DURHAM – Creative and marketing agency McKinney is expanding its capabilities through an acquisition in the “influencer” space, saying the deal and another for a “performance media” group will enable it to continue to offer what it calls a “modern ecosystem” for clients.

The deal includes the influencer marketing agency August United and the performance group at Audacious Studios, which is based in Phoenix. Clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Nestle, Sam’s Club, Petsmart and P.F. Chang’s.

McKinney will add 60 employees through the deal. It now has nearly 300 workers.

McKinney will maintain an office in Phoenix, adding to its footprint that includes operations in DurhamDallasLos Angeles and New York.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The deal was announced Wednesday.

An influencer is defined as “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media,” according to Oxford languages. Influencer marketing was a $16.4 billion industry in 2022, according to research cited by McKinney.

“The last few years have not only accelerated the use of social media in general, but also the time spent with user-generated content,” said Joe Maglio, CEO of McKinney, in a statement. “Influencers are at the core of that growth, and as a result influencer marketing is becoming a more integral part of our clients’ marketing plans. Micro and mid-tier influencers in particular – August United’s focus area – have been shown to drive significant engagement and impact purchase decisions, and I’m excited to bring this expertise to our client partners.”