Influencer marketing is more than the Kardashians posting selfies with the latest diet products. For one, influencers can come from any background, industry and can have varying amounts of followers. The one thing that they do all have in common is that they’re “social media figures who have gathered around them communities with an interest in their passion, who are eager to listen to them.” (Lefty)
In a nutshell, the best influencers “give a human voice” to brands that benefit from the authentic relationships between the influencer and its audience.
According to Forbes, influencer marketing has proven to be the “most effective form of advertising”.
Keeping track of the trends will maximize the influencer impact.
1. The year of integration
Influencer campaigns have the tremendous potential to improve search rank of just about any business, but it’s important to explore all options and types of influencers. We can classify influencers into three groups: mega-influencers (usually celebrities), macro-influencers, and micro-influencers.
The year 2017 was all about micro-influencers, but 2018 will focus on integration. Besides combining mega-, macro-, and micro-influencers, companies will also merge other word-of-mouth strategies like referral programs, advocacy, and loyalty.
2. Budget, value, and cost of service will increase
As influencer marketing goes mainstream, more and more brands will jump on the bandwagon. This means that the demand for influencers will become higher, causing the value and cost of their services to increase. Increased value due to higher demand doesn’t necessarily revolve around money, influencers will start looking for meaningful partnerships.
3. Instagram stories to reign
Instagram is one of the most popular networks for influencer marketing efforts and in 2018, it will rise even more. At this point, influencer marketing on this social media app is worth about $1 billion, but it could reach $2 billion by 2019.
4 . KPI and ROI measuring is vital
In 2018, with increased demands and values of influencer campaigns (discussed above) measuring key performance indicators (KPI) and the return on investment (ROI) will become essential.
You can track both ROI and KPI through an understanding of relevant metrics tools for each campaign and detailed analysis of results. We can also expect the development of new software and influencer marketing platforms that make this process significantly easier with growing need for precise measurements.
5. Authenticity of influencers will become very important
The success of influencer marketing has a lot to do with brands connecting with their audience with authentic and credible social media figures. However, because of the high demand of influencers – posing as an influencer by buying fake social media followers has become easier than ever. Working with fake influencers, can be disastrous for your brand if you spend a lot and end up getting nothing for your investment. For this reason, brands will have to more cautious when selecting which influencers, they plan to work with.
6. Video marketing critical for influencer content
Probably the biggest influencer marketing trend in 2018 is the use of video content on both account’s timeline and stories sections. Evidence shows that video can be twice as effective in driving sales as text-based content so strive to post this type of content regularly.
In 2018, a combination of different types of influencers will dominate as well as the use of video content.