Most marketers working in digital spaces now believe that influencer content outperforms brand-created content, according to a new report released by San Francisco-based content marketing technology company Linqia.

According to the report, which surveyed digital marketers on how agencies are planning to leverage influencer marketing in 2019, more than half (57 percent) of those surveyed reported that the content created by influencers outperforms brand-created content when repurposed in other marketing channels. Nearly one in five (18 percent) believes that it “greatly outperforms” brand-created content.

As a result, most marketing pros now say that average influencer marketing budgets are on the rise at their agency, with 54 percent reporting plans to spend more than $250,000 this year on influencer marketing, and 17 percent reporting plans to spend upwards of $1 million. More than a third (39 percent) of respondents stationed at agencies with digital marketing budget above $500,000 plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2019.

On average, more than a quarter (27 percent) of digital marketers said they ran five or more influencer marketing campaigns last year. Two-thirds (66 percent) said they ran three or more campaigns in 2018.

Digital marketers’ annual influencer marketing budget (2018 vs. 2019).Digital marketers’ annual influencer marketing budget (2018 vs. 2019).

A majority of respondents (34 percent) said their agency now manages all influencer marketing programs in-house, while about a quarter (26 percent) hire a specialty agency and 20 percent rely on a platform of some sort. 58 percent apply a one-off tactical campaign strategy to influencer marketing, while 42 percent now leverage influencer marketing across a multitude of initiatives across the year.

More than half (52 percent) said that measuring ROI continues to be marketers’ greatest challenge when working with influencer marketing programs. Engagement (89 percent) impressions (67 percent), brand awareness (65 percent) and clicks (63 percent) were reported as the top means of measuring the success of influencer marketing programs.

Not surprisingly, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of marketers cited Instagram as their preferred network for influencer marketing, followed by Facebook (51 percent). YouTube and blogs trailed next, followed by Pinterest and Twitter. Snapchat, meanwhile, bottomed out the list as the least important social network for influencer marketing in 2019.

Linqia’s third annual influencer marketing survey polled nearly 200 marketing pros stationed in the consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, media and retail industries. The survey was conducted in February.