Philippine marketing in 2018: influencer income will double, publishers to rely more on native ads

Philippine brands are set to invest more heavily on native advertising next year, a trailblazing white paper shows. This will spur optimism among influencers, who expect their incomes to at least double, and publishers, who forecast that more than half of their revenues will come from native ads.

A report released by content marketing platform GetCRAFT on October 18 shows that brands will increase their native ads spend to a median of 21-30% in 2018 from 11-20% this year. Sponsored content—namely branded content on publisher platforms and paid influencer posts—will be the top priority area.

Some 62% of brands GetCRAFT surveyed plan to do more branded content in 2018, while 59% plan to employ more influencer marketing. Paid social media, which this year dominated the native ads space, comes only third in the 2018 priority ranking, with 57% of brands planning to do more of them.

Optimism among publishers and influencers reflect advertisers’ plans to increase sponsored content spend. Some 83% of influencers expect revenues to at least double in 2018. In fact, 4% of the influencers in GetCRAFT’s survey expect their income to grow by as much as five times. Some 43% of publishers meanwhile expect native ads to form more than half of their revenues next year.

Advertisers now place branded content and influencer marketing higher in their priority list than paid social media ads, which dominated the native ad space in 2017. Some 79% of brands used paid social media this year, as opposed to 59% for branded content and 46% for influencer marketing.

Higher spend on native ads comes even as advertisers confess that they find it difficult to measure the impact of campaigns. GetCRAFT’s survey reveals that ensuring ROI is the top challenge faced by brands doing native ads, identified by 77% of respondents. Other major issues include ensuring content quality, named by 61% of brands, and lack of proper measurement (54%).

GetCRAFT’s study underlines a need for advertisers to use native ads beyond brand awareness. With 90% of brands primarily using native ads for brand awareness, their advertising partners default to awareness metrics. Some 89% of publishers use reach to measure campaign performance, while 74% of influencers use post views.

This forces publishers and influencers to compete against not only digital channels such as banner or programmatic display ads, but also against traditional media such as television. GetCRAFT notes that brands take TV’s reach almost at face value because of widely accepted metrics such as the gross rating point (GRP); for digital, by contrast, they use a variety of metrics.

“The projected growth in the use of sponsored content signals maturity among marketers. They now see the value of content that might not directly talk about the brand but creates a halo effect through publishers and influencers who have personality, credibility, and even authority that resonate among audiences,” Patrick Searle, GetCRAFT Co-Founder and Group CEO, said.

The GetCRAFT white paper titled the Philippine Native Advertising & Influencer Marketing Report 2018 is the first local study to look into native ads. It is based on the results of three separate surveys sent to 150 brands and agencies, publishers, and influencers, and on insights from interviews with industry experts.

Almost half of the publishers in GetCRAFT’s survey admitted that they grapple with hitting native ad targets, but also complain that advertisers lack an understanding of how native ads work. Both brands and publishers interviewed by GetCRAFT question whether brand awareness should be the main objectives for doing native ads, and seem more inclined to measure engagement.

Influencers, for their part, already measure campaign success in terms of engagement. Some 74% of influencers check the number of likes on a post, while 50% keep an eye the number of comments and 34% on the number of shares. GetCRAFT, however, highlights calls for influencers to be more transparent about campaign performance by sharing insight reports from their posts.

“Although price is ultimately the influencer’s prerogative, there is a growing demand from advertisers for influencers to justify their rates. The justification should go beyond the number of followers and include insights about content quality, brand and audience fit, and measures of engagement,” Kate Delos Reyes, GetCRAFT Managing Director, Philippines, says.

Pricing emerged as the top challenge faced by influencers, identified by 56% of GetCRAFT respondents. Most influencers said content quality (88%) and personal brand (86%) are the main factors they consider when determining price. At GetCRAFT, the median views of top-performing influencers sit at 47,100, resulting in a median cost per view of PHP0.79.