The PRCA’s 2016 Digital PR and Comms Report, which launched yesterday, has revealed a 9% increase in in-house digital budgets over the past year.
The mean percentage of marketing budget spent on digital and social media is 25%, which is up from 16% in 2015. In addition, most (62%) expect their digital budgets to grow in the next 12 months.
The report reveals that the core areas of digital budget spend are video-based content (62%), web design and build (55%) and paid social media activity (55%). Despite web design and build being a leading area of investment, the proportion of budget spent has dropped by 24% in the past four years, suggesting that much of the investment has already been made.
The report suggests that video content is both a leading area of digital spend in-house, as well as a leading agency offering. Social influencer outreach is a leading service sought from, and provided by, PR and communications agencies.
The leading digital services bought by clients are social influencer outreach (12%) and blogger outreach (9%). However, 19% of those surveyed do not use their PR and communications agency at all in this area. According to the report, the most prevalent digital services offered by PR and communications agencies are blogger outreach and engagement (86%); video-based content (86%) and social influencer outreach (85%).
Danny Whatmough, head of social, EMEA at Weber Shandwick, and chairman of the PRCA Digital Group, said: “Encouragingly, we are seeing brands and businesses fundamentally buying into the need for digital and social investment. This shift is mirrored by a willingness to invest in a broader range of digital tactics that agencies are adapting to provide. The importance of video, paid social and influencer marketing comes particularly strong this year and it is positive to see the industry being responsive to demand but also the changing media scene.
The fourth annual Digital PR and Communications Report, produced in partnership with YouGov, details the industry’s relationship with digital communications. It surveyed 203 agency and in-house PR professionals.