Whether you have considered running your own social media accounts or have conducted research on what marketing agencies can offer to help you enhance your online presence, I’m sure you have come across influencer marketing and the benefits of running campaigns featuring influencers for your service or product.
Back in the day (and some might still prefer doing it this way), it was mostly an organic process. After figuring out which influencers you wanted to collaborate with, you would start engaging with them, developing a relationship with your favourite influencers, hoping that when the time comes and you want to feature them in your campaign, they would be happy to do it. In more recent years, businesses have chosen to use influencer marketing agencies and platforms that specialise in this field and have an amazing database that you can choose from for any campaign you have in mind.
Why not just choose the ones you like and reach out to them? Well, there have been controversial challenges within the influencer community lately, mostly relating to engagement rates, effectiveness, and industry-focused influencer marketing. With accounts able to purchase followers, there was an opportunity for some people to quickly grow their following overnight and to appear like a valuable influencer account to potential brands on Instagram. Of course, their engagement rate or conversion rates were not up to the standards the clients were expecting, leaving brands disappointed and bitter about this style of marketing.
However, influencer marketing can be an amazing marketing tool for your business if done the right way. According to Oberlo, about 93% of marketers are using influencer marketing and 9 out of 10 believe it is also effective. That being said, by looking at some of the influencer marketing trends this year, it will be easier for any brand to understand exactly what type of influencer they need, what to ask for before signing a collaboration and how to approach influencer marketing strategically.
An increasing number of brands make the choice to outsource their influencer marketing projects to platforms specialising in this. In recent years such platforms have become quite popular, providing marketers or businesses with a great influencer database, and also other complementary services such as tracking and monitoring campaigns, insights and analytics that will provide the client with a more clear understanding of the campaign’s success and the influencer’s reach and engagement.
With little to no regulation for the influencer marketing industry, it became harder to create a system that is fair and transparent for online users, as well as brands and influencers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped in the right direction, establishing some ground rules that both brands and influencers need to follow before and after running a campaign, ensuring that there is a more transparent, as well as seamless process for the influencer marketing world. One example is that the FTC clearly states that influencers must disclose their relationship with brands and the products or services they are advertising are suitable for their followers.
Going Niche and Micro
A very popular trend in the influencer marketing industry is going after niche and micro-influencers, choosing ambassadors for your brand who are not only perceived as trustworthy and relevant by their online community but also have quite high engagement rates as they only focus on a particular niche or industry, getting to really know what their followers need and want to see on the subject. With engagement rates of 6.3% for micro-influencers, more often than not brands are starting to redirect their campaigns and budgets towards these influencers who seem more reliable, authentic and engaging for their target audience.
Going hand in hand with the reasons why you would opt for micro-influencers for your campaigns, maintaining long-term relationships with them is also a plus. By a long-term relationship, we understand working with the same influencer across brand campaigns, for at least a couple of years. Since you are choosing a niche influencer that is a thought leader for the online community in your field, working with them long-term won’t be a problem because as long as they stay within your niche, they will always be a relevant choice for your campaigns. Businesses around the world are embracing this new trend and they would rather focus on fewer influencers whom they work really well with, who deliver relevant results and contribute to the success of their campaigns.
More Audio and Video
Another trend in the influencer marketing scene is: more audio and video content! We all know by now that video content tends to get more attention and engagement on most social media platforms and it looks like this is not changing any time soon. According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s report, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year, meaning that video content is a key element to an effective content marketing strategy. What’s more, audio formats are gaining popularity by the day with more podcasts than ever taking over the online environment.
While the social media world is constantly changing, there is no doubt that these trends are here to stay for a while. With influencer marketing you can elevate your business, raise brand awareness and increase conversions by choosing to collaborate with influencers that are relevant in your industry, have built an amazing online presence and have a close relationship with their community in the digital space.
If you would like to know more about influencer marketing and how we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.