|According to the Technorati Media 2013 Digital Influence Report, 60 per cent of brand marketers predict an average increase of 40 per cent in social spend for 2013. Currently, the bulk of brands' overall digital spend goes to display advertising, search and video, with spending on social, including influencer outreach, making up only 10 per cent of their total digital spend. Within their social budget, more than half goes to Facebook, followed by YouTube and Twitter, with the remaining 11 per cent of their social spend going to blogs and influencers.
Though blogs and influencers don't get a large portion of brands' digital spend, they rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence, says the report. When making overall purchase decisions, for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites. With regard to overall sources for information on the internet, blogs rank among the top five "most trustworthy" sources. As an example, according to consumers, blogs are more influential in shaping opinion than Twitter, and when it comes to affecting purchase decisions, more important than Facebook.
The report details how different social platforms stack up against each other. Influencers ranked page views above all other metrics when focusing on their own key metrics, while Google Analytics is the leader among tracking tools. Brands had different top metrics for identifying and selecting influencers, with com- Score/Nielsen ranking first, closely followed by number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and the influencer's potential to draw likes. It is important to note, says the report, that due to their niche size, influencers are not well represented in comScore/Nielsen.
According to brand marketers, when metrics from their earned media goals are ranked, Facebook likes, traffic to their website, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers are the main contenders, a reversal from influencers, where monitoring traffic/page views ranked No. 1, followed by Facebook likes.
Brands' digital messaging has gone social. More than 90 per cent of brands surveyed for the report stated they have a presence on Facebook. It's nearly as high for Twitter and YouTube. Google+ wasn't as popular with brands.
Brands are spending the largest parts of their digital budget on display advertising, search and producing video. Spending on social, including influencer outreach, makes up only 10 per cent of brands' digital marketing spend.
Of that social budget, more than half goes to Facebook. YouTube and Twitter each get 13 per cent, while about 6 per cent is spent on influencers and 5 per cent advertising on blogs.
Brand managers report an expected increase in budgets for digital marketing in the upcoming year. Mobile spend is expected to increase for 79 per cent of brands surveyed, while social and video tie at 59 per cent of brands expected to spend in those two areas. Of the additional budget, most of the increases are going to display advertising (73 per cent) and search (52 per cent). Social and mobile make up the second tier of expected increases, each category getting 37 per cent of budget increases. Only 3 per cent of brands say they expect to decrease social spending.