The Road Ahead for Influencer Marketing: 2018 and Beyond

The Road Ahead for Influencer Marketing: 2018 and Beyond

Significantly, the success of influencer marketing has occurred not just because of the value it's shown as a marketing tactic. Influencer marketing budgets will increase. As such, a clear opportunity for influencer marketing exists, to make an impact throughout the customer journey. They can be useful again, during the purchase/decision phase, by leveraging influencer content for retargeting ads, and incorporating affiliate/promo codes. Our research tells us that 41 percent of marketers surveyed today are spending only 5 percent or less of their budget on influencer marketing. As a result, marketers are increasingly turning their efforts to social media, whether through direct spend with the major social platforms or through key tastemakers on those platforms -- the influencers. With increased spend in an area like that, marketers will need to find more scalable ways to track and measure their influencer marketing campaigns. Increasing your budget for influencer marketing will be at its most successful only when you've aligned your influencer strategywith your objectives. One of the major ways we predict that influencer marketing campaigns will evolve in 2018 is the relationship between brands and influencers. Or, if you’re new to the industry, start by working with a series of influencers and grow the relationships to become bi-directional over time.

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The Road Ahead for Influencer Marketing: 2018 and Beyond

Influencer marketing has expanded exponentially over the past several years — it’s now four times its size just two years ago. As such, the industry has evolved from a promising marketing tactic to an essential part of many marketing budgets; today, it’s a leading priority for huge conglomerates and startups and small businesses alike.

Significantly, the success of influencer marketing has occurred not just because of the value it’s shown as a marketing tactic. In fact, research has shown influencer marketing’s effectiveness at meeting a myriad of goals.

Our own research, for instance, found that a whopping 67 percent of marketers surveyed thought influencer marketing campaigns helped them reach a more targeted audience.

In the past year, we have also seen some key points of growth. Cross-channel social campaigns became more common, due to the tactic’s ability to boost engagement, exponentially. Moreover, brands began to expand their influencer contacts to ones outside of their own industries. Meaning that just because a brand operated in the food or CPG industry didn’t mean it had to stick to “foodie” influencers.

Rather, marketers are finding success in branching out to a range of influencers who can interact with that brand. A food brand, for example, might engage fitness bloggers, mommy bloggers or even travel bloggers. Witness howt Chobani activated fitness micro-influencers to support its launch of Drink Chobani.

Of course, these changes haven’t come without government oversight: As inluencer marketing has become a major part of marketing campaigns, and influencers have begun working with larger portfolios of brands, the Federal Trade Commision has increased its regulatory actions, sending more than 90 warning letters to brands and influencers — including those with both large and small-scale influence.

We have seen substantial if incremental growth in the industry this year (2017) and the previous year, and future growth projections estimate that the industry will experience five times more growth by 2021.

Here is a look at what 2018 will likely hold for influencer marketing and how individual entrepreneurs can latch on to this growing industry for the betterment of their brand.

Influencer marketing budgets will increase.

We know that social media content has had a huge impact on the customer’s overall path to purchase. According to Forrester, the average consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase. As such, a clear opportunity for influencer marketing exists, to make an impact throughout the customer journey.

Influencer marketing can be instrumental for the inspiration phase of that journey, when influencers expose audiences to new products or services. Influencers can also sway audiences during the consideration phase, through educational content like tutorials.

They can be useful again, during the purchase/decision phase, by leveraging influencer content for retargeting ads, and incorporating affiliate/promo codes. Given the possibilities that influencer content poses, marketers are starting to set aside a larger proportion of their budget to carry out these impactful engagements.

Still, there’s a…

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