What’s ahead for influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
According to a recent survey, 86% of marketers that were questioned used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% of them found it to be an effective marketing strategy.1 Influencer marketing will continue to soar in 2018, with 39% of marketers confirming they will increase their influencer marketing budgets this year.
As influencer marketing evolves and reaches new heights, we’re sharing 5 influencer marketing trends you can expect to see in 2018.
The “Always-On” Strategy
In the past few years, the traditional influencer marketing strategy was geared towards one-off collaboration deals: a brand contacts an influencer to collaborate and the influencer shares a sponsored post, creating a small buzz around the brand, before marking the end of the collaboration.
As brands integrate influencer marketing into their marketing strategies in 2018, they’ll discover that there are certain influencers who are better suited for their brand image than others. When they do, they’ll want to foster and commit to a long-term relationship with the influencers that are aligned with their brand image, rather than experiment with a pool of untested influencers.
Committing to a long-term relationship with an influencer has its benefits. There’s increased trust between the brand and influencer, and their partnership will be perceived as more authentic and organic by the influencer’s audience — an influencer’s long-lasting partnership with a brand shows that the influencer genuinely believes in the brand’s products or services, and not just the monetary compensation. This will create more meaningful interactions between the influencer, his followers, and the branded content.
The Increasing Value of Influencers
As influencer marketing becomes mainstream, influencers are beginning to understand the full value they bring to brands. Influencers have the ability to create stunning images that stay true to their unique styles and voices, while exposing branded content to the right type of consumers — influencers possess the expertise needed to create content that captures their audience’s attention. With the growing popularity of ad blockers, influencer marketing has become an important way to reach consumers.
This rise in value and demand will lead to an increase in influencer costs. In the past, it was common for brands to approach influencers for a collaboration and pay them in free samples, products, or other forms of compensation. But with increasing collaboration requests and a new-found understanding of their value, influencers will be looking for something more than free products and samples. In 2018, brands can expect to put more effort into their approach. This change doesn’t need to revolve around monetary compensation — it can also involve long-term collaboration deals and partnerships.
Instagram Stories Will Dominate
Instagram shook things up in the social media world by introducing Instagram Stories. After launching in August 2016, Stories has already racked up 250 million daily active users, and it’ll only continue to rise in 2018.2 Stories has become the preferred video-sharing platform by both influencers and brands. There are many reasons why they’re dominating the video-sharing market: Instagram has a wide reach, users can add direct links, CTAs, and hashtags to their Stories, and users can produce quality videos.
With Stories, influencers have the opportunity to step outside the box when sharing a brand’s story. They’ll be able to share “in the moment” content, without the added filters, to their audience. This will increase influencers’ perceived authenticity, which will drive engagement, and brands can leverage the benefits of Stories by working with influencers.
A Greater Focus on KPI and ROI
With more brands using influencer marketing, there will be a pressing demand to determine KPI and ROI accurately. Currently, there are several ways to determine whether an influencer marketing campaign is successful. A brand can calculate engagement rates, track follower growth, or measure the sales and revenue generated from the campaign. The methods used to measure a campaign’s success are ultimately dependent on the goals of the campaign.
In 2018, brands will begin laying out their objectives and goals more clearly and employ strategies to determine the results of their influencer marketing campaigns. If brands hope to use influencer marketing in the long run, they’ll need to first assess what’s working in their campaigns and what’s not, so they can reach a better understanding of how they can achieve their goals. This will also provide brands with insights on influencer-brand compatibility and influencers’ audience behavior.
But the good news is that tracking metrics doesn’t need to be complicated. At inzpire.me, you’ll have access to the results of your influencer marketing campaigns immediately after they’re over. You’ll be able to easily determine the engagement rates, reach, impressions, and other metrics for every influencer in your campaign without a hassle.
The Demand for Transparency
As influencer marketing becomes more widespread, we’ll see organizations, such as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), actively enforcing regulations around advertising and promotions. Influencers and brands will need to be transparent about publishing branded content by clearly disclosing sponsored posts, product endorsements and promotions.
In 2018, as more brands and influencers join the influencer marketing industry, there will be more eyes monitoring whether brands and influencers are adhering to the Instagram sponsored post rules. At inzpire.me, we require all collaborations to be fully transparent, because we understand that adherence to disclosure rules will be key to brands and influencers.