In a recent article, Irfan Ahmad pointed out that influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional marketing. Is your mind blown? It’s true – Influencer marketing is the next big thing. Moreover, collaborating with influencers has been very beneficial to the brands, helping them build a digital presence that is much loved by their audience. The reason, you may ask, is that influencers tend to humanize a brand, making it seem much more approachable to your audience. This is why influencer marketing is here to stay. Another advantage is that influencer marketing is extremely adaptable in nature. It is suitable for every brand, albeit retail, financial products or services.
Now, implementing influencer marketing in your upcoming digital marketing campaign is very easy. However, I would suggest that you check out the latest trends before approaching an influencer, to stay ahead in this game. Which is why, in this article, we will be discussing the top 5 influencer marketing trends to look out for, this year.
Brands will collaborate more with Influencers. People have realised that nowadays, almost anyone can become a digital influencer. As a result, there has been a sudden rise in the number of micro-influencers, found on various social media platforms. These influencers have also been changing the game, approaching brands themselves to collaborate for creating paid content. Also, with the recently announced changes in the Facebook advertising algorithm, brands are more aware of the fact that promoted posts and ads will not be visible to their entire audience base easily. Therefore, the need to collaborate with an influencer who can reach out to their ideal audience base easily is real. Furthermore, compared to traditional online advertising on various digital platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Google AdWords, this type of marketing is way more economical for the brands. This works especially in the case of micro-influencers, who have a follower base of 5,000 – 50,000 followers and a high engagement rate. So it comes as no surprise that brands will now be more interested in collaborating with these influencers than ever before.
Video content will be more desirable.
In the last few months, there have been numerous new updates introduced on various digital platforms, the most popular one being IGTV, introduced by Instagram, which has been a game changer. This further backs the fact that good video content is what everyone has been craving for in recent times. Be it on YouTube, Facebook or through Instagram via their Feed and Stories, and video marketing has become extremely popular among the millennials. I would say, blame it on the reducing attention time span of the current users. Videos are now a medium through which everything, from beautiful travel stories to quick tutorials to product reviews, can be shared with your audience. Musical.ly is also another platform where sponsored video content is working great currently. Most of the app users are teen influencers, who share fashion and beauty videos and even product reviews, as a part of brand collabs. 2018 will see more of Musical.ly influencer content as well, as brands use the app to target their teen audience specifically. Live video content, be it through Instagram, YouTube or Facebook Live, has also become extremely popular nowadays, with influencers rapidly gaining the trust of their followers by showing a part of their daily routine life. As I mentioned earlier, more the desirability of video content by the audience, more is a brand at an advantage when it chooses to collaborate with an influencer for creating good video content. Sharing an example of Instagram influencer Larissa Dsa, who recently shared a travel video on IGTV. The video received around 36,000 views, with comments from her followers about how they loved the video and would like to travel soon. This shows that encouraging the audience to like your product or service through social media influencers is achievable in today’s time.
Influencers screened for authenticity. It has become extremely effortless for people to catch a popular face and discredit them of their position, for any wrongdoing of theirs. Be it public smoking, being caught drunk driving, or embroiled in a scuffle, the news spreads on social media like wildfire, damaging the reputation of the influencer as well as the brands associated with them. Brands are, therefore, becoming extra cautious about whom to associate their name with. Choosing a wrong ambassador can do much more damage than a controversial advertisement, and therefore, brands will be selecting an influencer for their brand with much precision. You will see brands going beyond an influencer’s follower base, as nowadays it has become extremely easy to get paid followers and buy bots for a social media page. Instead, brands would be checking the total page reach, the engagement rate and the various platforms on which an influencer is active.
Transparency about paid content will be encouraged We will be seeing more influencers being transparent about their paid social media collaborations, as influencer marketing is going to become more regulated in 2018. According to the new transparency rules by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), influencers have to inform their audience when a brand sponsors their social media post or YouTube video. If this is not implemented, strict action would be taken against the influencer. In the case of YouTube, the video would not be monetized. Post this announcement; many influencers have begun using #ad and #sponsored in their content, which has ensured that their audience is now well aware of the fact that the post or video is a paid collaboration.
Brands will engage with influencers from platforms other than Instagram Instagram has been ruling the roost currently when it comes to brand-influencer collaborations. In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2017, nearly 99% of the influencers surveyed said they work on Instagram, 70% said they were on Facebook too, and 47% said they were active on Snapchat as well. However, with the regulations getting stricter and algorithm changes on platforms such as Facebook ensuring that paid content is not accessible very easily, brands are shifting focus to other platforms, such as Snapchat, Musical.ly and Pinterest. Musical.ly, which is a lip-syncing app, has more than 200 million users currently, with most being teen users who have become influencers with an own following of approx. 1 million followers. Popular brands such as Disney and KitKat, and lesser known fashion and beauty brands have begun collaborating with these teen influencers already. A famous face on television, Avneet Kaur currently has a following of around 3 million fans on Musical.ly and is known for her fashion and beauty videos on the app, which are collaborations with various brands. With smaller brands catching on this trend, it will not be a surprise to see Musical.ly grow further in 2018.
However, influencer marketing is not just about choosing an influencer and having them talking about your brand regularly. After all, as Donald Draper once said, the endorsement can be considered as lazy. Success lies in building a creative campaign, which serves a purpose and helps you reach your goal in a limited period.
So, will you be collaborating with an influencer on your next campaign?
#DidYouKnow that influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional marketing? It is definitely the next big thing out there, the reason being that influencers tend to humanize a brand, making it seem much more approachable to your audience.
Now, implementing influencer marketing in your upcoming digital marketing campaign is very easy. However, you need to keep an eye out for the top 2018 trends to ensure that your campaign is a success. One of the trends that will establish itself in 2018 will be the creation of more sponsored content than before on various social media platforms. While platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be targeted, other platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat and Musical.ly will also be chosen by brands. Also, brands will tend to lean towards creating more video content, as it is what the current audience loves watching more than static posts.
Another trend of 2018 will be the presence of transparency for sponsored content, where the audience will be informed that the post or video is part of the promoted content. There will also be transparency about an influencers’ fame, where authentic influencers with a good reach and a high engagement rate will be targeted over an influencer who has the right follower base.
So, which influencer will you be collaborating with on your next campaign?