Influencer Content Beginning to Outperform Brand-Created Content

Sarah Steimer
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Key Takeaways

What? Budgets continue to expand for influencer marketing.

So what? More companies are using influencer marketing on more platforms, and it’s often out-performing brand-created content.

Now what? Marketers should expect to test their influencer-created content against brand-created content and shift budgets appropriately.

​Dec. 5, 2017

Expect more brands to use their influencer marketing on various platforms in 2018, according to the latest report from Linqia

“The State of Influencer Marketing 2018” found 86% of polled marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% found it effective. For the coming year, 39% of marketers plan to boost their budgets for influencer marketing, with 30% saying they plan to spend between $25,000 and $30,000, and 25% report that they will spend between $50,000 and $100,000 per program in 2018.

Linqia co-founder and chief evangelist Maria Spika provided a few more details about the report and trends for 2018.

Photo credit: Topknots & Pearls from Linqia's Aveeno campaign

Q: What are some of the biggest trends in influencer marketing we saw in 2017?

A: In 2017, we saw an increase in influencer marketing budgets. Marketers also started holding their influencer programs accountable for driving results as they shifted to cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing models and away from pay-per-post, or “flat rate” pricing. Brands experienced a shift in trust, loosening the reins for approval and increasing confidence in influencers to highlight the product or service in their own ways while still fulfilling brand guidelines.

Q: How are marketers measuring the ROI of their influencer marketing programs? Is there a best way to measure?

A: Marketers cite engagement (87%), clicks (59%) and conversions (54%) as their top performance indicators going into 2018. As the industry matures, advanced marketers are holding influencer marketing accountable for driving lower funnel metrics in addition to awareness and engagement. Forty-six percent of marketers are using product sales to determine the success of a program, a notable jump from just 34% the year prior. Conversely, 50% of marketers measured success by reach in 2017, an 11% drop from 2016, which signals a shift away from surface-level metrics that are impossible to measure organically. 


Q: Do you think we’ll see influencer content affecting brand-created content? If so—in what way?

A: Eighty-one percent of marketers are using influencer content ...

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Author Bio:

Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.

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