Think reality stars hawking products on Instagram is on the outs? Think again. According to Adweek, the influencer marketing industry is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020. More than two-thirds of marketers in 2018 thought influencer marketing campaigns positively impacted their bottom line.
Influencers are the ones social media users discover new brands from. They’re accounts users trust, ones they loyally follow and check in with, and ones they click affiliate links to purchase from. Let’s take a look at seven of the biggest factors affecting influencer marketing in 2019.
1. Beware of More Fake Influencers and Followers
As more social media users clamor to score free products and exclusive info from brand partners (not to mention, gain more popularity among the interwebs), brands should be even warier of fake influencers. These are accounts that put up “sponsored content” that is in fact fraudulent, as a way to gain the attention of paying brands.
Also, expect social networks to continue to purge fake followers, just like Twitter did in 2018. “Influencers” who seem to have a lot of followers may actually have paid for them through bots or used follower schemes to grow their accounts with followers who aren’t actually paying attention to their content.
2. Engagement’s Importance Increases
As a result of the proliferation of fake influencers and followers, brands will become even more strategic in deciding who to partner with. And engagement, if it isn’t already (and it should be), will be the most important factor.
Expect brands to increase the research they do in identifying influencers to partner with. Brands will look more closely at:
- Type of influencer content
- Comments from followers and discussions the influencer facilitates among them
- Case studies proving the influencers’ worth
As more influencers try to transform the use of their influence into lucrative full-time careers, influencers will need to be able to clearly convey to brands why they matter in their space.
The savviest brands will also approach influencers who may not even consider themselves influencers yet – they’re unpaid social media users who have passionate communities backing them. These present great opportunities for businesses to capitalize on partnering with them early on.
3. More Celebrities Are Joining the Fray
Cameo, which launched in 2017, really picked up steam in 2018. The on-demand celebrity shout-out service enables fans to receive personalized mobile messages from everyone from *NSYNC members to Stormy Daniels. Message prices average around $40 each but can go up depending on the celebrity status of the sender.
The potential that services like Cameo can have on the influencer marketing world are many.
- Interacting with “common folk” through digital media is becoming more acceptable in the celebrity realm.
- Brands could use influencer services like Cameo to gain attention with their own followings, such as through using a Cameo shoutout as a giveaway prize.
- Celebrities are increasingly open to making money through social media-friendly means.
As more celebrities join in influencer-friendly jobs like Cameo, the market is also becoming more saturated. This could lower influencer marketing prices for brands who want to partner with celebrity influencers.
4. Businesses Will Focus on Long-Term Relationships
Since influencer marketing is being embraced by more businesses, instead of focusing on one-time campaigns, expect more brands to focus on building long-term influencer relationships. Benefits include:
- Potential cost savings
- More consistent brand messaging
- The influencer’s followers will grow with the brand
- Brand stories become more authentic over time
To fuel the growth of influencer relationships, also expect more brands to continue to shift spending from traditional advertising methods to digital marketing spend.
5. Influencers Become More Selective
The growth of influencer marketing and the rise of full-time influencers enables influencers to be more selective with the types of brands they partner with and the type of content they produce. Ultimately, this only benefits brands. The most effective influencer marketing campaigns are ones that are authentic and that are not simply about advertising products.
In 2019, businesses shouldn’t be surprised if they get turned down by influencers they approach. Influencers will only want to partner with brands that enable them to create content their followers will engage with.
That’s why the research stage is so important when creating an influencer marketing campaign. Approaching influencers that are truly a good fit for a service or product will save a business time and money and make the campaign more positive in the long run.
6. Brands Will Think Beyond Their Usual Channels
A business may not be super-video-friendly, but the influencers who would be the best fit for them may predominantly use YouTube. Businesses must recognize that they must widen their influencer marketing campaign strategy beyond the channels they usually use. To find better target influencers, they’ll need to look at a variety of social media networks, including ones like Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.
Look for influencer marketing campaigns heading offline, too. Live events like TEDx talks provide influencers who are public speakers with the ability to drop brand names into speeches. Brands who still invest in offline advertising methods like billboards and print ads are also approaching online influencers to star in those campaigns, and adding branded campaign hashtags to tie in online influence with offline methods.
7. The Rise of Influencer Microcampaigns
It’s OK today for influencer marketing campaigns to have shorter shelf lives. The number of daily active Instagram Stories users nearly quadrupled from October 2016 to June 2018. Instagram Stories typically are only available for 24 hours, so along with disappearing-message apps like Snapchat, that makes shorter influencer marketing campaigns commonplace.
Social media consumers are spending more time on social media, but there is also more competing for their attention. Bite-sized influencer marketing campaigns that last a day or less will become more frequent, but they’ll need to be attention-grabbing and engaging to be revenue-makers for brands.
Create a Winning Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2019
Are you ready to reach new customers and increase revenue through influencer marketing? Don’t let your budget be mismanaged. Find influencers that are a fit for your brand, and who will share your message with their followers in an authentic way.
We can help. Contact us for a free influencer marketing consultation.