its influence engine optimization platform.
Compared to other strategies, such as display advertising and affiliates, companies plan to invest most in influencer marketing, the survey results indicated.
When comparing the amount companies plan to spend on different promotional strategies, a mere 6 percent of companies focus their investment on display advertising, while 15 percent focus on affiliates, 3 percent on organic search and 29 percent on paid search. Taking the highest percentage is influencer marketing, at 30 percent.
"The most surprising finding was not the fact that many companies claimed they would invest on influencer marketing more in the following months, but the size of the budget they claimed they would allocate," Fabrizio Perrone, CEO and founder of marketing platform provider Buzzoole, told eWEEK.
He noted 23 percent of respondents said they would allocate between $15,000 to $25,000, and 17 percent would allocate $26,000 to $50,000, which he said proves influencer marketing is a trend and people trust the value coming out of it.
"Social networks' diffusion is huge, everybody is aware of that. And mobile devices account for 76 percent of all the time spent on social media," Perrone said. "The great change coming from mobile technology regarding brand-building is the fact that now even small businesses can afford reaching their target without spending a fortune on commercials and similar methods."
When selecting the specific influencer marketing channel that companies prefer, 34 percent of brands focus their strategy on blogs and 29 percent focus on Instagram, while 23 percent focus on Facebook, 8 percent on Twitter, 5 percent on YouTube and 1 percent on Snapchat.
"Consumers can be reached wherever and at any time. This is a revolution. Indeed, with influencer marketing, which runs across social media and blogs and appears as organic and spontaneous to users, there is not only a higher chance to reach your target audience, but brands can do so in a more impressive and trustworthy way," Perrone noted. "Through involving influencers, small businesses can communicate to a wider audience, speeding up their process of brand-building."