With influencer marketing becoming an essential driver in reaching and connecting with consumers, marketers are expressing the need for better transparency and measurement with those they work with, according to new research by Rakuten Marketing.
Influencer marketing budgets have been increasing over the last few years, and there are no signs of stopping its upwards trajectory.
Rakuten Marketing Asia-Pacific MD, JJ Eastwood (featured image) said: “As the influence of bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers continues to grow and proves to be instrumental in the promotion of products, driving sales and building a brand’s awareness, it’s imperative marketers close the measurement gap.
“Marketers need to be confident in their understanding of the impact their influencer marketing campaigns play throughout the consumer journey and that they’re able to accurately compensate influencers for their contribution in driving sales.”
In an Australia-wide survey of more than 100 marketers in a variety of industries, including retail, fashion, beauty, travel, electronics and hospitality, Rakuten Marketing found an average of 38 per cent of total marketing budgets will be allocated to influencer programs this year, with luxury fashion dedicating more than half (52 per cent) of their budget to influencer marketing.
Of those surveyed, 58 per cent have upped their already slated annual budget for influencers.
On average, Australian marketers anticipate influencer campaigns to increase by over $320,000 this year for high-tier and celebrity influencers, and as much as $232,000 for micro influencers.
Of the 500 Aussie consumers surveyed, Rakuten Marketing found 51 per cent shop online weekly, with nearly one third revealing they engage with influencers multiple times a day.
Additionally, 85 per cent admitting they have been inspired to purchase something on the recommendation or share of an influencer.
As the strength of influencer impact grows, so does the need for transparency and a better understanding of measurement and payment amongst brands, consumers and influencers alike.
While 70 per cent of marketers indicated they could identify the sales driven by a particular influencer marketing campaign, nearly half expressed the desire for greater measurement of impact.
45 per cent said greater attribution and insight into the impact of influencer activity across the wider consumer purchasing journey would encourage them to invest more in influencer programs.
Rakuten Marketing found 34 per cent of Australian marketers would like to see more transparency around an influencer’s engagement strategy, with 27 per cent saying they wanted the contribution of sales from influencers to be more transparent and reportable.
A further 27 per cent said they would be more inclined to increase their budget for influencers if payment terms were in relation to sales they drive instead of pay-per-post.
The research found a lack of understanding amongst marketers of how influencer fees are calculated: only 29 per cent said they completely understood, while 57 per cent said they somewhat understood and 13 per cent expressed little to no understanding.