Influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. More brands are using influencer marketing than ever before -- and this trend is sure to continue in 2019 and beyond. For the content to really resonate with a target audience, the influencer needs to capture their followers’ attention in a compelling way. Video content and live streaming are growing on social media. Influencers are tapping into the engaging nature of video content, which can be more effective in driving sales than text-based content. Brands are also sponsoring influencers’ live feeds on social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. The key is to keep it authentic and engaging, and include creative brand mentions throughout the broadcast. This type of marketing only works if an influencer is authentic in how they promote a product; they must genuinely like the product or brand, or the campaign will fall flat. Some influencers who never paid for followers may still have fake followers on their account. Using multiple influencers increases product mentions and audience engagement with the brand.
The key is to success is to integrate influencers into your marketing team.
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Influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of the celebrity endorsement and reconfigures it to fit with today’s social media–driven world.
Unlike celebrities, influencers can come from any background or industry, and they can have varying amounts of followers. One thing they all have in common is that they’re social media figures who have gathered a defined audience around themselves. Their ability to influence others allows them to give a human voice to brands. Influencer marketing is less direct than traditional forms of marketing, but when done well, it creates an authentic way of connecting with customers.
And it’s growing by leaps and bounds every year. Influencer marketing is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion by 2022. As more businesses begin to experiment with influencer marketing, it continues to evolve and adapt to the market. So, before you set out to build your next influencer campaign, here are 10 trends you need to keep your eye on.
1. Increasing emphasis on influencer marketing.
More brands are using influencer marketing than ever before — and this trend is sure to continue in 2019 and beyond. The reality is that old-school, traditional marketing centered on TV and radio just isn’t as effective as it used to be. So brands are focusing their efforts on the places where their audiences are spending their time — online, and often on social media.
Businesses are finding a solid return when it comes to influencer marketing. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub 2017 study, businesses are making $7.65 on an average for every $1 spent, so it’s no surprise that influencer-marketing platforms have more than doubled in the last two years.
Influencer marketing is incredibly effective because we inherently trust the people we follow on social networks. After all, we wouldn’t be following them if we didn’t like them! So when an influencer sincerely advocates for a service or product, their audience listens.
2. Micro-influencers are making an impact.
As it turns out, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to influencers. Brands are homing in on the power of micro-influencers, or influencers who generally have fewer than 10,000 followers on social media. Micro-influencers are seen as more like “normal” people.
They engage and interact with their followers more frequently, and are viewed as more relatable and authentic. Meanwhile, “mega influencers” and celebrities may have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers, but they aren’t always as interactive with their audiences and can seem less approachable.
Micro-influencers tend to be knowledgeable about their niche, and their followers are more likely to trust their recommendations. They’re also are more affordable than enlisting a celebrity as an influencer or brand ambassador.
3. Focus on storytelling.
At its core, influencer marketing is about storytelling. The best campaigns are crafted when a brand partners with an influencer to create unique content that really engages the audience. Storytelling connects with customers and makes them more likely to make a purchase. One study from ad agency Hill Holliday found that not only are customers more likely to buy from a brand with a good story; they’re also more likely to pay a higher price per item.
For the content to really resonate with a target audience, the influencer needs to capture their followers’ attention in a compelling way. A simple photo featuring a product in the background will no longer draw audience attention to the brand or elicit consumer sales. Video content is a natural fit to help a story come alive and resonate with customers.