Marketers are increasingly more likely to choose bloggers over ads, and budgets reflect growing popularity of influencer marketing.

A new study from micro influencer platform Takumi has found that most (96%) of PRs and marketers will invest in the channel and 9% will spend over £100,000 on influencers in the next 12 months.

Out of the 600 surveyed in the UK, most (39%) will invest up to £10,000 in influencer campaigns and a fifth between £10,000 and £100,000. Only 4% of those interviewed won’t allocate any funds towards the channel.

The reason behind the significant sums is the confidence that influencer marketing is more effective than traditional advertising (26%), although two-thirds (43%) find this to be true only when targeting millennials.

Takumi’s co-founder and CEO, Mats Stigzelius, believes the research proves influencer marketing isn’t “an overhyped fad” and growing budgets reflect the way brands recognise the value of the channel.

“Of the professionals we surveyed for example, 61% stated they now feel they are able to accurately measure engagement levels and return on investment, and as platforms like Instagram continue to roll out new features to signpost promoted content, that’s only going to increase,” he explained.

The study has also revealed it’s not always top influencers attracting the big bucks – most respondents (56%) prefer accounts with under 250,000 followers. Stigzelius believes brands can reach the same audiences with micro influencers as they would with top social media stars – and engagement tends to be higher.

“For example, working with a celebrity might give you one social media post. Working with micro influencers, you could generate the same reach and 100 pieces of social content with exactly the same budget,” he commented, adding Takumi is seeing more brands choosing micro influencers over celebrities.

“It’s a trend we only expect to continue,” he added.